Does Contact Lens Cause Dry Eye?

There are different treatments applied against common refractive errors. Contact lenses can also be shown among these treatments. Lenses used to improve the quality of vision of the person can be effective in eliminating refractive errors, but this time patients may have different complaints. We can see the increasing dry eye effect as one of these complaints. So, does contact lens use cause dry eye? What is the relationship between them?

Contact Lens Use and Dry Eye Relationship

Dry eye syndrome occurs when tear production is insufficient or when tears evaporate quickly. In a significant majority, these are the main causes. Contact lens wear can trigger some disorders and increase the dry eye effect. We can include the following titles for these causes.

Tear Film Disorder: Contact lenses can disrupt the structure of the tear film. The tear film is a layer that keeps the cornea moist and protects it. Contact lenses can prevent the proper distribution of this layer and accelerate the evaporation of tears.

Mechanical Irritation: Lenses are constantly present as a foreign body on the cornea, which can cause irritation on the surface of the eye. This irritation can increase tear production, leading to tear imbalance.

Decreased Tear Production: Long-term lens wear can negatively affect the functioning of the tear glands and cause a decrease in tear production.

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You can pay attention to these in terms of solutions

The following recommendations can be taken into account to minimize the effects of dry eye syndrome due to contact lens wear.

Paying Attention to Lens Type and Duration of Use: Different lens types can affect dry eye syndrome to different degrees. For example, silicone hydrogel lenses have higher oxygen permeability, which can contribute positively to eye health. Also, daily disposable lenses can reduce the risk of dry eye by keeping the lenses hygienic.

Tear Drops and Moisturizing Eye Sprays: Artificial tear drops and moisturizing sprays can relieve dry eye symptoms by keeping the surface of the eye moist.

Supplementation with Medications that Promote Tear Production: In some cases, doctors may prescribe medications that increase tear production. These medications allow the tear glands to produce more tears.

Regular Eye Examinations: It is important for contact lens wearers to visit their eye doctor regularly. During these examinations, tear production and eye health can be evaluated and necessary measures can be taken.

All these measures will minimize the effect of contact lenses on dry eye.

Assoc. Prof. Aylin Kılıç

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