Contacts Causing Discomfort? It Could be Dry Eye

April 1, 2024


Have you noticed that your contacts become uncomfortable after wearing them for a short time? In fact, the time you can wear them may become shorter and shorter. If contact lens discomfort keeps you from wearing your lenses, see your One EyeCare team for help. You may have a condition called dry eye, and contacts may not be the best choice for you. 

What is Contact Lens Intolerance?

If you notice that you have trouble keeping your contacts in for as long as you used to, you may be developing contact lens intolerance. You can have trouble wearing contact lenses for many reasons, but one of the most common causes of discomfort is dry eye. Dry eye and contact lenses can be a harmful combination, with contacts masking your dry eye symptoms over time. We recommend a treatment plan that addresses your dry eye and your vision needs.

Dry Eye Costa Mesa & Orange County

Do Contact Lenses Cause Dry Eye?

Contact lenses affect the ability of your tears to spread out across your eyes and can create friction that causes irritation and discomfort. The lack of proper tear function causes your eyes to become more dry making your lenses prone to tearing or cracking, which can lead to eye infections. This vicious cycle may continue to worsen, but Dr. Wu and her team can help you find a solution.

How Do I Improve My Vision Without Contacts?

If you come to One EyeCare with contact lens intolerance related to dry eye, we will develop a customized treatment plan to reduce your discomfort and  improve your vision. 

The first step of this plan is to address your underlying dry eye. One of the most effective ways to address contact lens intolerance is with Lumenis IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). It uses pulses of light that target dilated blood vessels and inflammation, improving circulation and tear production. Other treatments such as TearCare® can be used to unblock clogged glands, which prevent normal oil secretion.

We may also recommend that you stop wearing contacts for a short while to allow your eyes to heal. People with dry eye problems may be better candidates for other methods of vision correction. If you do not like wearing glasses, there are other options for vision correction. 

SMILE laser eye surgery is an excellent option for people with dry eyes. SMILE is similar to LASIK but better for those with dry eye problems and contact lens intolerance. It uses a laser to reshape your cornea.  Dr. Wu removes a microscopically thin disc of tissue to correct your eye prescription.  You can achieve the same level of vision or better than you got from contact lenses without the discomfort. SMILE has many benefits, including its safety, effectiveness and reduced dry eye risk. 

The EVO Visian ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) is an innovative option that provides dramatically better vision. During this procedure, Dr. Wu places an artificial lens implant over your natural lens. The ICL acts like a contact lens, providing clear vision, except there is no drying out irritation or daily maintenance. You will see improvement almost immediately after surgery. 

Request a Consultation

We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

Is There Any Downtime After Dry Eye Treatments?

Our dry eye treatments are non-invasive and do not require any downtime. IPL is gentle and does not damage the skin, although it may look flushed for a few hours. Other dry eye treatments used to unclog glands also require no downtime. These treatments are used to address the underlying cause of your dry eye problem directly, providing long lasting relief. 

While treating dry eye improves your quality of life and ocular comfort, it does not eliminate the need for contacts due to a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism). For that, procedures like SMILE and EVO Visian ICL can offer significant improvements with minimal recovery time. Both procedures use tiny incisions to minimize corneal disruption. Minor side effects such as sensitivity or irritation may occur for the first few days. Most people can drive and return to work within two days of surgery. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Dry Eye Treatments?

If your cataracts make your eyes uncomfortable, you are a good candidate for dry eye treatment. This condition should not be ignored because it not only affects your quality of life but can also lead to long-term eye problems. If you have developed contact lens intolerance, we recommend a consultation so we can develop a customized treatment plan for you. 

I had a great experience with One Eyecare Center. Dr. Wu is extremely knowledgeable and relieves any concerns. I did monovision and it has worked great for me. This is the ONLY eye care specialist I will ever go to again.
david s.

Take the Next Step

Want to know more about dry eye and contacts? Please fill out the form on this page or call (949) 208-9090 to schedule your appointment.

We proudly serve the Costa Mesa & Newport Beach areas.