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Can You Wear Contacts with Dry Eye?

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A contact lens on a fingertip with a hand pouring contact solution onto it.

If you suffer from dry eye, you may have wondered whether wearing contact lenses is a good idea. After all, having something touching your eyes all day long can exacerbate symptoms of dryness and discomfort. However, the good news is that many people with dry eye are able to successfully wear contacts without any issues.

Understanding Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears that are produced evaporate too quickly. This can be caused by a number of factors, including age, certain medications, and medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases.

Symptoms of dry eye can include:

  • A scratchy or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye fatigue

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Contacts with Dry Eye

There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to wear contacts with dry eye:

Type of Contact Lenses

Certain types of contact lenses may be more suitable for those with dry eye. Soft contact lenses may be more comfortable for dry eye sufferers, as they retain more moisture than other types of contacts. Additionally, daily disposable lenses may be a better option for those with dry eye as they are replaced each day, reducing the risk of buildup and irritation.

Severity of Dry Eye

If you have mild or moderate dry eye, wearing contacts may not be an issue. However, if you have severe dry eye or other underlying conditions contributing to your symptoms, it’s important to discuss this with your eye doctor before wearing contacts.

Proper Care & Maintenance

For those with dry eye, proper care of contact lenses is crucial. This includes regularly cleaning your lenses, using lubricating drops as recommended by your eye doctor, and taking breaks from wearing contacts. Failure to properly care for your contacts can lead to discomfort and potential eye infections.

Consult with an Eye Doctor

Before deciding on contacts, it’s important to consult with an eye doctor. They can assess the severity of your dry eye and recommend suitable types of contact lenses or alternative options if necessary. They can also provide guidance on proper care for your specific condition. 

Regular check-ups with your eye doctor are also important to monitor any changes in your dry eye and ensure continued safety and comfort when wearing contacts.

Finding the Right Balance

Ultimately, the decision to wear contacts with dry eye is a personal one that requires finding the right balance between comfort, vision correction, and proper care. By considering these factors and consulting with your eye doctor, you can make an informed decision that works best for your needs. 

Always prioritize the health and comfort of your eyes when considering any type of vision correction. 

A contact lens sitting on a clear surface.

Tips for Wearing Contacts with Dry Eye

If you decide to wear contacts and have dry eye syndrome, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always follow your eye doctor’s recommendations for wearing and caring for your contacts.
  • Keep lubricating drops on hand and use them as needed throughout the day to keep your eyes moist.
  • Take breaks from wearing contacts when necessary, especially if you experience discomfort or irritation.
  • Avoid using products that can worsen dry eye symptoms, such as eye makeup and air conditioning.
  • Consider choosing contacts that are specifically designed for those with dry eye or sensitive eyes.  These may include daily disposable lenses or soft contact lenses made from a highly water-absorbent material.
  • Consult with your eye doctor regularly to monitor the health of your eyes and make adjustments as needed. 

Alternatives to Contacts

If wearing contacts with dry eye is not an option for you, there are other alternatives to consider:

  • Glasses may be a better option for those with severe dry eye or other underlying conditions. They do not require direct contact with the eye and can provide relief from dryness.
  • LASIK or other corrective eye surgeries may also be an option to permanently correct vision without needing contacts or glasses. However, it’s important to consult your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for these procedures.
  • If you prefer to continue using contacts but have difficulty with dry eye, consider switching to a different type of lens or brand. Your eye doctor can help you find the best option for your specific needs.

Overcoming Dry Eye at Golden Vision Optometry

Wearing contact lenses with dry eye is possible with proper care and consideration. However, it’s important to listen to your body and consult your eye doctor if you experience discomfort or worsening symptoms. Remember to always prioritize the health and comfort of your eyes above convenience when choosing the right vision correction option for you.

At Golden Vision Optometry, we are dedicated to providing personalized care and education for all our patients. If you have any questions or concerns about wearing contacts with dry eye, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. We are here to help you achieve clear and comfortable vision. 

Written by Golden Vision

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