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Focus: An ocular health blog

What’s the deal with dry contact lenses?

Monday, November 4 2013 3:51 PM
Categorized In Eye Care

Contact lens wearers often experience "dryness" following limited wear of contact lenses. The sensation of dryness can be caused by four possible problems.

  1. Inadequate Contact Lens Fit - This usually occurs secondary to the contact lens fitting too tight without adequate fluid exchange under the plastic  resulting in dryness of the corneal surface.
  2. Excess Depositing - Depositing on the contact lens results in a hydrophobic surface causing disruption of the tear film and resulting dryness.
  3. Inflammation - Ocular surface inflammation can be the result  of infection, allergic reaction, or toxic reaction to preservatives in contact lens storage solutions. The inflammation causes swelling of the mucous lining over the white part of the eye resulting in the contact lens fitting too tight thus poor fluid exchange under the lens.
  4. Poor Tear Volume - This is the true dry eye problem and ironically the least likely cause of dryness sensation.  This is the result of dysfunctional ocular surface oil glands or reduction of fluid from the lacrimal gland.

My experience is that 70% of dry eye symptoms for contact lens wearers is the result of inadequate contact lens fit. This problem can usually be resolved by adjusting the fitting parameters of the contact lens. For a consultation on the fit of your contact lenses, contact us today.

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