Do You Need Special Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes?
According to data from the renowned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million Americans wear contact lenses. Most people prefer contacts over glasses because they can correct their vision without interfering with their appearance. An optometrist can help you find contacts suitable for your vision issue. Our team at Family Eye Care in Chico offers class-leading eye care services, including contacts for improving vision.
If you develop an eye condition called dry eye syndrome, you might find wearing contacts very uncomfortable. This complication results from the inability of the eyes to produce adequate tears to keep your eyes properly lubricated and comfortable. If you often experience discomfort while wearing contacts, you should visit an optometry clinic near you for an eye checkup, as you might have dry eye syndrome.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Estimates from the National Eye Institute indicate that at least 5 million Americans have dry eye syndrome. This eye condition is typically caused by:
- Tear gland damage
- Damage or infection of the skin surrounding the eyes
- Ailments like Sjogren’s syndrome and autoimmune disorders
- Hormonal changes associated with menopause
- Some types of contacts
- Medicines like blood pressure medications, antihistamines, birth control pills, and some antidepressants
Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes
You need special contacts if you have dry eyes. The eye doctor might suggest you change the following aspects of your contacts so that your eyes can stay better lubricated:
- Changing Lens Size: Most contacts measure roughly 9 millimeters across as they are only intended to cover the iris (the eye’s colored part). The eye doctor can recommend you get scleral contact lenses which often measure 15 to 22 millimeters across and cover the iris and the sclera (the eye’s white part). Scleral lenses are often gas-permeable, letting oxygen get to the eye surface.
- Changing Lens Water Content: Soft contacts are usually classified by their water retention ability. High-water contacts often contribute more to dry eyes than low-water contacts. The former contains more water but often dries out faster. The optometrist can help you try out contacts with different water contents until you get the most suitable one.
- Changing Lens Materials: When you wear contacts, protein deposits can slowly build up on the lenses, even if you clean them daily. This protein build-up can encourage the occurrence of dry eyes. You should try disposable lenses, which you only wear once, to see if protein buildup is causing your dry eyes. You can also try silicone-based hydrogel contacts, which don’t allow water to evaporate from the eyes.
Need a Reputable Optometrist in Chico, CA?
If you are in the Chico area, visit our eye doctors at Family Eye Care. We are the most reputable optometry practice in the region. Call our team today at (530) 899-3939 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.