Contact lenses obstruct oxygen permeation due to which your eyes may feel dry. However, it is very important to understand that contact lenses are not always the reason behind dry eyes. If you always find it uncomfortable to blink eyes with heaviness in eye lids and a gritty sensation then it is not contact lenses but a medical condition known as “Dry Eye Syndrome”. Unfortunately, dry eye syndrome has no cure but the symptoms can be managed using eye drops and making improvements in your life style.
Also Read : Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes
What is Dry Eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a medical condition where the production of tears is insufficient and the quality of tear film is compromised. Every time you blink eyes, a fresh supply of tear film spreads over the cornea that prevent eyes from environmental threats. It further makes blinking easier. The very same tear film is also responsible to maintain contact lens tolerance. When your eyes fail to produce enough tears, contact lenses become painful & uncomfortable. In absence of adequate tear supply, contact lenses won’t stay adhered and fall off the eyes.
Why can’t my Eyes Produce Enough Tears?
Human tear film is made up of three layers i.e. oil, mucus and aqua. The top most layer of lipid is supposed to protect the tears from quick evaporation. When it is compromised, the lipid layer is unable to protect evaporation hence your eyes become dryer before a new supply of tears could be produced. This type of dryness can be reduced using rewetting drops or artificial tears that are compliant with contact lenses.
Some eye drops like Rohto C cube and Complete Blink n Clean can be used while you are still wearing your contacts. However, not all eye drops are created equal. Some contain preservatives which may trigger allergenic response whereas other eye drops will turn your contact lenses hazy. Always choose your eye drops thoughtfully or consult your eye doctor.
Factors that Contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome
Dryness that is followed by eye strain, redness, inflammation & puffy lids is a result of over-wearing your contacts or wearing contacts that are past the expiry. Do not wear daily contacts for more than 6 hours in a row unless they are extended wear contacts. Other factors that add to the dry eye syndrome are
Weather changes such as humidity, circulated air in the air-cabin, use of air conditioners, heaters & humidifiers.
- Smoke and air pollutants
- Digital devices
- Natural process of ageing and hormonal changes
- Certain medications
Dry Eye Syndrome is analysed only in a doctor-patient relation. Various tests are performed where the quality and quantity of tear film is analysed. If you fear you might have been suffering from dry eye syndrome, it is high time you consult your eye doctor. OTC eye drops should help alleviating the discomfort if the dryness is only contact lens related.