Some people are more prone to dry eyes than others and it’s estimated that about 20% of the adult population in Australia suffers to some degree from dry eyes. The problem is worse for those who work in offices, spending many hours each day staring at a screen in an air-conditioned environment. If you also wear contact lenses, you could find yourself really battling to keep your eyes hydrated and healthy. At the end of the day, no doubt your eyes will feel gritty and scratchy and your contacts practically glued to your eyeballs.
Advanced contact lens technology
Luckily optical technology is making great strides every day and if you have dry eyes there’s a wide choice of contact lenses specifically designed to help. Having worked with many patients suffering from dry eyes over the years, Dr Jan Coetzee of Insight Optometrists in Brisbane has had repeated success with particular contact lens types and brands. As each person’s eyes are unique, it’s a good idea to work with your optometrist to trial and test which particular contact lenses work best for your eyes.
Insight’s top 5 lenses for dry eyes
#1 Biofinity® (CooperVision)
If you’re prone to dry eyes, your top priority is a contact lens that is moist, soft and flexible, for maximum lubrication and minimum irritation. Biofinity® lenses ticks all these boxes – they have high levels of oxygen permeability and are designed to hold water molecules within the lens, keeping them moist, dehydrated and protein-resistant. Made from a unique silicone hydrogel, Biofinity® lenses contain no additives and are not coated with any surface treatments or lubricants, plus they are designed to fit gently over the cornea.
#2 Acuvue® Oasys®(Johnson & Johnson)
Ideal for dry eyes, Acuvue® Oasys® lenses use a proprietary technology, HYDRACLEAR®, to ensure a high volume of moisture enhancing wetting agent. Keeps your eyes moist and clear and ensures a smooth contact lens experience. Oasys lenses also have one of the highest levels of UV-A and UV-B protection available in contact lenses and block out at least 90% of UV-A and 99% of UV-B rays for maximum eye safety.
#3 AIR OPTIX® (Ciba Vision)
Dubbed the ‘breathable’ contact lens, the TriComfort™ Technology of these lenses allows more than five times the oxygen through the lenses than traditional soft contact lenses. This ensures maximum nourishing air flow and a natural, comfortable fit as well as high levels of moisture retention to circumvent dry eyes. AIR OPTIX® lenses also have an ultra-smooth surface that repels build-up of deposits to ensure comfortable wear all day.
#4 NIGHT & DAY® (Ciba Vision)
Also from Ciba Vision and renowned for ultra-breathability, these lenses boast the highest levels of oxygen transmissibility of any other available soft contact lens. They are approved for daily wear as well as up to thirty nights of extended wear. Super-comfortable and moisture retentive, they are ideal for travelling and for those who simply prefer to wake up to crisp, clear vision!
#5 Proclear® (CooperVision)
Known for their outstanding level of comfort, Proclear® lenses use PC Technology™, containing high levels of phosphorylcholine (PC) molecules which are found naturally in human cell membranes and attract and surround themselves with water, ensuring the lenses retain their moisture. Additionally, certain types of Proclear® lenses are made with the dehydration-resistant material omafilcon, which retains approximately 96% of its original water content for as long as twelve hours.
Insight’s dry eye tips
- Try not to sit directly near fans or airconditioning vents.
- Take regular breaks from your computer or you risk computer vision syndrome (CVS).
- Regularly ‘exercise’ your eyes by gently rolling them.
- Ensure you drink sufficient water to keep your body well hydrated.
- Don’t spend too much time in windy, harsh climates.
- Eat foods that feed your eyes for optimal optical health.
- Ensure you get sufficient sleep to keep your peepers pretty and sparkly.
- If you need to use lubricating drops ensure they are the right ones for your lenses.
- Check whether any medications you are on may be contributing to dry eyes.
- Remember that as you age, your eyes will naturally becoming dryer.
- Menopausal women may experience more eye dryness due to lowered production of natural oils.
- Get your eyes examined and assessed regularly to ensure maximum eye and vision wellness.
- Work with your optometrist test and trial a range of lenses until you find the perfect choice.
Bulk contact deals
Once you’ve found the lens that works best for your eyes, consider one of Insight’s bulk contact lens packages – buy a year’s supply upfront for big savings and extras like free contact lens solutions.
Information provided by Dr Jan Coetzee of Insight Optometrist in Brisbane. Dr Coetzee holds a doctorate in optometry and is dedicated to raising awareness of eye health issues and providing high quality, protective eyewear. Insight Optometrists is also an accredited member of the Eyecare Plus group, a select collective of clinically-driven optometry practices across Australia. More info: www.insightoptom.com.au.