People who have been wearing contact lenses for some time have, at some point, experienced discomfort caused by dry eye syndrome. In today’s post, Lumen Optometric discusses what causes dry eye syndrome, and how you can manage it if it happens to you.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is characterized by dryness around the eyes, which may be accompanied by irritation, inflammation, or blurred vision. Anyone can experience these symptoms, however, discomfort is more pronounced for people who wear contact lenses, as lack of moisture increases friction between the eyes and the lenses.
Dryness is usually caused by hormone changes, some autoimmune conditions, or damage to the tear glands or the skin around the eyes. Advanced age and certain types of allergies may also contribute to dry eye syndrome. Some types of contact lenses, when worn for long periods, can also cause dryness in the eyes.
Managing Dry Eye Syndrome
If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome, do not take any medication or try how-tos that you may find online. Visit an eye exam doctor to determine its cause and plan treatment. One of the most common treatments for dry eye syndrome is taking lubricating eye drops, which are often prescribed for dryness caused by inefficient tear glands or very low humidity levels. If dryness is determined to be caused by the medication that you’re taking, your eye doctor may require changes to your prescription.
Choose the Right Contact Lenses
If dryness occurs when you wear your contact lenses, you don’t have to limit its usage or switch to eyeglasses if you’re not comfortable wearing one. The following are other types of contact lenses that are more suitable for people suffering from dry eye syndrome:
Soft Contact Lenses — These contacts are made of hydrogel, which contains water. Soft contact lenses are typically disposable, however, some manufacturers offer extended-wear options that are reusable for up to 30 days.
Silicone-Based Hydrogel Contact Lenses — These are functionally similar to hydrogel-based contact lenses, but have better moisture retention.
Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses — These contacts are relatively more rigid, but they let oxygen reach the eye. Orthokeratology contact lenses are made from a similar material.
If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome, call Lumen Optometric at (626) 921-0199 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We also offer corneal reshaping and other eye care services.