If you have dry eye disease, you’re not alone. Millions of Canadians suffer from this frustrating, all too common eye condition. Combine that number with the millions of Canadians who choose to wear contact lenses to correct blurry vision, and it’s no wonder many people are searching for the best contacts for dry eyes.
It can be challenging to find contacts that provide comfort all day without causing further irritation or discomfort. The best contacts for dry eyes depend on your unique lifestyle and needs but could include:
The most common culprit behind dry eyes is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This occurs when the meibomian glands lining your eyelids become inflamed or clogged. These glands are vital for creating meibum, an oil that prevents your tears from evaporating too fast. When they’re clogged, you may experience dry eye symptoms, such as:
Dry eyes can turn daily tasks like computer work, reading, and watching TV into frustrating and uncomfortable experiences. Since some studies have shown contact lenses could actually worsen dry eye symptoms, it’s vital to get lenses that support your relief rather than hinder it.
Contact lenses are a lot like your eyes, they work better when hydrated. Despite that, contacts with a high water content might increase your likelihood of developing dry eyes. We know it sounds backwards. You’d think more water means more hydration, but that’s not always true.
Here’s what’s happening: the water in those high-water-content lenses can pull lipids and proteins from your eyes. This throws off the tear film that keeps your eyes moist and could lead to the lens dehydrating. Some contact lens wearers may be unaffected, but if you’re already struggling with dry eyes, this could tip things into uncomfortable territory once the lens dries out.
Your optometrist might have you try a few different contact lenses to find the pair that feels most comfortable to you.
Soft contact lenses are the most commonly prescribed type of contacts, and they come in different designs, sizes, and materials. People with dry eye may enjoy soft contacts for their comfort and flexibility.
Although traditional hydrogel lenses are popular, advances in contact lens technology have led to the development of silicone hydrogel lenses, which can let more oxygen reach the eye than their hydrogel counterparts.
They’re especially beneficial for those who experience severe dry eye symptoms. While hydrogel lenses with high water content can absorb moisture from your tears, silicone hydrogel doesn’t rely on water content for comfort. This allows soft lenses to stay comfy without drying your eyes.
Contact lenses can pick up bacteria and protein as you wear them, which is why they need to be properly cleaned every day. Instead, why not wear a fresh pair every day? This is why daily disposable lenses are possibly the most hygienic type of soft contact lens.
As their name implies, daily disposable lenses are worn for one day and then discarded, eliminating the need for cleaning and storage. They’re an excellent choice for people with dry eyes, as they provide a fresh lens every day, and there’s less chance of bacteria or protein buildup, which can cause dry eyes or irritation.
Hybrid contact lenses are a combination of soft and rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses. They have a rigid centre surrounded by a soft, comfortable outer layer. Hybrid lenses can provide better visual acuity than soft lenses, paired with more comfort than strictly RGP lenses.
Think of them as taking the advantage of each type of contact lens. They allow high oxygen permeability, making them an excellent option for mild dry eye sufferers who want the benefits of rigid lenses without sacrificing comfort.
Scleral contact lenses are large RGP contact lenses that vault over the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of your eye). The space between the lens and the cornea creates a reservoir, providing moisture and preventing the lens from making direct contact with the eye’s surface.
Scleral lenses have become a popular choice for people with dry eyes. What’s more, scleral lenses can work great for individuals with irregular corneas, high astigmatism, and post-surgical complications.
Finding the best contact lenses for dry eyes may require some research and experimentation. However, considering the different options available today, our knowledgeable team at Spectrum Eye Care can help you find the lenses that work for you.We’re dedicated to using our eye care technology to diagnose dry eye symptoms and treat blockages caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. With the right combination of lens type and fit, you can enjoy a comfortable and clear vision without the discomfort of dry eyes. Book your appointment today and let’s get started on your dry eye relief.
Your eyes are vital organs and require proper care and attention to maintain good health. If you experience a burning sensation in your eyes, it could be due to various reasons. Burning eyes can be a symptom of dry eyes, blepharitis, contact lens irritation, an eye infection, allergies, or digital eye strain.
Burning eyes are irritating, and if the cause is serious, it can begin to impact the quality of your vision. Visit your optometrist if you’re experiencing chronic or persistent burning eyes. An eye exam can help identify the underlying cause so you can treat the symptom at the source.
A burning feeling in your eyes can range from mild to intense, depending on the reason and its severity.
Dry eyes are a common cause of eye burning. When your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the quality of the tears is poor, it can cause irritation and a burning sensation. Other symptoms of dry eyes may include:
When bacteria build up on the eyelids, it can cause blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelids. The irritation can cause burning in the eyes and lead to potential bacterial infection. It’s closely related to meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye because the bacteria can block the meibomian gland’s oil production. Blepharitis has many symptoms in common with dry eye, but other common symptoms can include:
Blepharitis can develop into styes, chalazion, or corneal damage, so it’s important to visit your optometrist to address its symptoms.
Wearing contact lenses can make vision correction easier, but it can leave your eyes vulnerable to irritation. Overwearing your contact lenses for extended periods can cause eye burning. The lenses may dry out your eyes, irritate your cornea, or create a bacterial infection.
Improperly fitted contact lenses, damaged or torn lenses, and protein deposits can irritate the cornea and cause it to swell. If you experience eye burning while wearing contact lenses, remove them immediately and switch to glasses until you visit your optometrist for an updated contact lens exam.
Just like your respiratory system, your eyes can also develop infections. Eye infections can cause intense eye burning depending on the type of infection. Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections require different treatment methods, but visiting your optometrist is the first step to healing your eyes.
Some of the most common eye infections include:
Most eye infections share many common symptoms, such as:
If you have allergies, the irritants can make your eyes burn and itch. The symptoms can be caused by different allergens such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites.
Other common allergy symptoms include:
Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and eye drops can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. However, if your symptoms are severe, you should consult an optometrist.
If you spend long hours staring at screens, reading, or doing close work, you may experience eye strain. While many experience digital eye strain while working long days at the computer or scrolling too long on social media, the symptoms can cause discomfort in your whole body.
Eye strain can lead to symptoms such as:
To reduce the discomfort, take frequent breaks from close work, adjust your screen brightness and contrast, and use good lighting in your environment.
Artificial tears or eye drops can provide instant relief from burning eyes and improve overall eye comfort. Eye drops can help soothe and lubricate the ocular surface to reduce inflammation and dryness. Some eye drops contain anti-allergen and anti-inflammatory agents that can alleviate specific symptoms of burning eyes, such as redness, itching, and stinging sensation.
Eye drops are available with or without preservatives. Preservatives help eye drops last longer, but overusing eye drops can cause irritation. Preservative-free eye drops are single-use and have a short shelf life, but they can be a better choice if you’re using eye drops more than 4 times per day.
Ask for a recommendation from your eye doctor before trying eye drops so you use the right type to soothe your symptoms.
Using a computer or digital device for prolonged periods can cause eye strain and dryness that lead to burning eyes. To minimize eye fatigue and discomfort, try taking frequent breaks from your screen time every 20 minutes or so. Reducing screen time after work or school can offer relief from your symptoms and allows your eyes to rest.
Close work like sewing, drawing, woodworking, or knitting can also strain the eyes over prolonged periods. If you’re prone to getting absorbed in a hobby that requires close focus, make time for breaks to go outside or switch tasks.
To counteract the burning sensation, a cool compress is a simple home remedy to try. It soothes irritation and constricts blood vessels to reduce any swelling. While an ice-cold compress sounds soothing, it’s important to avoid direct contact with the skin and only use a compress for up to 15 minutes at a time to avoid frostbite.
One of the most straightforward ways to prevent burning eyes is by practicing good hygiene habits like washing your hands frequently, which can prevent the spread of germs that cause eye infections and other eye-related issues.
If you wear contact lenses, be mindful of the cleaning and replacement routine. It’s essential to clean and disinfect your lenses regularly to help prevent bacteria buildup that can contribute to eye irritation and infection. Consult your optometrist for the appropriate cleaning regimen and best practices.
Exposure to environmental irritants like dust, smoke, and chemicals can trigger eye irritation and a burning sensation. Take precautions by wearing protective goggles or eyewear when exposed to harsh elements. Also, avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes with unwashed hands is a good idea, as it can transfer bacteria and irritants to your eyes.
If you’re experiencing burning eyes related to allergies, consider taking antihistamines or other allergy medications to ease symptoms and avoid known irritants that trigger your symptoms.
If your burning eyes persist or worsen despite trying at-home remedies, it’s crucial to consult an optometrist. Chronic burning eyes can indicate underlying conditions, such as severe dry eye syndrome, allergies, or infection, requiring professional intervention.
Your optometrist can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the root cause of your burning eyes and develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your condition and needs.
Eye irritation from burning sensations, strain, dry eyes, or infections can disrupt your life. Your eyes should feel comfortable, and your optometrist can recommend treatment options to help you find relief.
If you’re experiencing chronic or severe burning eyes or are due for your next eye exam, schedule an appointment at Spectrum Eye Care. We’re here to help you keep your eyes healthy and bright.
If you’re experiencing discomfort from dry eyes, most likely, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is to blame. MGD is the most common cause of dry eye disease and occurs when the meibomian glands become blocked with hardened oil and debris. Unblocking them is the primary method to achieving relief from irritating symptoms.
There are several methods to unblock blocked meibomian glands, from home methods to in-office treatments, including heat masks, meibomian gland expression, and TempSure Envi therapy. During a your eye examination, our doctors will identify the cause of your dry eye symptoms, determine the severity, offer advice on dry eye management, and recommend treatments.
Your meibomian glands are the oil-producing glands that provide the lipid layer to the tear film. A well-balanced tear film consists of 3 distinct layers: the inner mucus layer, the middle aqueous layer, and the outermost layer of lipid or fat.
The oil layer of the tear film is exposed to the environment, and it’s critical to delaying premature tear evaporation. You can develop dry eyes if your tears evaporate too quickly before new tears are produced.
All 3 layers of tears are essential for protecting the eye from environmental conditions and debris, lubricating the eye, preventing infections, and protecting the health of the conjunctiva and cornea, parts of the eye’s surface.
MGD can cause various uncomfortable symptoms, including:
Some are more prone to developing dry eyes than others. Common risk factors related to MGD include:
Many of these risk factors can be diminished with lifestyle changes: Reduce or quit smoking, double cleanse to remove your makeup correctly, wear your contacts only as directed, and limit screen time. While you may still experience dry eyes, these are all steps toward caring for your health and lessening your discomfort.
Unblocking meibomian glands can offer long-term relief for MGD. You can use home remedies or try dry eye technology to prevent oil buildup from returning for longer.
A warm compress or heat mask at home can gently warm the glands to liquefy the hardened oil blockages. After using a heat mask, you can carefully massage the eyes to encourage the oil to unblock the glands.
If you’re worried that you’re too heavy-handed and decide to skip the eye massage, using a warm compress alone can go a long way in relieving your discomfort in the short term.
An in-office meibomian gland expression treatment has been shown to improve MGD and dry eye symptoms significantly. Your optometrist can apply pressure to the eyelids to express the oils from the glands on the eyelid margins.
Using a paddle-like tool, your optometrist will compress the lower and upper lids to effectively increase the quality of oil production and help relieve symptoms of dry eye. While there can be some discomfort during the procedure, you’ll likely begin to feel an ease in irritating dry eye symptoms.
TempSure Envi is a therapeutic warming treatment using innovative technology to maximize dry eye relief. Compared to an at-home warm mask, TempSure Envi offers a deeply penetrating yet gentle heat coupled with a soft massage to break up oil blockages and flush out the old oils.
When the oil blockages are softened and massaged away, your glands can produce fresh, healthy oils to stabilize your tear film’s balance.
Once you’ve received treatment to unblock your meibomian glands, you can take some preventative measures to discourage more buildup from accumulating. Some simple lifestyle tips to incorporate into your routine include the following:
Unblocking your meibomian glands can restore moisture to your eyes and lubrication to your tear film. Visit Spectrum Eye Care to discuss your dry eye symptoms, choose the best treatment, and keep your eyes comfortable and healthy.
Astigmatism is a common vision condition that affects most people on some level. If you have a higher degree of astigmatism, you may face issues like blurriness, headaches, or distorted vision.
Sometimes astigmatism at a low level does not require treatment, but you may need glasses or surgical treatment to correct higher levels.
With regular eye exams, your optometrist can detect and monitor astigmatism and discuss the services available to help you achieve clear vision.
Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea has an abnormal shape and may poorly refract light. A correctly-shaped cornea is round and refracts light to reach the retina effectively. Some cases of astigmatism make it difficult for the light to reach your retina and cause vision issues.
Astigmatism can cause a range of symptoms in those with the condition. Here are a few of the common symptoms you may experience:
The direct cause of astigmatism is unknown as many people are born with the condition, leading experts to believe that it is inherited from your parents. However, doctors are unsure of the cause. Some people develop astigmatism in their youth or later in life.
The ability to see clearly is a requirement for safe driving, and astigmatism can get in the way of this, making driving difficult, particularly at night. With astigmatism, your eye may distort light and cause a halo-like effect around lights when driving.
Astigmatism is a refractive error and can be diagnosed through an eye exam. A typical eye exam will allow your optometrist to evaluate your ocular health and check for refractive issues. Here are a few of the standard tests your optometrist may include:
A visual acuity test typically implies having you read from a graph far away while looking through both eyes and then at each eye individually. Your doctor will generally use this test to determine your clarity of vision.
A refraction test is used to help your doctor determine the prescription needed for your glasses. It generally entails looking through a machine that will measure the quantity of light reflected by your retina.
A keratometer is a machine that measures the anterior curvature of your cornea. It can be used to assess refractive errors and in contact lens fittings.
A slit lamp test typically involves your doctor using a low-powered microscope to look closely at your eyes and take digital images. Along with helping your doctor look for signs of astigmatism, they can check for other conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Following an exam, your doctor can provide you with a prescription for your eyes and more insight into your ocular health.
Astigmatism is a common condition, and many potential treatments are currently available. Consult your doctor to learn more about the options available and which might be suitable for your eyes. Below are a few common treatments.
Glasses and contact lenses are the most common corrective option for people with astigmatism. Glasses and contacts have custom-fitted lenses unique to you that can help compensate for the uneven shape of your eyes. The lenses can help you reflect light properly and gain clear vision.
Sometimes, an eye doctor may recommend refractive surgery to treat astigmatism. Refractive surgeries like LASIK, LASEK, or PRK may be done to alter the shape of your eye to reflect light correctly.
It is not unusual for astigmatism to come with other refractive issues that can impact your vision.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one type of refractive error that can be combined with astigmatism. It’s a condition where objects up close appear clear, but distance vision is blurry. Nearsightedness typically develops in children, but it’s important to check your eyes regularly as it can also develop later in life.
In contrast, hyperopia, or farsightedness, is another refractive issue where distant objects appear clear, but objects up close can be blurry. Hyperopia can also be combined with astigmatism, requiring specific lenses to gain clear vision.
Our team of experienced doctors at Spectrum Eye Care has years of experience dealing with refractive issues and helping our patients to manage their conditions.
If you are experiencing any vision-related matters, please book an appointment and speak with our friendly team today. We can help you find the right corrective measure for your eyes.
Omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements have been the rage recently, and many people opt to incorporate more of them into their diets and for good reason.
Omega-3 is not only an essential fat for our body, but studies suggest it can help to reduce dry eye symptoms.
At Spectrum Eye Care, we’re passionate about helping our patients access treatments and holistic care that can lead to improved health and wellness. Learn more about how we can help by booking an eye exam and reading the full blog below.
There are many treatment options available to treat dry eyes and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to provide symptom relief. studies have looked at the effects that t omega-3 fatty acids have on dry eyes, and one noticeable benefit was the improvement of function in the meibomian glands. This gland plays a role in oil production in the eye, which directly impacts your tears and can help to reduce symptoms of dry eyes.
Nonetheless, speaking with your doctor before incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil into your diet is important. If you’re interested in supplements to support your eye health, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.
Omega-3s are a special type of fatty acid that the body needs but cannot produce on its own. Instead, the body can get these essential fats through food or supplements. Here are a few foods high in omega-3 fatty acid:
These essential fats play an important role in how our body produces hormones and regulates blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. As a result, omega-3s have been proven to prevent serious conditions like strokes and heart disease.
Omega-3 supplements have grown in popularity and can be an effective way of getting essential nutrients. According to the NIH, omega-3 supplements can benefit things like rheumatoid arthritis and age-related macular degeneration with minimal side effects.
If you want to try omega-3s for dry eyes, it should be noted that the supplements you buy off the shelf may not produce the results that you want. Incorporating more fish and leafy vegetables, paired with your optometrist’s recommendations, is typically the best combination.
Dry eye disease is a common condition in which your eyes do not produce enough or produce low-quality tears that evaporate too quickly. The surface of your eye is covered in a thin film that helps to keep the eye lubricated. In some cases, the film can dry, exposing the nerves of the cornea and leading to irritation when blinking.
Dry eyes can occur for various reasons, and many Canadians may experience it at one point in their life. Here are a few common reasons you might have dry eyes:
Dry eye signs can appear in many different ways, and it is best to seek professional advice if you have any issues with your vision and eyes. Here are a few of the more common symptoms experienced:
If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, contact your eye care provider to learn about your options for treatment.
Many treatment options exist to help reduce dry eye symptoms and lead to healthier eyes. Here are several treatment options available:
Artificial tears are over-the-counter eye drops that can lubricate your eyes and may help reduce irritation felt from dry eye symptoms.
Sometimes lifestyle changes like drinking more water, avoiding smoky areas, and using a humidifier can help to reduce the risk of dry eye or the symptoms that come with it.
In more serious cases, your doctor may recommend prescription medications or eye drops to help combat the condition.
The TempSure Envi technology uses therapeutic heat applied to the eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. This treatment allows the meibomian glands to function more effectively and produce better quality oils that in turn keeps the eyes lubricated. Get Support from a Trusted Team
If you are experiencing any eye-related symptoms or want to learn more about our treatment options, visit us at Spectrum Eye Care. Our team can work with you to develop a treatment plan to help you find lasting relief.
Do you notice eye dryness, irritation, and discomfort, either when you’re indoors or outdoors? These symptoms may be from multiple factors affecting your eye’s ability to produce tears or an eye condition called dry eye.
Without sufficient tears or quality tears, the eyes don’t receive enough lubrication or moisture, leading to dryness, irritation, and sometimes complications.
Symptoms of dry eye can be mild or severe and can include the following:
Multiple causes of dry eye can affect the production of tears or increase the evaporation of tears. These include:
During an eye exam, your eye doctor can diagnose meibomian gland dysfunction using Meibox imaging technology. It can capture high-definition images of the tiny oil-producing glands in your eyelids using infrared light. Early detection of the underlying cause of dry eyes allows for prompt treatment and relief of symptoms.
Based on the severity of your dry eye, your eye doctor can recommend one or more therapies to relieve dry eye symptoms and treat the underlying cause. Common treatments for dry eye can include:
Over-the-counter preservative artificial tears can provide temporary relief of dry eye symptoms. They come in various forms, such as drops and ointments.
If over-the-counter artificial tears don’t provide enough relief, prescription medication with ingredients such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra) helps to increase tear production.
For mild cases of MGD, a specialized iMED microbead heat mask, compared to a warm compress, can deliver heat more evenly and effectively to unblock the oil-producing glands in the eyelids and improve tear production.
Changes in lifestyle to protect your eyes and prevent dry eyes can include:
Omega-3 oil supplementation is beneficial in reducing dry eye symptoms. Speak to your eye doctor first before taking any supplements,
Radiofrequency or heat technology can treat all stages of MGD. The Tempsure envi is a non-invasive treatment therapy that can deliver gentle heat much deeper to unclog meibomian glands by melting the clogged oils.
For maximum benefits and more relief, 3 treatment sessions are recommended, with sessions taking about 15 minutes per eye. In severe cases of dry eyes caused by MGD, you can control symptoms by having annual maintenance sessions.
You don’t have to live with the discomfort of dry eyes. When you consult the eye doctors at Spectrum Eye Care, we can diagnose the cause of your dry eyes and provide options for relief.
Sometimes, a combination of treatments may be necessary to manage your dry eye symptoms. Don’t let itchy, dry, irritated eyes come between you and life. Schedule an appointment today.