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Moorfields Private Blog

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    Contact lenses, dry eyes and laser eye surgery

    Written by Mr Bruce Allan, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
    14 September 2018 | Categories: LASIK, Laser Sight Correction, LASEK, transPRK, Laser vision correction
    • 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.

    Beach and Shoreline

    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.

    Contact lensese and dry eyes
    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.

    Download the laser information pack

    Or speak to the New Patient Enquiry Team:
    0800 328 3421
    enquiries@moorfieldsprivate.co.uk  <mailto:enquiries@moorfieldsprivate.co.uk?subject=Laser%20Sight%20Correction> 

     

    Mr Bruce Allan

    Written by Mr Bruce Allan

    Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon