Thursday, July 28, 2011

Contact Lens Dry Eye

Contact lenses can provide a great improvement over eyeglasses for people who are bothered by the cosmetic appearance of eyeglasses or the limitation to activities that they pose. However, wearing contact lenses can cause Dry Eye. Some people have worn contact lenses for years and developed Dry Eye; some never could wear contact lenses due to a pre-existing Dry Eye condition. This condition is typically caused by not secreting enough tears, or the tear quality is poor – not thick enough which increase the rate of evaporation. 

There are 2 types of contact lenses: Soft and Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Dry Eyes and Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are made from hydrophilic (likes water) plastics that contain water. In fact, the more water a soft contact lens contains, the more prone it is to losing its water. Therefore, as water evaporates from the front surface of the lens while being worn, it absorbs water from your own natural tears, causing you to have dry eye symptoms. Your eyes may feel tired, red, sandy gritty feeling, vision becomes blurry, and sometimes pain. Most people at this point reaches for artificial tears, or wash their contact lenses several times a day to get rid of the debris (mucous) that forms on the inside of the contact lenses. For some, using artificial tears become a routine procedure, sometimes as often as once an hour. But the eyes still feel dry. Soon this condition worsens and wearing contact lenses become unbearable.

Environmental factors may also cause dry eyes such as dry heat from a furnace; an air vent from air conditioner; being near smokers, and wind from being outdoors. However, for long term contact lens wearers, there is another reason for developing dry eyes. The continual rubbing of the lens across the surface of the cornea, may result in sloughing off of the microscopic hairlike structures that exist on the outermost layer of the cornea to assist in keeping the tear film stable. Years and years of gently chaffing these fine structures can result in poor tear film stability resulting in Dry Eyes.

Dry Eye and Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses usually gives the user more visual acuity (see sharper images). Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses are manufactured from polymeric materials that are hydrophobic (do not contain any water all). In addition, it tends to repel tear film which is water based. The challenge of Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses is to specially formulate them to enhance their wetting characteristics so that they are compatible with the tear film. Even with these formulations, their surfaces are more prone to drying and creating dry eye symptoms. The problem of mechanically chaffing the fine structures that attract the tear film and make it stable is even greater with Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses because of the stiffness of the lens…it is rigid.
Suggestions to improve Dry Eyes

There are simple things we can do to facilitate the relief of Dry Eyes such as: sit away from an air vent; drink at least 8 glasses of water per day; exercise; wear wrap around sun glasses while outdoors; avoid draft and wind; go to an eye physician to select a contact lens material that may be more suitable. Doctors sometimes put in a punctal plug in the tear ducts in order to retain more tears. Artificial tears do help temporarily. Prolonged use of artificial tears train the eyes to secret even less tears and the Dry Eye condition worsens.

An alternative is to try an oral system that help your tear glands secret your own tears naturally throughout the day. TheraLife Eye capsules are formulated to be taken orally. It is unique because it targets tear secretion through intra-cellular mechanisms (internal cell functions). Once the person have been on TheraLife Eye and feel relief, they can also bring the capsules with them when doing outdoors activities being exposed to sun and wind. Simply take a few more capsules in addition to the regular dosage when eyes feel dry again. Usually the relief comes within 20-30 minutes. Give TheraLife Eye a try.

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