Tips For Using Contact Lenses With Dry Eyes

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If you have recently started to notice your vision becoming fuzzy or if images simply do not seem as clear as they once did, then it is time to speak to an optometrist. The professional can complete a thorough exam to see if you are nearsighted or farsighted. If you have dry eyes and dread the thought of wearing glasses, then contact lenses are an option. There are a few tips you should know before speaking with your eye doctor.

There Are Contacts For Dry Eyes

Contact lenses can be irritating if you have a common dry eye issue. In fact, contact lenses can exacerbate dry eyes and cause a condition called contact lens induced dry eyes (CLIDE). CLIDE as well as general contact lens discomfort can be prevented. Your optometrist should complete a series of tests before working with you to choose contact lenses. The tests are a part of a dry eye examination that involves eye staining and an in-depth analysis of the cornea and conjunctiva. Also, the moisture or the tear layer of the eye should be measured and inspected closely.

Once the examination and testing is completed, your optometrist can tell you about contact lenses for people with dry eyes. There are several different varieties of the lenses that are made by different companies. Some of the lenses contain more water so the eye retains as much moisture as possible. Other lenses are porous to allow air and moisture to reach the cornea, and some are made from a hydrogel material. Hydrogel is thinner and more fluid than the plastic used to create traditional contact lenses.

If you are a bit more adventurous and want to stay away from contacts that may potentially cause a dry eye issue, then you can opt for orthokeratology. Orthokeratology lenses are worn at night while you sleep. They change the shape of the eyes slightly so they are more rounded like they normally should be. This allows you to see clearly during the day. Speak with your optometrist about the lenses when you make your eye health appointment. 

All Contact Solutions Are Not Made Equal

When you go through your contact lens fitting and initial consultation, you will likely be informed about the different products you should use to clean and wet your contacts. If you have dry eyes, then your optometrist may suggest a specific brand or product to try. If this happens, then it is wise to purchase the suggested product or products.

One common issue that can cause dry eyes and irritation is when you purchase a multipurpose or all-in-one sort of product. Most of these products contain preservatives that you may be sensitive to. For example, multipurpose solutions often include the ingredient thimerosal, which contains mercury. Thimerosal can be irritating to the eyes, and many people are allergic or sensitive to it. It is wise to use separate cleaners and wetting solutions to avoid the use of this chemical.

If separate cleaners and wetting fluids cause dry eyes, then try using products that are preservative free. Hydrogen peroxide cleaning solutions are an option. If you use this type of cleaner, you will need to rinse and wet your contacts carefully with a saline solution afterwards. This will prevent you from getting the peroxide in your eye. 

Also, eye irritation can be reduced with the use of common eye drops. Long lasting drops are often a better choice than traditional drops, so look for these products at your local pharmacy. However, try to use the drops only when your eyes feel dry. The overuse of eye drops can create a situation where the eyes produce less tears, and this can contribute to your dry eye condition.