Approximately one in four patients report symptoms of dry eye (1). This makes it one of the most common eye problems.
Contact lenses are actually one of the causes of dry eye. They can also make the symptoms worse for people who already have dry eyes.
Over 50 percent of contact lens wearers experience dry eye syndrome.— Eye & Contact Lens Science and Clinical Practice
Fortunately, contact lens technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Contacts are now a viable option for most patients that suffer from dry eye.
Soft contact lenses are a better choice than hard (rigid gas permeable lenses) for those suffering from dry eye. They are made from hydrogel. This lens material contains and holds water while allowing oxygen to reach your eye. Hard contact lens wearers with dry eye may benefit from switching to soft lenses.
Best Daily Disposable: Dailies Total 1
Best Weekly/Biweekly: Acuvue Oasys
Best Monthly: Bausch + Lomb ULTRA
Best for Heavy Screen Users: Biofinity Energys
Best for Astigmatism: 1-Day Acuvue Moist Astigmatism
Best Multifocal: Air Optix HydraGlyde Multifocal
Best for Sensitive Eyes: 1-Day Acuvue TruEye
Best Colored Lenses: Air Optix Colors
The Vision Center team spends several hours researching and writing every review page. We scour the internet and base all of our recommendations on:
Every review is then reviewed, edited, and ultimately approved by our staff optometrist Dr. Melody Huang, O.D..
Always get an eye exam and contact lens fitting from an eye care professional before purchasing contact lenses online. Your eye doctor will be able to provide you with valuable insights and recommendations.
Many people with dry eyes find daily disposable contacts to be the best. Improper cleaning of reusable lenses leads to the buildup of protein, calcium, lipids, and other substances. Daily disposable lenses are discarded after a day of wear, eliminating this.
Proclear 1 Day is the only lens that is FDA-approved to improve lens-related dryness and discomfort. They are made with PC Technology™ that uses Phosphorylcholine (PC). This material attracts water and keeps lenses hydrated all day.
1-Day Acuvue Moist are one of the most popular dailies available. They feature LACREON® technology with an embedded rewetting agent. This gives your eyes a cushion of moisture that prevents dryness all day.
Dailies Total 1 contacts use water gradient technology. This provides a cushion of moisture near the surface of your lens which increases the water content to almost 100% at the surface of the lens. In addition, SmarTears® technology releases a natural ingredient that helps stabilize your tear film.
1-Day Acuvue Moist contacts are also a top choice for daily disposable lenses.
Weekly contact lenses can be worn for one to two weeks depending on your eyes’ response to the lens. Acuvue Oasys lenses are built with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS technology. This helps to stabilize your tear film resulting in less dryness.
Bausch + Lomb ULTRA contact lenses feature MoistureSeal technology. This prevents dryness and helps retain 95% of moisture for 16 hours. These monthly lenses fight digital eye strain symptoms, making them a great monthly choice for heavy screen users. They are also available in toric and multifocal versions.
Eye tiredness and dryness are common symptoms caused by screen use. The Biofinity Energys lens was designed specifically for people who use digital devices every day.
The Digital Zone Optics® lens design helps you shift focus from your screen to your natural environment with less effort, reducing eye fatigue. They also feature Aquaform® technology that attracts and binds water throughout the lens.
Normal corneas (outer lens of your eye) are spheres. Astigmatism is an eye condition where your cornea is misshapen. Astigmatism requires special “toric” lenses to provide vision correction. Dry eyes are common in people with astigmatism.
1-Day Acuvue Moist Astigmatism lenses are a great option for people with astigmatism and dry eyes. They feature LACREON® technology with an embedded wetting agent. This gives your eyes a cushion of moisture all day. Plus the added convenience of never needing contact lens solution or cases.
If you have presbyopia (farsightedness) and want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need multifocal lenses.
Air Optix HydraGlyde Multifocal lenses feature a unique Precision Profile® design which allows you to transition between near, intermediate, and far distances smoothly. They also are made with HydraGlyde technology which keeps your lens surface moist for longer.
1-Day Acuvue TruEye silicone hydrogel lenses provide high breathability. They also have HYDRACLEAR® 1 Technology that maintains a consistently lubricated surface for long periods.
