What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome (kerato conjunctivitis sicca) is a common eye condition that occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears, or the tears dry too quickly, depriving the eyes of essential moisture and hydration. This leads to the eyes drying out and becoming red, swollen and irritated.
A common problem for lens wearers is that their contact lenses can create the feeling of dryness. Although contact lenses may not be the main cause of the problem, they can make the condition more pronounced.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
There are various causes for dry eyes. Most are easily dealt with by making subtle changes to your eye care routine.
Some causes include:
Wearing contact lenses for too long
Typically, lenses should not be worn for longer than 12 hours, unless they are extended wear and are specifically designed for long term use. Be aware that even extended wear lenses have a specific time frame and typically should not be worn longer than a week. Speak to your optician to determine whether or not your eyes can tolerate extended wear lenses, as they too can cause dry eye.
Not blinking enough
It is common that when you’re looking at a screen, you forget to blink as you are focused on your task. The first method is to try and remember to blink more, however most people will find this difficult. Another option is to keep a bottle of eye drops/artificial tears close to you and to wet your eyes as and when they begin to feel dry.
You could be harboring an eye infection
Dry eyes can be an oncoming or present sign of an eye infection. Other signs to look out for are redness, itching, mucus, pimples or styes. If symptoms persist, always seek advice from your optician and get a proper diagnosis.
Allergies bought on by pollen and pet dander can cause the feeling of dryness and often irritate the eyes.
Your contact lenses are the wrong fit
If the base curve and diameter of a lens is the wrong size, it can cause discomfort on the eye. A well fitted lens should cover the entire cornea and move slightly with each blink and shouldn’t move a lot. If it does, this can cause dryness, itchiness and irritation.
Your contact lenses are low quality
It’s essential that you buy you lenses from a reputable retailer who only sells quality products. At Feel Good Contacts, we only buy authentic branded lenses.
Whilst all contact lenses are manufactured in a similar way, the quality and composition will vary. This is because there are some unauthorised manufacturers who don’t follow safety regulations and who create cheaply made lenses using materials that aren’t safe for the eyes.
Your contact lenses are too old
One of the advantages of daily contact lenses is that you pretty much start every day with a fresh pair of lenses, although that shouldn’t put you off monthly contact lenses. If cared for correctly, monthlies can still provide great comfort and visibility. The key is to make sure you clean and store them properly and discard them after a month.
You’re using a solution that is causing irritation
It could be that the storing or cleaning solution you’re using is causing you irritation. Try switching solutions for a while and seeing if it makes a difference.
Dry eye treatments
Feel Good Contacts offers a range of drops to treat dry eyes depending on the severity of the condition. Milder drops can be used by those with minor cases of dry eye, while intensive drops can be used by those who need a higher level of moisture.
Do I need an eye test?
Eye tests for contact lenses
A guide to conjunctivitis