Can I wear contact lenses if I have dry eyes?

The answer is yes, but with caution

If you suffer from dry eyes, you may wonder whether contact lenses are still an option for you. The good news is that in many cases, people with dry eyes can wear contact lenses. However, it’s important to take some precautions to prevent discomfort and potential damage to your eyes.

Why do contacts bother my dry eyes?

When you wear contact lenses, they sit on the surface of your eye, which can cause dryness and irritation. This is because contact lenses can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your eye’s surface and can also absorb the natural tears that keep your eyes moist.

How to avoid discomfort when wearing contacts with dry eyes

There are several tips you can follow to help make wearing contact lenses more comfortable if you have dry eyes:

  • Use drops: Keep artificial tears or lubricating drops handy to help keep your eyes moist. You can even use eye drops specifically designed for contact lens wearers.
  • Use the right type of contacts: Ask your eye doctor about contact lenses made specifically for people with dry eyes. These lenses are made of materials that retain moisture and allow more oxygen to pass through to the eye.
  • Avoid contacts for some activities: If you know you’ll be spending time in a particularly dry environment, like on an airplane, it’s better to take your contacts out and wear glasses instead.
  • Clean your contacts properly: Always follow the cleaning and disinfecting instructions for your contact lenses to prevent irritation.
  • Give your eyes a break: Remove your contacts at the end of the day and let your eyes rest overnight. This can help prevent dryness and irritation the next day.

When to see an eye doctor

If you have dry eyes, it’s important to see an eye doctor regularly. They can evaluate your eyes and provide recommendations for treatment, including eye drops or medication. They can also evaluate whether contact lenses are a good option for you or recommend alternative ways to correct your vision.


In conclusion, people with dry eyes can typically wear contact lenses, but it’s crucial to take precautions to prevent discomfort and potential damage to your eyes. By following the tips above and seeing an eye doctor regularly, you can enjoy clear vision without sacrificing comfort.

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