Changes in Your Tear Film Are a Common Cause of Dry Eye
Have you been wearing contact lenses comfortably for years, but now your eyes feel dry, scratchy and irritated? Don't worry- you won't need to throw out your contacts and switch to glasses. You’re in good company. Many people who wear contact lenses will suddenly experience uncomfortable or painful symptoms – often caused by dry eyes.
Yet this isn’t a reason to remove your lenses forever. Advanced eye care products, a lifestyle change, or a new type of lenses may solve your problem. Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses are the leading dry eye specialists experienced in helping to restore comfortable vision to contact lens wearers with dry eyes. We’ll perform a thorough eye exam to determine what’s causing your condition, and then we’ll offer effective relief.
Effects of Contacts on Tear Lipids
Scientific studies have demonstrated that the layer of lipids in your natural tear film may be altered by wearing contact lenses. Your eyes’ normal tear film is composed of three layers of nourishing fluids.
The outermost layer consists of lipids, which are fatty, waxy molecules that help prevent tears from evaporating. These lipids coat your eyes and preserve the stability of your tear film. In many contact lens wearers who have ocular discomfort, it was discovered that this lipid layer suffered more degradation.
Less Lipids Can Lead to Dry Eyes
A layer of aqueous fluids is beneath the fatty surface layer of your tear film. Therefore, without a supple layer of lipids, your eyes are at risk of drying out more quickly. This is one reason why the incidence of dry eyes is higher among contact lens wearers – especially after you’ve been wearing lenses for a while.
Our Eye Doctors Can Help Restore Comfort to Wearing Contact Lenses
The most appropriate treatment for you will depend upon the severity of your dry eye symptoms. Contact us for an appointment at one of our practices, and our eye doctors will assess your eyes. In addition to a detailed eye examination, we’ll want to know about your symptoms, general lifestyle and visual needs.
If your discomfort and dry eyes are only occasional, we may recommend over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears. Since not all eye drops are compatible with all types of lenses, it’s important to follow our recommendations on which product to use. If your eyes are constantly painful when wearing contacts, we may prescribe a new type or material of lenses.
Liposomal Eyelid Spray
Many liposome sprays are available as a treatment for dry eyes. These eyelid sprays can help decrease the drying of your tear film. As a result, pain due to wearing contacts with dry eyes is alleviated. Studies demonstrate how these sprays can efficiently stabilize your tear film and improve the healthy composition of your eye lipids.
Dry eyes and uncomfortable symptoms are not a reason to throw out your contact lenses! Your first step should be a visit to our optometrist for an eye exam to rule out any other serious, underlying eye problems. Once the cause of your discomfort is determined, we’ll work with you patiently to find the best solution. Contact our office for an appointment today.