Your contact lenses may be causing your dry eyes

Kate Harris

Eye Health Advisor
Ask Kate

23 December 2015

Dry eyes explained

The eye is truly amazing. It is the second most complex organ, next to the brain. Even some of the most advanced cameras in the world still cannot process the rapid changes of distance and the range of colours that the human eye can.

However, most of the world’s population suffer from dry eyes. It has been found that those who wear contact lenses have a higher chance of suffering from dry, irritated eyes. Dry eyes occur when the tear duct cannot produce enough tears.

Symptoms of dry eyes include:

Contact lens problems

Dry eyes can be linked to using contact lenses.

If your eyes are not being given a break from contact lenses, you run a risk of developing Dry Eye Syndrome.

Some contact lens wearers may experience watery eyes, but, strangely enough, this is still a sign of dry eyes. This is because some irritants, such as pollen and dust, can gather on the underside of the lens. This triggers a reflex action in the tear glands causing them to release watery tears that are different from the usual tear film.

However, this can also be a sign that your eye is reacting badly to your current contact lens brand. You may wish to investigate other contact lens brands in case your current lenses are unsuitable for you.

Other factors that cause irritation – Menopause

Hormonal changes can also be why your eyes are drier whilst wearing contact lenses.

Menopausal women have a greater tendency to suffer from dry eyes. Falling levels of oestrogen mean that all the membranes in the body potentially become thinner and drier, and you may notice that your skin is also a little drier. Taking a supplement of Omega-7 Essential Fatty Acids helps some women, as does Hyaluronic acid.

If dryness is accompanied by other menopausal symptoms, then the herbal remedy Menopause Support may help. It is important if you are going through these hormonal changes not to irritate your eyes further, so speak to your optician about what types of lenses would be more suited to your eye type during menopause. It’s also sensible to check with your doctor, as dry eyes can be a symptom of immune problems.

Other factors that cause irritation – Smoking

Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body – including your eyes.

Research has indicated that smoking can increase your risk of dry eyes and potentially worsen your dry eye condition. This is because tobacco smoke is a known eye irritant and worsens dry eyes – even among second-hand smokers – particularly for contact lens wearers.

Other factors that cause irritation – Screen time

Most of us spend the majority of the day looking at some type of monitor, be it a computer screen, a T.V. or a mobile phone.

Throughout the day, this causes dryness and irritation to the eyes, especially for contact lens wearers. This is because we blink less when focusing on interactive, digital screens which can result in dryness.

Take regular breaks from the computer and limit the amount of time you spend looking at your smartphone. Contact lens wearers are much more susceptible to dry eyes and, therefore, should rest their eyes more when dealing with electronics in order to limit the painful symptoms of dry eyes.

Eye facts

  • Around the world, about 39 million people are blind and roughly 6 times that have some kind of vision impairment.
  • Doctors have yet to find a way to transplant an eyeball. The optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain is too sensitive to reconstruct successfully.
  • The cells in your eye come in different shapes. Rod-shaped cells allow you to see shapes, and cone-shaped cells allow you to see colour.
  • You blink about 12 times every minute.
  • Your eyes are about 1 inch across and weigh about 0.25 ounces each.

Eye drops

Using eye drops can really help to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes, especially for contact lens wearers.

A.Vogel Eye Drops provide rapid, long-lasting moisturisation and refreshment to help soothe and maintain lubrication of the eye.

  • For dry irritated eyes
  • Suitable for children over 3 years
  • Contains Euphrasia

The best part about these drops is that they can be used whilst wearing contact lenses! A.Vogel Eye Drops are suitable for long term use.

Natural help

Feed your eyes

Eating more fruit which contains antioxidants, help to replenish and strengthen the eyes.

You could try: Blueberries and blackcurrants both have lots of vitamin C. This is essential for maintaining good eye health, as it helps to strengthen blood vessels and improves blood flow to the eyes. Alternatively, you may wish to try a vitamin C supplement. You could try A.Vogel Nature C tablets which only use fresh ingredients which are naturally occurring in vitamin C.

Dry eyes require omega-3 fatty acids to help ease symptoms. To help your eyes naturally, don’t forget to take omega-3 daily, as our bodies cannot produce these fatty oils on their own.

Follow the link to learn more about the good foods to eat for eye health.

Vision Complex – for healthy eyes

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Contains tagetes and blackcurrant extracts, rich in lutein, beta-carotene & zeaxanthin.
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