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Can I wear Contact Lenses with Dry Eye?

You might think your Dry Eyes will prevent you from wearing Contact Lenses, but there are actually quite a few options!

Even if you don’t have dry eye, contact lenses can make your eyes feel dried-out and uncomfortable. So for people living with dry eye disease, contact lenses are often written off as a non-starter.

The truth is that, yes, you can wear contact lenses with dry eyes. You just need to know which products to use and how to alter your habits.

Keep reading to learn more, or check out my video for a detailed explanation.

Why Does Dry Eye Make Contacts so Uncomfortable?

Dry eye disease is a multi-factorial condition that causes the ocular surface (the surface of your eyes) to become inflamed and irritated. Placing a foreign object onto your ocular surface can cause more irritation.

What’s worse is that most monthly contact lenses are made from silicone, which is hydrophobic (water repellant). After a while, the treatment on the lens starts to wear off, causing your ocular surface to dry out even more.

If you stopped wearing contact lenses a long time ago, it’s worth mentioning that a lot has probably changed since then. Contact lens technology progresses very quickly, which means you may have a completely different experience than what you’ve had before.

What Are My Options?

Try Daily Lenses

Monthly lenses tend to get less comfortable every day you wear them because the treatments wear off. I recommend daily disposable contact lenses for patients with dry eye disease. Dailies reduce the amount of build-up on your lenses and are less likely to become hydrophobic.

There are plenty of daily disposable contact lenses available. Personally, my favorites are Dailies Total 1, Precision 1, and Infuse. I even made a video about these recently. Although, the Infuse lens came out after this video was published!

I’d recommend talking to your optometrist about the soft daily lenses that are available to you.

Specialty Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses aren’t for everyone, especially if your eyes are super dry. There are specialty rigid contact lenses that may work for you though.

Scleral lenses are one option. Rather than resting on your cornea, they rest on the white, less sensitive part of your eye called the sclera. As a result, the lens leaves space between the cornea and the lens, which can be used as a reservoir for artificial tears.

Tips & Tricks

Non-Preserved Eye Drops

Contact lenses, especially soft contact lenses are basically sponges; they’ll absorb anything. Make sure you avoid artificial tears with preservatives, as they could dry your eyes out even more.

Hypoallergenic Makeup

Makeup can irritate your eyes in all sorts of ways. I’ve found a makeup brand called Eyes Are the Story that is very gentle and safe for dry eyes. I’ve been wearing their products for a long time and I’d highly recommend them, especially if you have dry eyes.

Watch Your Diet

The way you fuel your body impacts the way it functions. Remember to drink plenty of water and pay attention to what you eat. An anti-inflammatory diet could help reduce your symptoms, so avoiding excess sugar and caffeine is a good place to start.

Don’t Give Up On Contact Lenses Yet

Despite what you may think, there are contact lens options for people living with dry eye disease. All you need is to find the right pair and stock up on the right products to keep them functioning effectively.

Check out these Healthy CL products

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