Young people just out of their teens may find their vision starting to be a bit more blurry, and a trip to the optometrist may reveal that they need to have some vision correction in order to see perfectly.
But if you also suffer from dry eyes, you may be concerned about wearing contact lenses. While contacts come in a variety of different brands and options, including some specially created for those with dry eyes, they can be difficult to wear for long periods.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Every time you blink, your eye moves tears across the cornea to lubricate it and help remove any dust or foreign objects. If you don't make enough tears, you may feel like your eyes are scratchy or dry.
For young adults who aren't old enough to claim that dry eyes are caused by age, there are a few reasons why this might happen:
- You have certain medical conditions like diabetes.
- You take a medication, like an antihistamine, that reduces moisture in the mucous membranes.
- You live or work in an environment with smoke or another irritant that impacts your tear production.
- You're a woman on birth control or have other hormonal changes.
What Should Contact Lens Wearers Do to Minimize Dry Eyes?
As many as 17 million contact wearers in the U.S. report having dry eyes at least sometimes. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of successfully wearing contact lenses. These include:
- Make sure your contact lenses fit properly. If you aren't comfortable after getting your new lenses, call your optometrist's office and request a check. Even the most experienced optometrists may need to make a few adjustments or need to have you try a few brands in order to find you the best and most comfortable fit.
- Plan to wear your contacts for as short a time as possible each day. This may just be while you are at work or at school; wear glasses when you are at home. Definitely never sleep in your lenses.
- Think about disposable contacts. Changing your pair every day or even every week can minimize discomfort from deposits, which are more prevalent for dry-eye sufferers.
- Use a cleaning system for your contacts that keeps them as moist as possible. Some optometrists recommend a hydrogen peroxide-based solution as the best cleaning option for those with dry eyes.
What Alternatives to Contacts Exist?
People who find that contacts are just too drying may find that standard eyeglasses are more comfortable.
For those with really dry eyes, consider glasses with wrap-around sections and tight seals to keep in moisture as much as possible. While such glasses may be bulkier than contacts, they can keep you comfortable and minimize the discomfort caused by dry eyes.
Contact a group like Terrezza O.D. & Associates, P.A. for more information.