Home / News / Contact lenses, dry eyes and laser vision correction

Contact lenses, dry eyes and laser vision correction

Written by Mr Bruce Allan, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

19 April 2021
  • The stock explanation for eye discomfort in contact lens wearers is ‘you have dry eyes’, but this is usually incorrect.
  • Soft contact lenses soak up tears and protein, and may cause gritty or itchy discomfort, but this does not mean that your eyes are dry.
  • Laser vision correction is often a good solution for contact lens related discomfort, but it is important to recognise and treat any underlying eye surface problems before you go ahead.
  • At Moorfields Private all our laser vision correction consultants are also specialists in the recognition and treatment of eye surface problems.

Contact lens wearers often suffer from feelings of grittiness or dryness, particularly at the end of the day. Contact lenses can gradually desensitise the eye surface, so most people get on well with them after a period of time. But tolerance often diminishes with age and many of us get fed up with the hassle of wearing contact lenses and being unable to see without them.

The stock explanation for eye discomfort in contact lens wearers is ‘you have dry eyes’, but this is usually incorrect.

It is certainly true to say that a variety of minor eye surface problems can contribute to discomfort in contact lenses, but these can usually be treated successfully. Soft contact lenses soak up tears, increase tear evaporation and destabilise the tear film in normal eyes. They also get covered in pollen and other proteins making hay fever type symptoms such as itchy eyes worse. Itching or gritty discomfort may be relieved using tear supplements (comfort drops), but this does not mean that your eyes are dry.

If your contact lenses feel uncomfortable and you’ve been told you have dry eyes, you may have been told that you cannot have laser vision correction. Again this is usually incorrect.

It is important to ensure that you have a consultation with an expert in eye surface problems before you dismiss the possibility of laser vision correction. At Moorfields Private all our laser vision correction consultants have also done advanced specialist training in the recognition and treatment of eye surface problems. We are experts in problems with contact lens tolerance and can give you advice that can help you to wear contact lenses successfully again, or optimise your eye health prior to laser treatment.

All types of laser vision correction temporarily destabilise the tear film, and some eye discomfort in the recovery period is normal. However, if you don’t suffer from dry eyes to start with, you normally won’t end up with a problem afterwards. Ensuring that the eye surface health is optimised before treatment is the key to a smooth recovery. Our consultants can tell you all about this.

Recent studies show that most patients are more comfortable after laser vision correction than they were before. This is at least in part because they no longer have to wear contact lenses. So don’t get caught in a trap. If your contact lenses are uncomfortable, laser vision correction is often the right answer.

Moorfields Private Eye Hospital and Covid-19: Keeping our patients and staff safe

We know some patients are feeling anxious about coming in for their appointments at the moment, but we want to reassure you with the measures we have put in place to help protect you. Moorfields Private is in a unique position as Moorfields Eye Hospital has been open for emergencies and sight saving eye care throughout the entire covid-19 pandemic. This experience has given Moorfields Private a wealth of knowledge around how best to protect patients and staff in these challenging times, while continuing to deliver world-leading eye care.

Further information about our safety measures can be found here.

For further information about Moorfields Private Eye Hospital’s services contact our New Patient Team on:

Freephone: 0800 3283 421

Email: moorfieldsprivate.enquiries@nhs.net

Website: www.moorfields-private.co.uk

Share this article
Calls

If you would like to know more about our services or book an appointment please call our New Patient Team.

If you are already a patient at Moorfields Private and have an enquiry, please contact your consultant’s practice manager.

New Patient Team: Freephone 0800 328 3421
Enquire online

If you have an enquiry, we are here to help you, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.

New Patient Team: Freephone 0800 328 3421

What would you like to ask us?