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How to Wear Contacts When You Have Dry Eyes

Wearing Contact Lens
Dry eye is a condition where your eyes don't produce enough tears, leaving your eyes feeling gritty, itchy, red, and lacking moisture.

Your tear film has many layers, allowing your eyes to stay moist or to produce tears when needed, such as when debris gets in your eyes, and when you produce an inefficient amount of tears, eye problems can occur. As a result, wearing contact lenses can be a challenge.

Can you wear contacts when you have dry eyes? You can with the right assistance. Here is a guide to help you wear contact lenses even if you have a dry eye condition.

Wear the Right Lenses

Many brands of contact lenses are on the market that allow the eyes to breathe more effectively, therefore drying out contact lenses less. These are known as soft contact lenses. Speak to your eye doctor about your dry eye condition; your eye doctor will determine the best type of soft lenses for your needs based on how severe your dry eye condition is.

Before deciding on any brand or type of contact lenses, consider wearing multiple samples of different brands (provided for you by your eye doctor) to try for a few days each. Record your comfort level with each brand of contact lenses you try to help you pick the best brand for your needs.

Wear Contacts Less Often

Around 50 percent of contact lens wearers report having dry eyes from time to time. Limiting the amount of time you wear contact lenses can help your eyes breathe better and remain moister.

The brand of contact lenses you own will determine how long you should wear a single pair at a time: two-week, one-day, and even extended-wear contact lenses are available. For your dry eye condition, wearing single-day contacts may be your best option.

In addition to limiting the amount of time you wear a single pair of contacts, you can also limit your daily use of contacts. While it's considered safe to wear contacts for a full day (up to 16 hours for average contact wearers), you should take your contacts out as soon as they begin to feel itchy or dry and switch to glasses.

Consider Contact-Safe Drops

If contacts make your eyes feel instantly dry and uncomfortable, then consider asking your eye doctor about prescription eye drops designed to help your eyes produce more natural tears.

Some types of eye drops are safe to use with contacts; ask your eye doctor which type of eye drops are best for your needs and how often you should use them when you have your contact lenses in.

Take a Break From Contacts

Choose a day a week where you only wear glasses to give your eyes a break. Your dry eye condition may improve if your eyes are not exposed to prolonged contact use. Consider wearing glasses over the weekend, and make it a habit. Your eye doctor will help you select glasses frames that suit your face and feel comfortable.

As you can see, you have many options to make wearing contacts while having a dry eye condition possible. To protect your eyes from developing other conditions, always rinse your contacts with proper solution prior to wearing them. Also, store your contacts in a clean case to prevent eye infection.

If you’d like to try new contacts that are specially designed for dry eyes, our team of optometrists can fit you with the right lenses. Call us at Fraser Optical to schedule an eye appointment today. Arrive early and bring your insurance card for filling out new applicant paperwork.