Contact lens wearers may be at risk to develop dry eye, Elizabeth Tracey reports


If you wear contact lenses you may be at particular risk to develop the condition known as dry eye, where your eyes may feel dry and scratchy. Lauren Gormley, an optometrist at Johns Hopkins, describes why wearing contacts may precipitate the condition.

Gormley:  Where contact lenses become a cause for dry eye is that your natural tear film is meant to support your cornea, so when you put a contact lens on the eye, especially soft contact lenses, they also need your tear film in order to stay hydrated. They will grab those tears before the cornea can get what it needs. But when you think about lubrication would you say contact lens rewetting drops which are eye drops over the counter usually where the contact lens solutions are that are meant to lubricate the contact lenses.  :29

Gormley notes that manufacturers of contact lenses are aware of the relationship between dry eye and wearing contacts, and are always investigating new materials that may remain hydrated on their own for longer periods of time. She notes that not wearing lenses for extended periods is also a good idea. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.