Air Optix Colors are monthly lenses that transform the color of your eyes. They can be worn with or without eye correction. They are made from a state-of-the-art silicone hydrogel material that allows a high flow of oxygen. They also feature SmartShield® technology that prevents protein deposit buildup.
Dry eye, also known as dry eye syndrome, dry eye disease, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a chronic condition. It is characterized by insufficient lubrication of your eyes. This is usually caused by poor quality tear film or the lack of tears.
Symptoms of dry eye include:
Common causes of dry eye include:
We highly recommend getting a professional contact lens fitting from a qualified eye doctor. First, they will perform an eye exam to check your prescription. This will include a visual acuity test with an eye chart, and additional tests to determine if you have any refractive errors and your general eye health.
After the eye exam they will gather additional information to determine the best contact lenses for you. This may include:
Once the exam is completed they will make recommendations based on the outcome. Some eye doctors may provide free trial lenses.
Many people assume that a high water content is better for dry eyes, but it’s actually the opposite in most cases. Lenses that have a high water content can actually draw water away from the eyes. They are also thicker and may irritate your eyes, especially when blinking.
Contacts cover your eyes and can prevent oxygen from reaching your cornea. The lens material and thickness will determine its oxygen permeability. The more oxygen that reaches your eyes, the better.
Buildup of proteins, lipids, bacteria, and other substances on your lenses is one of the most common causes of dryness. Improper cleaning can increase your chances of dry eye or eye infection.
It’s crucial to take good care of your contacts. Proper hygienic practices help reduce your chance of getting an infection. However, daily disposable lenses minimize buildup and keep your eyes healthy with minimal effort.
1800 Contacts has a huge selection of contact lenses and award-winning 24/7 customer service.
(1) O'Brien, Paul D, and Louis M T Collum. “Dry eye: diagnosis and current treatment strategies.” Current allergy and asthma reports vol. 4,4 (2004): 314-9. doi:10.1007/s11882-004-0077-2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15175147/
Begley, Carolyn G., et al. “Responses of Contact Lens Wearers to a Dry Eye Survey : Optometry and Vision Science.” Optometry and Vision Science, American Academy of Optometry, Jan. 2000, journals.lww.com/optvissci/Abstract/2000/01000/Responses_of_Contact_Lens_Wearers_to_a_Dry_Eye.12.aspx.
Chalmers, Robin L, et al. “Contact Lens Dry Eye Questionnaire-8 (CLDEQ-8) and Opinion of Contact Lens Performance.” Optometry and Vision Science : Official Publication of the American Academy of Optometry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22960615.
“1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST for ASTIGMATISM.” ACUVUE® Contact Lenses, www.acuvue.com/contact-lenses/acuvue-moist-1-day-astigmatism.
“1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST.” ACUVUE® Contact Lenses, www.acuvue.com/contact-lenses/acuvue-moist-1-day.
“1-DAY ACUVUE® TruEye®.” ACUVUE® Contact Lenses, www.acuvue.com/contact-lenses/acuvue-trueye-1-day.
“ACUVUE® OASYS® 2-WEEK with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS.” ACUVUE® Contact Lenses, www.acuvue.com/contact-lenses/acuvue-oasys-2-week.
“Air Optix® COLORS Contact Lenses.” AIR OPTIX® Color Contact Lenses, airoptix.myalcon.com/contact-lenses/air-optix/products/colors/.
“AIR OPTIX® PLUS HYDRAGLYDE® MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses.” AIR OPTIX® Multifocal Contact Lenses, airoptix.myalcon.com/contact-lenses/air-optix/products/air-optix-plus-hydraglyde-multifocal/.
“Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Contact Lenses with MoistureSeal Technology.” Bausch + Lomb. See Better. Live Better., www.bausch.com/our-products/contact-lenses/lenses-for-nearsighted-farsighted/bausch-lomb-ultra-contact-lenses.
“Biofinity Energys®.” CooperVision®, www.coopervision.com/contact-lenses/biofinity-energys.
“DAILIES TOTAL1® CONTACT LENSES.” DAILIES TOTAL1® Water Gradient Contact Lenses, www.dailies.com/contact-lenses/dailies-total1.