Dry Eyes and Contact Lens Wear

By: Dr. Don Miller

Contact lenses and dry eyes used to be linked in the public awareness. Contacts were initially made of materials which prevented natural flow of oxygen and moisture to the eyes. However, with improved materials, the dry eye symptom remains a problem for many contact wearers. It is well worth noting that some of the causes also plague wearers of eyeglasses, so be realistic.

To fix a problem, try to isolate and understand probable causes.

Do you forget to blink? It is rather natural for focused attention to reduce the eye blink rate. Concentration on a video game, television, a computer monitor, or even good old textbooks and worksheets can cause severely dry eyes. It helps to dart glances away from the main target, and to periodically close the eyelids, then roll the eyes.

Is your environment particularly dry, or full of pollution, tree or grass pollen, flowers, fumes, dust, or similar? Your eyes might well be crying out for tears to wash out those irritants. You can help the process with sterile saline eye drops or other synthetic tears. Many good store brands of eye drops and eye wash are available at low prices.

Do you have a medical condition that could contribute to dry eyes? The Mayo Clinic tells us that tears are more than just salt water. Contents also include fatty oils, proteins, anti bacterial substances, electrolytes, and so forth. Wrong composition or reduced supply of tears can make good vision impossible. Now add to this problem the fact that many medicines, even some eye drops, can interfere with healthful tear production.

Does your life style include unhealthful choices? Use of tobacco, over consumption of alcoholic beverages, lack of exercise, obesity, inadequate sleep, excessive stress, all can degrade the health, including eye health. In fact, obesity can contribute to several causes of blindness. And recreational drugs are poor choices no matter what laws or parents say.

And last, don't overlook effects of aging. Regardless of how good your chromosomes, aging much past puberty tends to reduce the natural envelope of potential health. You can extend your good years with good diet and moderate exercise, or shorten them with fatty and salty foods, alcohol, tobacco, and little exercise.

Do you seem to have more dry eye complaints than when you were younger. It can happen to the best of us, whether we use eyeglasses, contact lenses, or neither. Remember that getting older is the second worst alternative.

If you still have concerns about dry eyes or other conditions, ask your eye doctor or family physician. For contact lenses, select cleaning and wetting solutions which are approved for the material used to make your lenses.

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For more articles about safe and enjoyable use of contact lenses and spectacles, see 3daycontacts.com/articlelist.htm by Dr. Don Miller.

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