A few years ago, my dear maternal grandmother visited an optometrist. After thoroughly examining my grandmother’s eyes, this medical professional informed her that she had cataracts in both of them. Concerned, my grandmother immediately made an appointment with a surgeon. The two surgeries to remove the cataracts from my grandmother’s eyes were successful. Scheduling annual eye exams is crucial. During these appointments, your optometrist will check for potentially harmful conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most important reasons you should visit your eye doctor every year. Enjoy!
Dry eye symptoms are very common among people who wear contact lenses. Dry eyes are five times more common in people who wear contact lenses than in people who wear glasses, and a whopping 50% of contact lens wearers have dry eyes. New contact lens users need to be aware of this complication. Here are three things contact lens wearers need to know about dry eye.
How do contact lenses cause dry eye?
When you wear your glasses, your tear film can spread across your entire eye to keep it moist. When you wear contact lenses, this tear film gets disrupted, and the film also becomes thinner. There is also evidence that contact lenses may interfere with your meibomian glands. These glands are located along the rims of your eyelids, and they make a greasy substance called meibum that keeps your tear film from evaporating.
Is dry eye serious?
The sensation of dry eye is uncomfortable, and you may find that it interferes with your quality of life. For example, you may have trouble doing things like working on your computer or reading books due to this discomfort.
Worse, your dry eyes may become scratched by your contact lenses. Scratches on your eyes are obviously painful, but they can also get infected or even ulcerated. This can lead to vision problems.
Can dry eye be resolved?
If your eyes feel uncomfortably dry, go back to your optometrist and let them know that you're having trouble with your new contact lenses. They can examine your eyes to determine if dry eye is the cause of your discomfort.
If your contacts are to blame, your optometrist may recommend switching to a new type. For example, if you wear soft contact lenses, the lenses can soak up your tears and dry out your eyes, so your optometrist may recommend a harder lens.
However, not everyone who experiences dry eye can comfortably wear contact lenses. According to the Review of Optometry, between 12% and 51% of people are considered contact lens drop outs. Drop outs have been defined many ways in studies—ranging from taking out the lenses early due to discomfort or discontinuing their use entirely—which is why the range is so large. If you can't wear your lenses at all, alternative vision corrections like glasses or even corrective eye surgery may be appropriate.
If your eyes are feeling dry after getting contact lenses for the first time, see an optometrist clinic, like Hudson Vision Source.