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How do I Choose the Best Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes?

By J.M. Densing
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best contact lenses for dry eyes can be challenging. It's a good idea to work closely with your eye care professional. You may need to test several different types of lenses to find the most comfortable; there are several brands and materials available to try. Soft lenses that are designed to combat dryness or those which have a high degree of oxygen permeability frequently prove to be the best contact lenses for dry eyes. Adjusting your lens care routine and using rewetting drops may also help.

Selecting the best contact lenses for dry eyes can be a tricky process. For some people, wearing contact lenses can actually cause dry eyes. Many lenses are made of hydrophilic, or water loving, materials that often absorb moisture and can even make normal eyes feel dry. Lenses that contain a high percentage of water can also be uncomfortable because they tend to dry out while worn. For someone who already has dry eyes, it can be even harder to find a comfortable contact lens that doesn't make irritating dryness worse.

The process of choosing the best contact lenses for dry eyes is often matter of trial and error. It's important to work closely with an experienced eye care professional who may ask you try out several different pairs in order to evaluate them. During this process, keep track of when dryness and irritation occurs and report this information to your eye care professional; he or she can use it to guide the selection process. Since each person's eyes are different, it may take a while to narrow down the choices and find the best lens for you.

Most eye care professionals recommend soft contact lenses for comfort reasons; these are usually made of flexible plastic polymers with a water content that ranges from 30 to 75%. Those with lower water content are usually more comfortable for wearers with dry eyes since they tend to dry out less. There are also several brands available that are made of a different material called silicone hydrogel; these are designed to retain moisture and combat dryness. Many wearers report enhanced comfort and reduced irritation with this type of lens.

Your eye care professional may also have you try lenses that are designed to encourage oxygen circulation, since they are another possible choice of contact lenses for dry eyes. These typically have lower water content and are less likely to absorb moisture from the eye. These are available as soft lenses or as gas permeable hard contact lenses. Once the best lenses have been chosen, adjustments to your care routine or using rewetting drops may be able to further enhance comfort levels.

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Discussion Comments
By Rundocuri — On Feb 20, 2014

I agree with you Heavanet. Each person's eyes are different, and not everyone will have the same results to different types of contact lenses. It is possible to have dry eyes with contact lenses, as long as you find the best brand for your situation.

By Heavanet — On Feb 20, 2014

The best way to find contact lenses that feel comfortable for dry eyes is to try different brands until you find those that work best for you. Many eye doctors will provide samples of several kinds of lenses, and allow patients to wear them for a period of time to see how they feel. If you have dry eyes, you usually can tell pretty quickly if a certain variety of lenses will not work for you.

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