Dry Eye and Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are made from hydrophilic plastics that typically contain anywhere from 30-75% water depending on the length of time they are designed to be worn. The more water a soft contact lens contains, the more prone it is to dehydration and losing its water. As water evaporates from the front surface of the lens while being worn, it reacts by absorbing water from your natural tear film, often causing dry eyes. While in most situations dehydration is usually not a problem, common environmental conditions and activities can lead to dry eyes.
Conditions which promote dryness include room heat, using a hair dryer, exposure to second hand smoke, the wind, running and bicycling.
Dry eye symptoms caused by wearing contact lenses are usually temporary and can be minimized, or eliminated, by changing lens materials and / or switching to a contact lens that features a moisture component—your eye care professional can help you.
For contact lens wearers who have been wearing contacts for years, dry eyes can be caused by the continual rubbing of the contact lens across the surface of the cornea, resulting in a sloughing off of microscopic hair-like structures that exist on the outermost layer of the cornea to assist in keeping the tear film stable. Years of gently chaffing these fine structures can result in poor tear film stability and frequent dry eyes. This can occur even if you are totally comfortable with your contact lenses and wear them successfully for through the waking hours.
*Statements contained herein have not been reviewed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Yourlens.com does not provide medical advice. User assumes all liability for content. Talk to your licensed eye care professional or eye doctor regarding vision correction, eye or vision disorders, eye discomfort, contact lens types and materials and for general information on eye care products and eye health.