Contact Lens Wear & Dry Eye Disease
Contact lens wearers have a 2.3X higher risk of developing Dry Eye Disease then non contact lens wearers. (Arvo Journal)
A contact lens on the eye splits the tear layer in two, some behind the contact and some in front. This can lead to a lack of quantity of tears
Contact lenses can also decrease how often you blink during the day. Every time your eyes blink the top lid presses on the bottom lid to squeeze out the tears. If this doesn't happen frequently enough throughout the day then the eyes become dry.
Friction between the top of the contact lens and the back of the eyelids can lead to inflammation which can cause the tear glands to not make enough tears or become red and inflamed to the point where the glands may close.
Ensuring that the contact lens is not the cause of your dry eye is very important. Your optometrist may need to make modifications to the brand or fit of the contact to limit dry eye symptoms.
Your optometrist may also recommend using artificial tears during the day to help with hydration. It is important to use an artificial tear that has been approved for use with contact lenses.
If you suffer from dry eye, especially severe cases, contact lenses are not the best option for vision correction.
In most cases, with a specific and targeted treatment plan, we can get the dry eye under control to allow for partial or even full day contact lens wear.