The number one issue consumers face when switching to contacts is dry eyes. From laptops to smartphones, the large number of screens we look at every day means this issue is only going to get worse. Whether it’s improving your eye care regimen or switching over to a daily disposable brand like Hubble, the goal of this guide is to help you find the best dry eye contacts for you.
Dry eye symptoms include red eyes, “scratchy” eyes, irritated eyes, and more. And while dry eyes affect contact lens wearers and non-wearers alike, the impact is more severe if you wear contacts.
To help deal with this issue, contact lens manufacturers have developed a number of new technologies. This includes soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable contacts, as well as daily contacts, which help ensure contacts are clean and fresh, causing less irritation for you the wearer.
As mentioned, one of the best ways to help with dry eyes is to regularly replace your contact lenses. For this reason, dailies are perfect. While historically daily contact lenses could be quite expensive, new entrants in the market, such as direct to consumer online companies like Hubble, are driving the cost of dailies down, making this a strong option for people with dry eyes.
Hubble contact lenses:
Hubble is one of our favorite choices for people who suffer from dry eyes. Hubble lenses are made from a high-grade methafilson gel, which is a hydrogel material. At 55% water content and using thin materials, Hubble contacts are a fantastic choice when trying to reduce eye irritation.
Dailies Total 1:
Manufactured by Alcon, Dailies Total 1 is another strong choice for people who suffer dry eyes. Like Hubble, these contacts utilize a lot of water content (33% at the core of the lens and 80 percent at the front and back surface) to create a comfortable contact. Consumers report that Dailies Total 1 lenses provide a non-irritating and smooth surface until the end of the day.
Optima 38 SP Dailies:
Bausch and Lomb’s Optima brand is one of the most trusted brands for contacts. Their Optima 38 SP uses some of their most time-tested technologies including their “Reverse Process III” technology to create a comfortable, spherical lens that truly helps with dry eyes.
Okay, so if you are not a daily lens person and want to buy extended wear contacts to help with your dry eyes, you have a few options. First, it’s worth noting that if you are using extended wear contacts your results will only be as good as your contact solution and cleaning habits. Build up on your contacts will lead to irritation no matter how premium the brand is.
There are a few reasons why extended wear, soft contact lenses can work well for dry eyes. First, the flexible plastic that soft contact lenses are made of allow oxygen to pass through to the eye, which helps. Second, you may want to try a silicone-based hydrogel lens. These lenses don’t allow water to evaporate as readily, keeping the contact moist and better suited for dry eyes. Lastly, it is worth noting that high water content contact lenses are typically worse for dry eyes, as they tend to send more moisture to the eye initially, but then dry out more quickly, which leads to increased irritation.
Bausch and Lomb’s ULTRA lens:
Bausch and Lomb’s ULTRA lens has been around for a while. It was designed with its trademarked MoistureSeal technology, which makes it a comfortable, breathable contact that is an ideal monthly from those suffering from dry eyes.
The Air Optix contact has been dubbed the breathable contact lens due to its use of TriComfort technology that lets significantly more oxygen through the lens into the eye. The Air Optix also has a smooth surface that helps reduce deposits and increase comfort. This is another great option for a non-daily soft lens.
Biofinity has long been viewed a leader in creating contacts for dry eyes. They have high levels of oxygen permeability and are designed to hold water molecules within the lens to maintain moisture levels longer. Lastly, the surface is protein resistance to help reduce eye irritation. All in all, Biofinity is a fantastic choice.
While less popular than soft contact lenses, some people still prefer rigid, gas permeable (RGP) contacts, and there are several rapid gas permeable lenses that are good for dry eyes. The main benefits of RGP contacts, in general, are that they provide the sharpest vision for astigmatism patients, they can increase corneal health, and one pair can last two to three years, making RGP contacts some of the most cost effective choices. Here are our choices for best RGP lenses for dry eyes:
The Boston EO RGP contact lens is one of the highest-rated RGP lenses in general and is a great choice for dry eyes. These lenses offer sharp vision, exceptional comfort, and if properly cleaned and taken care of, they can last upwards of three years. This is a great choice.
The O-Perm 60 is known as one of the most permeable RGP contact lenses on the market and therefore is perfect for anyone dealing with dry eyes. They are also easy to clean and extremely deposit resistant, reducing the care you need to put into them and increasing their lifespan before you will experience any irritation.
Dry eye syndrome is caused by several factors. The primary issue is lack of sufficient lubricant on the lens. Under ordinary situations, a normal tear film generated by the eye will help coat the contact and wash the eye/remove irritants. Some people suffer from gland dysfunctions that lead to a decrease in the creation of moisture that helps keep the contact lubricated. In addition to health defects, dry eyes can be caused by the over-usage of computer and phone screens, wear and tear of a contact lens (ripped or torn contact more easily accumulate debris and cause irritation), as well as smokey environments, aging, and a number of other issues.
Since computer use and worn out contacts are two of the biggest issues and most easily controlled, these are areas we recommend you work on to improve the comfort of your contacts. For computer usage, we recommend taking regular 10-minute breaks to give your eyes a rest and reduce strain. To help improve contact wear, we recommend regularly cleaning your contacts and never sleeping with your contacts in, which can cause significant build up.
The best-reviewed contact solution for dry eyes is Bausch and Lomb’s BioTrue. Biotrue contains hyaluronan (HA), which hydrates your contact lenses in the same way that your eyes naturally hydrate. It touts being able to maintain appropriate moisture levels for up to 20 hours and killing off 99.9% of germs.
Another good option is Complete’s Multipurpose Solution. This solution is best known for its powerful disinfectant qualities and ability to effectively remove debris—all beneficial for defeating dry eyes.
Opti-Free PureMoist Solution:
As the name implies, OptiFree’s contact solution focuses on maintaining moisture, making it a fantastic choice for dry eyes. In addition to being a leader in moisture control, PureMoist is also known to reduce corneal staining, a welcome benefit.
When it comes to reducing suffering from dry eyes, we highly recommend going with dailies. Using fresh, daily contacts is simply the best way to reduce eye irritation. If you are going to use dailies, you can’t go wrong with Hubble contacts, which offer an affordable and high quality daily.
If you prefer to use a longer length contact lens, we recommend Air Optix on the soft contact lens side and the O-Perm 60 for a solid RGP lens for dry eyes.
by Insider Envy Staff