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Are Daily Contact Lenses Better for Dry Eyes?

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A young man inserting a contact lens.

If you suffer from dry eyes and are a contact lens wearer, you know how uncomfortable and frustrating it can be. Dryness, irritation, and blurred vision are just a few issues that can arise. 

But you don’t have to live with these symptoms or give up wearing contact lenses. With modern lens technology, there’s a lens for nearly everyone. 

Daily disposable contact lenses are ideal lenses for dry eyes. Changing to a dry eye specific lens can minimize contact lens discomfort and provide healthy, comfortable vision.

If you’re not sure you have dry eyes, take our dry eye quiz or visit your eye doctor for a dry eye exam. 

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (dry eyes) occurs when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Factors that can cause dry eyes include:

  • Age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Environmental conditions
  • Excessive screen time
  • Certain medical conditions 
  • Medications
  • Family history

Dry Eye & Contact Lens Wear

Contact lenses can exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Traditional contact lens material can dry out and change shape on your eye causing poor comfort. Soft contacts sit on the eye’s surface and absorb moisture from the eye. If you have dry eyes, the change in shape of the lens due to dehydration actually creates friction between the lens and your eye’s surface, causing discomfort. 

Wearing two week or monthly disposable contacts can also lead to protein buildup issues, compounding comfort issues.

Do Daily Contacts Help with Dry Eyes?

Daily contact lenses can be a great option for those with dry eyes. 

Fresh & Hydrating Every Day

Daily contact lenses are designed for single-use only, meaning you insert a fresh pair every morning and dispose of them every night. This design eliminates the need for cleaning and storing your contacts. As a result, your eyes get a fresh, sterile pair every day. 

One study discovered that using daily wear contacts is more comfortable than 2-week disposable contacts, suggesting that as contact lenses get older, protein buildup contributes to dry eye symptoms.

There are many different materials and designs of daily disposable lenses including correction for astigmatism and even bifocal lenses. 

Better Oxygen Permeability

Soft daily contact lenses allow more oxygen to reach your eyes than some traditional lenses. Increased oxygen flow helps keep your eyes healthy and comfortable throughout the day. Other materials are less dehydrating making them a suitable option for those with dry eyes.

Reduced Risk of Infections & Irritations

Improper cleaning and storage of bi-weekly or monthly lenses can result in harmful microorganisms that can cause infections. Daily disposable lenses eliminate cleaning and storage, lowering infection risk with a fresh sterile lenses daily.

Convenient for Occasional Wearers

Daily contacts are an excellent choice for intermittent contact lens wearers. You can choose to only wear them during specific activities, such as for sports or social events, or you can wear them whenever you want without worrying about cleaning or storage.

A woman having her eyes checked in her optometrist's office.

Tips for Choosing the Right Daily Contact Lenses

You can’t just go to the store and pick contact lenses from the shelf. Before switching to daily contact lenses, you need to consult your eye doctor and have a contact lens exam and fitting.  

Your optometrist will assess your eye health, the severity of your dry eye condition, and recommend the most suitable type of daily lenses for you. They may recommend daily contact lenses with moisture retention technology that helps keep your eyes hydrated for longer. 

Daily Contacts for Healthy Eyes & Vision

Daily contact lenses offer several benefits over extended-wear lenses for dry eye sufferers: 

  • They’re fresh and stay hydrated with increased oxygen permeability to help reduce the risk of discomfort and irritation associated with dry eye conditions. 
  • They’re more convenient and lower the risk of infections. 

However, always consult your eye care professional to determine the most suitable type of daily contact lens for your specific needs. 

Book an appointment with In Focus Eyecare to renew your love for wearing contact lenses, even  if you have dry eyes. Say hello to improved contact lens comfort and embrace the benefits of daily contact lenses.

Written by Dr. Gerry Day, OD, P.Eng

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