A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

What to Do About Dry Eyes and Contacts

by dwasylow 5 May 2015 12:09 PM

Some of the most common complaints among contact lens wearers are symptoms of dry eyes. The itchiness, scratchy feeling, redness and general discomfort of dry eyes can make life truly miserable. So, what can you do about it?

The truth is wearing contact lenses doesn’t cause dry eyes, but it can bring out symptoms in people prone to dry eye syndrome, a condition that affects more than 90 million Americans. That’s up to 30% of the U.S. population.

Dry eyes result from an insufficient coating of natural liquid across the front of the eye. This liquid is a mixture of tears and oils that help flush out debris and let the eyelid slide across the eye.

Wearing contact lenses can reduce the amount of liquid on the eye by absorbing it into the lens. This sometimes results in CLIDE: contact lens induced dry eye syndrome. Use of lubricating eye drops may offer some relief, but rarely produces long-term comfort. Certain contact lens cleaning products can also help keep your contacts moist. Your eye doctor can help guide you to the best products for your specific needs.

Many contact lens wearers eventually find their dry eye problems are actually rooted in their eyelids. Along the ridge of the eyelid are tiny vents for oil-producing glands called meibomiam glands. The lipids produced by these glands are designed to spread across the surface of the eye each time we blink. When they become clogged, evaporative dry eye disease can result.

Thankfully, there are treatment options for evaporative dry eye disease. Among the most effective solutions is LipiFlow, an in-office treatment that unblocks the meibomiam glands vents, allowing the naturally occurring oils to flow freely and lubricate the eyes once again.

If you’re having trouble with dry eye symptoms while wearing contact lenses, schedule an appointment with Gainesville Eye Physicians today. We’ll talk with you and evaluate your symptoms to create a treatment plan perfect for you.



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