By Dr. Richard Barnstein
I’ve had dry eye syndrome for many years now, and it’s no fun! Especially if you want to wear contact lenses! The good news is that in most cases, there is a way for many people with dry eyes to be able to wear contact lenses. Dry eyes is a lack of functioning of the “good tears” or oily lubricating tears in our eyes. Patients will often ask me, “if my eyes are dry, why do they water so much?” What I’ll explain is that, just like if you got poked in the eye, or a bug flew in your eye, where it starts to water, the same applies to dry eyes. The watering is a reflex response to your eyes saying, “my eyes feel sore!” There’s a lack of lubricating tears. The doctors at Professional Vision treat dry eyes in a multitude of ways. (From punctal plugs, to steroid drops, Restasis, and many more.) Dry eyes is a medical condition, where, if you have medical insurance, the visits for treatment are usually covered through your medical insurance. (Outside of co-pays, deductibles, ect…) This confuses many patients, because of the simplicity of the term, “dry eyes.” But make no mistake about it. Dry eyes is a real medical condition that affects millions of Americans each year.
If you suffer from dry eyes, (Symptoms include watering, grittiness, burning, and even blurred vision.) there may still be ways that you can wear contact lenses. I’m living proof of that. I suffer from dry eyes, and seasonal allergies ( Giant papillary conjunctivitis or GPC with the eyes) , where I fall into the “difficult to fit contact lens” category. Personally, I’ve had the most success with daily disposable (one day) contact lenses, when it comes to working with dry eyes. Sometimes, patients with dry eyes may have to modify their contact lens wearing schedule, where they may need to limit wearing their contact lenses to evenings, weekends, social wear, and exercise. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave comments.
Have a great day!