Dry Eyes and Contacts: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions
What's worse than waking up with dry, irritated eyes? Having to walk around with that feeling all day long! If you suffer from dry eyes while wearing contacts, you know exactly how much of a pain this is.
Dry eyes aren't just uncomfortable. They can affect how well you see. They also change the way you perform daily tasks like driving, reading and writing, and so much more. The good news is you don't have to keep suffering through this anymore.
If you've been noticing a connection between dry eyes and your contacts, keep reading. We’ll give you an overview of why you get dry eyes when wearing contacts. We’ll also share what you can do to solve this issue!
The Causes and Symptoms of Dry Eyes
The thing about dry eyes and contacts is that they're not always directly related. There may be underlying factors adding to your discomfort. The issue might not be that you're wearing the wrong contacts. You may actually need to alter your lens care routine.
How Do Dry Eyes Occur When Wearing Contacts?
You may notice that your eyes aren't dry with glasses. So if they get uncomfortable when you have contacts in, you're probably not wearing them correctly. Contact lenses need to be taken care of every single day. There are specific instructions to follow. If you don't give contact care its due diligence, things can easily go awry.
Even if you're meticulous about care, you may still suffer from dry eyes due to allergies or other external factors. These include:
- Skin infections near the eyes
- Side effects of certain medications
- Not washing your hands before you touch your eyes or lenses
- Use of electronic screens for long periods of time
- Astigmatism and other eye-related conditions
These aren't the only things that may be causing your dry eyes. Plus, it’s likely that your discomfort from your contacts could be a combination of different causes.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
The sources of dry eyes may vary, but the symptoms are usually the same. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Irritability and itchiness
- A burning sensation
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
Sometimes, your eyes can start excessively tearing if they've been dry for too long. This provides temporary relief to the symptoms you may be feeling. Unfortunately, these tears won't get to the root of the problem.
How to Solve Your Dry Eyes and Contacts Issues
Yes, temporary relief is nice, but it’s not enough. We think it’s better to figure out how to solve your dry eyes once and for all. Let’s consider the 4 possible treatment options that may soothe your eyes for good:
1. Stop Extending Your Contacts' Wear Time
Let’s be honest: do you tend to fall asleep with your contacts in? Do you forget to swap out your old contacts for new ones once it's time?
Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly contacts, you have to stop dragging out their use. Trying to wear contacts for longer than recommended will only make your issues even worse.
Instead, make it a point to take out your contacts before bed. Always clean and store your lenses appropriately. You should also set reminders for the replacement dates. These small lifestyle adjustments will make a significant difference to your sensitive eyes.
2. Change Your Contact Solution
Maybe it's not that you never swap your contacts out, but that you rarely change the contact solution. This is another habit that increases the likelihood of itchiness and irritation. Make the time to clean and air-dry your contact case each morning. It’s also important to use fresh solution for storage every evening.
More so, take a moment to check whether or not you're using the right solution! Far too many people make the mistake of assuming that any contact solution will do. This is not the case. Talk to your doctor to make sure you're using the solution he or she recommends. Also ask if there's an even better one you can switch to that’ll soothe your eyes. Many people with sensitive eyes may also benefit from using preservative-free contact solutions.
3. Let Your Eyes Breathe!
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to solve the issue of dry eyes and contacts is simply to take your contacts out. This doesn't mean you have to switch back to glasses once and for all. But you should set aside more time to let your eyes breathe and use glasses instead.
This is particularly smart to do when you're typing away in front of a computer screen or relaxing before bed. Just a few extra hours of not wearing contacts can significantly improve how your eyes feel throughout the entire day.
4. Invest in Artificial Tears
The final way to fix your dry eyes is investing in artificial tears. The trick with this solution is to stop waiting until you feel the symptoms. If you know you're prone to this condition, use artificial tears throughout the day to keep your eyes happy and healthy.
This preventative effort helps you keep sensitivity at bay. It's a simple solution that helps stop dry eye issues before they start.
Discover All the Benefits of Comfortable Contacts
Just because you've been seeing a relationship between your dry eyes and contacts doesn't mean that you have to stop wearing them! It just means you need to figure out the root of your discomfort. Then, you need to find the best way to address this issue.
Most of the ways to fix sensitivity are a lot easier than you might think. What if the tips above don't work though? Then it’s a good idea to talk to your optometrist to find out if your dry eyes are a symptom of another condition. He or she will conduct the appropriate tests and provide the necessary advice and prescription.
Your doctor may recommend you try a new kind of contact or switch to a different brand altogether. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the best contacts. But once you do, you'll be glad that you put in the effort. Fixing dry eyes and contacts will give you so much relief. Also, you’ll discover all the benefits contacts offer!