Finding the best colored contacts for dry eyes can be difficult. Dry eye syndrome (or dry eyes) affects more and more people each year.
Dry eyes is a condition whereby our eyes’ tear ducts cannot produce enough lubrication for our eyes. It is a condition which is becoming more and more common these days because of pollutants and air pollution.
The health of our tear ducts could be compromised due to ageing, diseases, and medication, which leads to lesser tears to keep our eyes moist. The environment can also lead to tear evaporation, and overall reduce moisture in our eyes.
Wearing unsuitable contact lenses makes it worse for anyone with dry eyes.
Table of contents
- What Are Dry Eye Symptoms?
- Is It Bad If We Have Dry Eyes?
- Causes of Dry Eyes
- How Colored Contacts Can Cause Dry Eyes
- What Is The Best Colored Contacts Material That Safeguards Dry Eyes?
- What About PolyHEMA (Hydrogel)?
- Look For Water Content
- What Are The Best Colored Contacts For Dry Eyes?
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
What Are Dry Eye Symptoms?
If you experience these symptoms, you may be suffering from dry eyes and would need to seek professional help.
Redness / Blurred Vision / Eye Fatigue
One of the telltale symptoms includes difficulty seeing. There is also a persistent feeling of dryness in the eyes. You may also experience redness of the eyes, along with a gritty or sandy sensation on them when waking up.
Sensitivity To Light
Besides that, there may be a sensitivity to light or to wind blowing on your face. Other signs include: finding yourself frequently blinking, feeling like you have something stuck between your eyelids, or seeing halos around lights that accompany with blurry vision.
Is It Bad If We Have Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes can lead to a condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which is often abbreviated as KCS. This leads the sufferer of dry eye syndrome to lose their natural tear film in addition to not producing any new tears on their own.
With this lack of lubrication, it becomes increasingly difficult for your delicate and sensitive cornea exposed by open eyelids at all times causing irritation such that you will experience pain around your eyes while watching TV or looking at your computer at the night. If left untreated over a prolonged period, severe loss of sight or worse may happen.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Before we go into further treatments, what causes dry eyes in the first place?
- Dry air
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Decreased blinking from reading and computer usage
- Preservatives in topical eyedrops
- Incorrect usage of contact lens that causes corneal desensitivity
- Laser eye surgery
- Certain medications like antihistamines and birth control
- Tear production tends to diminish as one gets older, especially for over 50s
- Ectropion (eyelids turning outward)
- Eye allergies
How Colored Contacts Can Cause Dry Eyes
There are a number of reasons why the wrong contact lenses would often cause dry eyes.
- First, they limit oxygenation for your eyeballs because the lens blocks airflow to them when you blink.
- Second, people with dry eyes may find that contacts cause difficulty blinking and redness. These symptoms make it difficult for someone with contacts to wear them comfortably all day long.
Without due caution, it may result in abrasions to the cornea, scarring, and other terrible issues.
If contact lenses pose a risk to those with dry eyes, then surely colored contacts would be a major no-no. But that doesn’t have to be the case, so you can still plan for Halloween or prepare for your favorite cosplay look. You just need to know what to look out for.
Fortunately, there are several options available with contact lenses for eye dryness.
What Is The Best Colored Contacts Material That Safeguards Dry Eyes?
Pro tip: Ask your optometrist for silicone hydrogel lenses.
When you are looking to wear colored contacts for an extended period of time, those made with silicone hydrogel are best suited for you. If you want to take it a step further, you can get non-colored ones at night time when sleeping.
This material allows greater oxygenation, which helps maintain moisture in the cornea and provides comfort even after prolonged use. Forgot to take them off and went to bed? Don’t worry, they are pretty good for overnight use too!
They also last longer relative to daily disposable ones because they are reusable for up to 30 days. However, it doesn’t allow you to be careless with them. To make sure they serve you well, you would still have to remove them for proper cleaning and disinfecting. The good news is that it would take less money out of your pocket since one pair lasts a lot longer!
Silicone Hydrogel: Benefits In A Nutshell
3 key properties of silicone hydrogel contact lenses make it the ideal for people dealing with dry eyes.
- Firstly, it offers the wearer a greater degree of oxygen supply.
- It also offers twice the level of wettability compared to regular lenses
- Restricts the accumulation of protein, making it safe to be worn for hours on end.
As a whole, this means far less chances for the wearer to suffer abrasions to the cornea. You definitely wouldn’t want that happening.
What About PolyHEMA (Hydrogel)?
What about other options?
As a basic rule, we do not recommend hard contact lenses for anyone with dry eyes. It’s always better to opt for soft lenses. The other option besides silicone hydrogel is called PolyHEMA, known plainly as hydrogel. Like silicone hydrogel it is a soft plastic material containing water, which is key to providing oxygenation to the eyes.
When you shop for soft contacts, remember that there is a difference between hydrogel (PolyHEMA) and silicone hydrogel (SiHy); the latter is more advanced and allows for better oxygenation of the eyes. This is especially so when you’re out hunting for colored contact lenses. Go for high quality, do not go cheap.
Why? Because pigmentation that comes with colored contacts would normally block off the permeation of water and oxygen. Hence the extra permeability afforded by silicone lenses make them much better suited for those who want to add some captivating hues to their eyes.
Should We Avoid PolyHEMA Contacts?
No, the benefits of silicone hydrogel don’t mean that regular hydrogel lenses should be off your shopping list forever. It could be an acceptable alternative if you are looking for uncolored contacts and are unable to find silicone hydrogel options.
Unless you want to have that extra splash of personality, either option would be good enough for regular wearers. But if, as mentioned earlier, you are susceptible to dry eyes, silicone is the way to go.
Besides, silicone variants aren’t always necessarily more comfortable than regular hydrogel. They mainly provide better safety for longer hours against hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen to the eyes) compared to a regular hydrogel.
They are ideal for extended wear and can be left in the eyes for a full straight month. This makes it more appropriate for those who are mostly on the go, active and need something that doesn’t get in their way.
Look For Water Content
Another crucial consideration is water content. Because of their hydrophilic nature, soft contacts would pull in moisture from their surroundings if they run low on water. Hence you wouldn’t want to put them on your eyes when they’re not filled and supple. The higher their default water content capacity, the more water they would pull from outside when dry.
Silicone hydrogels in this case would be more suitable as they are typically lower in water content and have greater oxygen permeability. However, much like regular hydrogels, you would still want to keep them filled using rewetting drops. Just carry a bottle around with you or keep one where you work, in case you need them at any given time.
At the end of the day, it’s always worth remembering that even the right contact lenses can dry out. They need to be maintained with lubrication drops. And it’s best to first get guidance from your optometrist or eye doctor.
What Are The Best Colored Contacts For Dry Eyes?
Although there are many silicone hydrogel options in the market, below 2 are the best option for your dry eyes. Their UV-blocking properties also make them a practical choice for those who usually face their phone and laptop screens all day.
- Urban Layer – a trusted brand for silicone hydrogel lenses that stands out by creating hand-painted and natural colored contacts. They offer an almost endless variety of stunning colors and designs for colored lenses. Check out our Urban Layer collection here.
- Miacare – as the brainchild of optical manufacturer BenQ from Taiwan, Miacare is known for silicone hydrogel contacts borne of the innovative EautraSil Hydrophilic Silicone Technology. They offer monthly and daily wear lenses under the Delight and Confidence collections. Discover our catalog of Miacare here.
Have a look through our catalog of silicone hydrogel contact lenses, including different color variants!
With all the options out there, you may be wondering which color contact is best for your dry eye symptoms.
We have done some research to help guide you in making a decision that will not only protect against dry eyes but also provide unparalleled comfort and visual clarity.
There are many different colored contacts on the market today with varying water content; however, silicone hydrogel seems to offer the most benefits when it comes to safeguarding our delicate eye tissue from dehydration while maintaining superior optical performance.
The next time you’re thinking about investing in new colored lenses, take into consideration how they can affect your vision. Also consider the type of material they’re made of before deciding on one option over another, especially if you might suffer from chronic dry eyes.