If you’ve been wearing contact lenses for awhile, you may have experienced discomfort caused by dry eye syndrome. In today’s post, your local eye care provider Nova Vision Center shares what causes dry eyes and how to manage the condition.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is characterized by dryness around the eyes that is sometimes accompanied by inflammation, irritation or blurred vision. Discomfort is more pronounced for contact lens wearers, since moisture prevents friction between the eyes and contact lenses.
Dry eye can be caused by damage to the tear glands or skin around the eyes, certain autoimmune conditions or hormone changes. It can also be caused by allergies, aging or certain medications. Wearing contact lenses for long periods can also result in dry eyes.
How to Manage Dry Eye Syndrome
Before taking any medication or other preventive measures, it’s best to see an eye doctor to determine what’s causing your dry eyes. Dry eyes are commonly treated with lubricating eye drops, which work well when inefficient tear glands or exceedingly low humidity levels are what’s causing the problem. When medication is causing dry eyes, treatment may require a change to your existing prescription.
Contact Lenses and Dry Eye Syndrome
If you have dry eyes that are caused by contact lenses, don’t worry–you may still be able to continue wearing your contacts provided you switch to a different type of lens. Here are some options:
- Soft Contact Lenses — Soft contacts are made of hydrogel, a material that contains water. While soft lenses are typically disposable, some manufacturers offer extended-wear lenses that can be reused for up to 30 days.
- Silicone-Based Hydrogel Contact Lenses — These are similar to hydrogel lenses but retain moisture far longer than regular hydrogel contacts.
- Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses — This type of contact lens is more rigid, but allows oxygen to reach the eye. Orthokeratology lenses are made from a similar material.
Nova Vision Center is your leading optometrist and eye care provider in Fairfax County. Give us a call at (703) 578-3600. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Alexandria and Arlington, VA.