Can People with Dry Eyes Wear Contact Lenses


This is one of the most general questions asked by people suffering from dry eyes. People suffering from dry eyes find it difficult to wear contact lenses. With the advancement in science and technology even people suffering from dry eyes can wear contact lenses. There are various contact lens options available in market for people suffering from dry eyes.

In case of healthy eyes, a thin tear film is formed under the contact lens. But in case of dry eyes due to various reasons there is a reduction in natural tear formation, leaving your eyes with feeling of burning sensation and irritation. Using contact lenses in such condition will enhance the irritation and burning sensation.

Before selecting any contact lens it is important for people with dry eyes to evaluate a variety of contact lenses available in market. Make sure that a qualified contact lens fitter is available before you make your selection as he may guide in finding specific lens for dry eye condition. Listed below are the various contact lens options available for people suffering from dry eyes:

Soft Contact Lenses:
It is observed that wearing contact lenses in dry condition is difficult. Hence many lens manufacturing companies are working to develop comfortable contact lenses even for dry eyes. In this process they have come across ways to make contacts comfortable. One way is by reducing water content of the lenses. It is observed that modern silicon hydrogel contact lens contains about 30% of water. With the use of new polymer in contact lenses also helps in keeping the lenses moist.

Soft lens manufacturers like Vistakon and CooperVision have designed lenses which keeps the lens hydrated while on dry eyes. Other contact lenses like Proclear Compatibles, Extreme H2O, Purevision and Acuvue Oasys available in market are helpful for dry eye condition. These special lenses are made from special proprietary plastic which helps in retaining water content, shape and hydration throughout the day.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses:
These contact lenses are considered to be the best option for dry eyes. RGP lenses are made up of rigid plastic hence they don’t absorb much of water as compared to soft lenses. Basically RGP lenses are hydrophobic hence repelling water which in turn forms a tear film. This tear film keep your eyes and lens hydrated, reducing the discomfort associated with wearing contact lens on dry eyes.

There are different plastics used like extremely oxygen permeable or low wetting angle in making of RGP lenses. RGP lenses with plasma treatment are the latest advancement in contact lenses for dry eyes. When both are compared then plasma treatment proves to be better than RGP lenses.

Semi-Scleral Gas Permeable Lenses:
This is another effective contact lens option for dry eyes. These lenses are made of gas permeable material but with a soft lens size. These lenses are as comfortable as soft lenses and at the same time provide benefits of gas permeable lens.

The type of lens you opt when suffering from dry eye is important but proper care and cleaning solution also plays an important role in the success of the lens. Make sure that you take proper care of both your eyes as well as contact lenses. Before selecting any contact lens it is better to consult your ophthalmologist.


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