Do Contacts Cause Dry Eyes?

Do Contacts Cause Dry Eyes?

Dry eye symptoms are caused by either not enough moisture or poor-quality tears. Human tears contain three main components. The lacrimal gland produces the bulk of the substance. The oily portion comes from the Meibomian glands, and the goblet cells are the third component. When one part of the mix is off-balance, symptoms arise. There are many reasons why eye glands may malfunction.

Causes of Dry Eye Problems 

Dry eyes often result from insufficient tear production or poor tear quality. Common eye problems such as a lack of tear volume are often caused by an inflamed lacrimal gland or Meibomian gland. Certain drugs can cause dry eye symptoms such as decongestants, oral contraceptives, and antihistamines. Hormone shifts can also contribute to poor-quality tears.

Systemic Causes of Dry Eye

There are certain systematic disorders that make someone more likely to experience dry eye symptoms. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, acne rosacea, Sjögren syndrome, and more, are linked to dry eyes.

Contact Lenses & Dry Eye Symptoms

Many patients claim that their dry eye symptoms did not appear until they started wearing contact lenses. However, contact lenses do not cause dry eye. A person with preexisting dry eyes will not be able to wear contacts in comfort because their eyes are too dry to support the lenses. Most soft contacts are made up of 30-70 percent water and operate as a sponge when in place. Someone experiencing dry eye syndrome is considered intolerant to contact lenses because the patient’s eye does not produce enough moisture. To wear contacts with ease, you must have enough quality tear production to hydrate the lens and allow it to float on a bed of tears. If not, the contacts will cause too much discomfort.

If you’re having problems with dry eyes and not sure if contacts are right for you, book a consultation with our office today! We’ll assess your eye health and suggest possible treatment options for you.