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Approximately one in four patients report symptoms of dry eye.1 And over 50 percent of contact lens wearers experience dry eye syndrome.2 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.
Fortunately, contact lens technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Wearing contacts is now a viable option for most patients that suffer from dry eye.
According to Dr. Molly King, OD FAAO "The best contact for patients with dry eye is a daily disposable lens. This eliminates the need for contact lens solutions, preservatives, and prevents protein build-up on the lenses."
Dr. Molly King is a residency-trained optometrist in Colorado. She currently works at a pediatric clinic and owns SimplEye, a telehealth service for patients with dry eye. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the American Optometric Association and Colorado Optometric Association.
However, there are other factors to consider, Dr. King adds. Eye doctors will perform a contact lens fitting and consider:
These are especially important for long term contact lens wear and use.
*NOTE: It's important to know that contact prescriptions and glasses prescriptions are different. If you only have glasses, your current prescription won't work for contact lenses. Make sure you have a professional contact lens fitting exam from an eye doctor before purchasing lenses from online retailers.
We asked Dr. King what the best contacts for dry eyes are.
Here are her choices:
Many people with dry eyes turn to daily disposable lenses. Protein, calcium, lipids, and other substances can buildup on reusable lenses. Daily lenses are discarded after one use, eliminating this.
Acuvue Oasys are Dr. King's top recommendation for people with dry eye. HydraLuxe Technology lets your tears hydrate the lens as well as your eye. This helps keep them moist all day.
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.
Acuvue Vita lenses were designed to help alleviate dry eye symptoms that monthly contact lens wearers experience. Their HydraMax Technology maximizes and maintains moisture throughout the whole lens from week 1 to week 4.
Acuvue Oasys tops this category as well. If you struggle with contact lens-induced dry eye, give these lenses a try.
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.
In case you haven't noticed, eye doctors love Acuvue Oasys 1-Day contact lenses. These lenses provide the same benefits and dry eye relief for people with astigmatism.
Biofinity XR Toric can correct very strong astigmatism; ±10.50D to ±20.00D (sphere) and to -5.75 (cylinder). This is some of the strongest vision correction in a contact lens. People who couldn't wear contacts before might be able to use these lenses.
If you have presbyopia (farsightedness) and want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need multifocal lenses.
Dr. King recommends Bausch + Lomb ULTRA for Presbyopia. They have a unique 3-Zone Progressive design which gives you clear vision up close, far away, and in between. MoistureSeal technology helps the lenses retain 95% moisture up to 16 hours.
Yet again, Acuvue Oasys 1-Day tops this category. Sensitive or dry eyes can benefit from daily disposable lenses. These lenses are many eye doctors' top choice for people with sensitive eyes.
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.
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 professional medical advice band recommendations.
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 high water content is better for dry eyes, but it’s actually the opposite in most cases. Lenses with high water content can 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.
The 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. If you wear weekly or monthly contacts, be sure to clean your contacts and use proper contact lens solutions. However, daily contacts minimize buildup and keep your eyes healthy with minimal effort.
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1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.
GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.
EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.
All Vision Center content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed optometrist to ensure the information is factual and meets industry standards.
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