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Best Contact Lenses for Dry Eye

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Contact Lens Induced Dry Eye

Contact lens induced dry eye is one of the primary reasons experienced contact lens wearers drop out of contact lens wear in their late 30′s and early 40′s (not to mention the need for magnification with close work). We have known for some time that contact lenses exacerbate the signs and symptoms of dry eye. Yet why has it taken so long for contact lens companies to develop contact lenses to decrease these symptoms?

The short answer…..it is hard! Thinking critically about it, we are introducing a foreign material to a physiological environment designed to function within itself. This foreign material disrupts the physiological balance of our tear film, making it more apt to evaporate and break down, resulting in dehiscence and irritation of the eye surface, or symptoms of dry eye.

Improving Contact Lens Dry Eye via Modality

Daily Disposable Contacts

Daily disposable contacts are becoming more and more popular with contact lens wearers today. Despite being a little bit more expensive, patients have found the increase in price is worth the increase in convenience and improved end of day comfort. Daily disposable contacts are considerably thinner, don’t collect deposits (since they are worn for one day), and are a heck of a lot more convenient. Read more benefits of daily disposable contacts here.

Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral contact lenses are becoming more popular for today’s contact lens wearers. Traditionally saved for more advanced anterior segment pathology, these lenses are now used by individuals for daily wear. The unique design of these lenses make them a great option for patients suffering from dry eye. Scleral contact lenses rest on the sclera, or white part of they eye, and vault over the central cornea. The vaulted space is filled with preservative free saline, resulting in a completely covered and moisturized corneal surface. The lenses come in at a competitive price point, similar to daily disposable contacts, while offering excellent visual acuity with amazing comfort. Read more benefits of scleral contact lenses here.

Improving Dry Eye via Solutions

Using brand name products recommended by your eye doctor is an effective way to improve end of day comfort with your current contact lenses. So instead of opting for the discount brand at your local shopping center, consider using one of these cleaning systems designed to improve end of day comfort.

Hydrogen peroxide based cleaning solutions (Clear Care®, Alcon)

Hydrogen peroxide cleaning solutions are the standard for cleaning your soft contact lenses. Contact lenses are manufactured with certain properties designed to improve their interaction with your tear film. As the lens gets older it starts to break down and does not interact with the tear film as well. You’ve properly noticed this phenomenon when comparing the comfort of your contacts in week 3 of wear versus week 1. In addition to breaking down, your contact lenses collect deposits. As you can imagine, the longer you wear them the more material adheres to the lens. These materials can disrupt the function of the lens, leading to end of day dryness and over all discomfort. Hydrogen peroxide based solutions have continually proven to be the best option for cleaning daily wear and extended wear soft contact lenses. Simply put, a cleaner surface leads to better wettability and improved end of day comfort.

Biotrue® multipurpose solution (Bausch & Lomb)

Biotrue® was designed to improve end of day comfort with your soft contact lenses by decreasing symptoms of dryness and irritation. Bausch & Lomb created this solution with a design inspired by the biology of your tear film. Utilizing lubricants naturally found within your body, Biotrue® is supposed to increase wettability and maintain hydration of your contact lens throughout the day. Along with the increased lubrication, Biotrue® utilizes antimicrobial ingredients and protein removal to improve the performance of your contact lens throughout the day.

Opti-Free® PureMoist® (Alcon)

Similar to Bioture®, Opti-Free® PureMoist is designed to improve end of day dryness by improving the wettability and lubrication of the soft contact lens through a full days wear, in addition to disinfecting and cleaning the surface of the soft contact lens.

We often recommend comparing BioTrue® to PureMoist® and evaluating if you perceive a difference between the two solutions. If unsure of which brand is best for you, consider a using a hydrogen peroxide based solution. When used as directed, they are still considered the industry standard for cleaning your soft contact lenses, improving end of day comfort, and most likely decreasing your risk for complications of contact lens wear.

Artificial Tears for Contact Lenses

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This article was written by Optiqueofdenver