Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common condition that is caused when the tear ducts do not produce adequate lubrication. Those who suffer dry dry eye syndrome often experience itching, stinging, and burning sensations as well as a feeling of grittiness in their eyes. Because of the irritation caused by dry eye syndrome, many sufferers may feel they cannot wear contact lenses; however, this is not the case. Those with dry eye syndrome can wear contact lenses, but it may require extra care in order to keep your eyes comfortable. For those who suffer from dry eye syndrome, follow these tips so as to not trigger your DES symptoms.
Don’t Sleep With Contact Lenses In. Sleeping while wearing contact lenses limits the amount of oxygen and hydration your eyes are exposed to at night, leading to ideal conditions for bacteria to breed. This can lead to eye infections that will create discomfort and worsen any preexisting symptoms of dry eye syndrome. If you do fall asleep with your contact lenses in, take them out as soon as you can and then don’t wear contact lenses for a day to allow your eyes to rest. If taking your contacts out is difficult, don’t pull at them; instead, use eye drops to lubricate the contact and blink several times. This should hydrate the contact and allow it to be more easily removed.
Don’t Try To Extend The Life Of Contact Lenses. There are several types of contact lenses with different recommended days of wear: daily, bi-weekly, and monthly. No matter which type you have, make sure you only wear them for the recommended amount of time and then switch to a new set. Even if you clean your lenses properly every day, there will still be a buildup of minerals and debris that can make it difficult for your eyes to stay properly lubricated. Wearing lenses past their recommended date can also lead to eye infection, particularly for those who do not clean them well enough, and contact lenses can become worn and damaged over time. If your lenses have scratches or tears, replace them immediately.
Change Your Contact Solution Frequently. Every time you put your contact lenses in your eye and your case sits empty, you should dump out the old solution, give your container a rise with new solution, and then let the container rest upside down to dry. Drying the contact lens container with a towel or paper towel will leave fibers that can cling to your contact and reusing solution can allow bacteria to grow in the case and transfer to your eye.
Use Artificial Tears. Those with dry eye syndrome often use artificial tears to reduce eye dryness, but they can also be used when the eyes don’t yet feel dry. Using artificial tears as a preventative measure, even when you aren’t experiencing dry eye symptoms, keeps your eyes and contact lenses lubricated and comfortable all day.
Let Your Eyes Breathe. Many people put their contact lenses in first thing in the morning and take them out right before they fall asleep, but you should give your eyes time to be exposed to the air for a few hours so they can receive nourishment from your natural tear film.
Have Regular Eye Exams. Although most people between the ages of 18 and 65 should go to the eye doctor every two years, if you wear contact lenses or have dry eye syndrome, you should schedule yearly eye exams. When you wear contact lenses with dry eye syndrome, it’s important to have your tear film evaluated annually and to ensure that your prescription is up to date.
Don’t let dry eyes prevent you from wearing contact lenses. If you are suffering from dry eye symptoms and are looking for relief, visit the dry eye treatment professionals at My Optometrist in Calgary or Three Hills. In order to provide the most advanced treatment for dry eye syndrome, My Optometrist Calgary has created the Calgary Dry Eye and Ocular Wellness Clinic. This dry eye clinic offers the most up to date technology for combating the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. If you suspect you are suffering from dry eye syndrome, contact My Optometrist either at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. If you have dry eye symptoms and wear contact lenses, the My Optometrist dry eye clinic can supply you with resources to care for your dry eyes and can answer your questions about contact lenses. To book an appointment with My Optometrist, fill out the online contact form or call the location most convenient for you.
Q: What are some treatment options for dry eye syndrome?
A: If your dry eye symptoms are mild, eye drops, ointments, scrubs, and compresses may be enough to relieve discomfort, but if your symptoms are severe, there are other options. Radio Frequency (RF) and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are available through our dry eye treatment clinic. Both of these options offer longer and more effective relief from dry eye syndrome than other at-home methods. To learn more about these treatments, either visit My Optometrist online here or book an eye exam with our optometrists through the contact form.
Q: Can a contact lens get lost behind my eye?
A: No, it is physically impossible for a contact lens to merge or disappear behind your eye. Contact lenses are specifically designed to stay on the surface of the eye and can be easily removed and put back into place. When you come to the eye doctor for your first contact lenses, one of our team members will teach you how to put in and take out your contact lenses.
Q: Do contact lenses hurt?
A: Contact lenses may feel uncomfortable as your eyes adjust, but they should never hurt. When you use contact lenses for the first few times your eyes may be irritated and watery, so remember to keep using eye drops until your eyes can fully adjust to wearing them. If you have any concerns about wearing contact lenses, address them with your Calgary eye doctor.
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