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Are There Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes?

November 15 2022
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Dry eyes are a common problem that can affect people of all ages. In fact, a recent study found that up to 50% of Americans experience dry eye symptoms at some point during their lives. 

While there are many different causes for dry eyes, the most common is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which affects the eyelids and oil glands in them. MGD is caused by aging or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome.

Contact lenses can help manage these symptoms by restoring your natural moisture balance and protecting your eye health against further irritation by dust and other allergens entering it through the tear film. Read on as a Closter, NJ optometrist talks about contact lens options for dry eyes. 

Types of Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes

Hyaluronate Lenses

If you’re looking for a more effective solution, hyaluronate contact lenses are made with a silicone hydrogel material that’s thinner than traditional contacts. This means they can be worn more comfortably and for longer periods of time because they don’t press down on your eye as much as other types of contacts. They also tend to be more flexible than traditional lenses and will conform to the shape of your eye better while minimizing dry spots around the edges of your cornea.

Silicone Hydrogel Lenses

If you’re looking for a lens that is compatible with dry eyes, silicone hydrogel contact lenses may be the best option for you. These lenses are made of a silicone polymer and are soft and comfortable on your eye. They can also be worn for long periods, making them ideal if you have allergies or need to wear contacts throughout the day. 

Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are the largest contact lens and cover a larger area than standard contact lenses. They can be made from both rigid gas permeable (RGP) materials or soft materials. You may have heard of these being called “scleral” contact lenses, but they’re also sometimes referred to as “full coverage” or “flanged” contacts.

Scleral contacts are used for people who have severe dry eye symptoms that aren’t adequately treated by other types of lenses on the market, including conventional hydrogel and silicone hydrogel options that rest on top of your cornea. The scleral lens covers more surface area, which means it can hold more moisture just like a cup holds more water than a saucer does.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to call our Closter, NJ optometry office anytime!

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