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Contact lenses are comfortable, customizable, and adaptable to your lifestyle, but dry eyes can make wearing contact lenses an extremely uncomfortable routine and make your routine particularly unpleasant. If you have abandoned your contact lenses because they were incompatible with your dry eyes. you may simply not have had the right lenses for your unique needs.
“Patients should know that having dry eyes doesn’t mean contact lenses aren’t an option,” says Ravzi Bike, MD, optician at Clarkson Eyecare in Cincinnati. “A lot has changed [and companies] are investing in new technologies to provide better comfort and health with new materials and contact lenses.”
However, finding the perfect lenses for dry eyes means doing household chores for consumers, and there are actually a few different things to consider when buying contacts for those suffering from dry eyes. Find out what your top priority is before you start searching. You may want a pair designed for people with sensitive eyes or a pair that helps relieve the eye strain associated with the screen.
There are many options on the market to suit every individual need, but here are some of the best that will help you get back to your daily routine without any hassle.
Our authors spent 6,5 hours in the studio of the most popular contact lenses on the market. Before giving their final recommendations, they considered in general 19 different contact lenses, explored 1 options 1 various brands and manufacturers, Read more than 27 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 0 of the contact lenses themselves. All of these studies add to the recommendations you can trust.
Having dry eyes doesn’t mean you can’t wear contact lenses, but you need to find the right type for you. This often involves working closely with an ophthalmologist to make sure you get an optimal fit and replacement program. When buying yourself, look for lenses with less than 40% water content, high oxygen permeability and silicone hydrogel construction. If you want to start with lenses that will cover all the basics, Bausch & Lomb ULTRA – a great option to start with. But if you want to find a pair that fits your budget (after all, you’ll probably have to buy them more than once), CooperVision Biofinity lenses – good choice.
What to look for in dry eye contact lenses
Contact lenses cover the cornea of your eye, which can cause discomfort. if your eyes tend to be drier than average. However, contacts with high oxygen diffusion allow more oxygen to reach the cornea.
“The most important factor to consider is the permeability of the contact lens [or Dk/t measurement],” he says Yuna Rapoport, doctor Health sciences, director of Manhattan Eye in New York. “This takes into account the material of the contact lens as well as the thickness of the lens directly reflects the oxygen permeability of the contact itself.”
According to Dr. Rapoport, the higher the Dk / T, the more permeable the lens is and the more oxygen penetrates the cornea. This is good for people with dry eyes because more oxygen means more comfort overall.
One disadvantage of buying contacts online is that it can be difficult to make sure that the purchased lenses actually fit your eyes. Ophthalmologists take careful measurements during the eye exam, including the reference curve and diameter of the cornea, and include these measures in your prescription.
However, patients with dry eyes may need more trial and error, under the supervision of a professional, to find the exact right fit. “Poorly chosen contact lenses, even if it’s the right prescription, will make your eyes uncomfortable,” warns Dr. Rapoport.
Brad Brocwell, doctor. optometrist and vice president of optical clinical operations, agrees: “the contact lens side can be tricky, but if you suffer from dry eye symptoms, don’t be afraid to discuss it with selection specialists…they will help determine which contact lenses are best for YOU.”
Contact lenses are composed in part of water, but the amount of water varies between different lens styles. Lenses with high water content (made with more than 50% water) are thicker, while lenses with low water content (made with less than 50% water) are thinner.
While you may assume that more water equals more hydration, and that high-water contacts are better for dry eyes, it’s actually the opposite.
“Lenses with higher water content can make dryness worse because they can divert water from the eyes,” explains Dr. Brockwell. “In general, lenses with a lower water content are more convenient for patients suffering from dry eyes.”
People suffering from dry eyes should look for contact lenses that contain about 40% or less water to prevent this moisturizing effect.
One of the main culprits of dryness when it comes to contacts is the accumulation of the environment; the more dirt, essentially, you have on your lenses (whether pollen, bacteria or proteins and lipids from your own tears), the more irritation they will cause in your already sensitive eyes, according to Dr. Bike.
One way to avoid this, says Dr. Bike, is to wear shorter interchangeable lenses, specifically the daily ones.
“Daily disposable lenses benefit patients by reducing the buildup of deposits,” he says. “This approach can also help patients with allergies and blepharitis.”
What The Experts Say
“Fitting contact lenses can be a challenge: if you suffer from dry eye symptoms, don’t be afraid to discuss it with your eye care professional. They will help determine which contact lenses work best for you.” – Brad Brockwell, MD, optician and vice president of clinical operations, now Optics
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Abby Stassen’s work has been published in Orlando Weekly and Windermere Scene magazines. Abby enrolled at the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and literature.
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Sarah Bradley write health content starting in 2017, from food reviews and disease FAQs, to nutrition explainers and a dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to get reliable, expert-approved recommendations on over-the-counter products that help manage everyday health issues, from gastrointestinal issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.