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Contact lenses, dry eyes and laser eye surgery
- The stock explanation for eye discomfort in contact lens wearers is ‘you have dry eyes’, but this is usually incorrect.
- Soft contact lenses soak up tears and make eyes itchy or you experience gritty discomfort but this does not mean that your eyes are dry.
- The important thing is to ensure that you have a consultation with an expert in eye surface problems before you dismiss the possibility of laser vision correction.
- At Moorfields Private all our laser vision correction consultants are advanced specialists in the recognition and treatment of eye surface problems.
Contact lens wearers often suffer from feelings of grittiness or dryness, particularly at the end of the day. Contact lenses can gradually desensitise the eye surface, so most people get on well with them after a period of time. But tolerance often diminishes with age and many of us get fed up with the hassle of wearing contact lenses and being unable to see without them.
The stock explanation for eye discomfort in contact lens wearers is ‘you have dry eyes’, but this is usually incorrect.
Read more: Myth busting dry eyes and laser eye surgery
It is certainly true to say that a variety of minor eye surface problems can contribute to discomfort in contact lenses, but these can usually be treated successfully. Soft contact lenses soak up tears, increase tear evaporation and destabilise the tear film in normal eyes. They also get covered in pollen and other proteins making hay fever type symptoms such as itchy eyes worse. Itching or gritty discomfort may be relieved using tear supplements (comfort drops), but this does not mean that your eyes are dry.
If your contact lenses feel uncomfortable and you’ve been told you have dry eyes, you may have been told that you cannot have laser eye surgery. Again this is usually incorrect.
It is important to ensure that you have a consultation with an expert in eye surface problems before you dismiss the possibility of laser eye surgery. At Moorfields Private all our laser vision correction consultants have also done advanced specialist training in the recognition and treatment of eye surface problems. We are experts in problems with contact lens tolerance and can give you advice that can help you to wear contact lenses successfully again, or optimise your eye health prior to laser treatment.
All types of laser vision correction temporarily destabilise the tear film, and some eye discomfort in the recovery period is normal. However, if you don’t suffer from dry eyes to start with, you normally won’t end up with it. Ensuring that the eye surface health is optimised before treatment is the key to a smooth recovery. Our consultants can tell you all about this.
Recent studies show that most patients are more comfortable after laser eye surgery than they were before. This is at least in part because they no longer have to wear contact lenses. So don’t get caught in a trap. If your contact lenses are uncomfortable, laser vision correction is often the right answer.
- Laser Sight Correction
- Vision Correction
- Laser Eye Surgery
- Refractive Surgery
- eye health
- Private hospitals
- Age-related Macular Degeneration
- Contact lenses
- Laser vision correction
- Treatment options
- eye strain
- Anterior Uveitis
- Contact lens maintenance
- Eye floaters
- Implantable contact lenses
- Refractive Lens Exchange
- eye lid lift
- screen time
Written by Mr Bruce Allan
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon