This year, we've undoubtedly spent way more time inside, glued to our screens than ever before. And, although this adjustment has come with its perks like avoiding stressful morning commutes (huzzah!), our peepers are paying the price. Working from home and relying on our assortment of digital devices for entertainment and communication means that our eyes are constantly strained. Plus, when we concentrate while looking at the computer, we also blink less, which can annoyingly cause our eyes to dry out.
If you're a contact lens wearer and are already too familiar with this dilemma, then you've come to the right place! We've done our homework, and with the help of our in-house optometrists have rounded up the very best lenses to beat the dryness and give your eyes a mega-boost of moisture when they need it most.
Symptoms of dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome is annoying to say the least, and if any of these symptoms ring a bell, you should look at switching to contact lenses that are a different type ASAP.
- Blurred vision
- Tired eyes
- Feeling like there's something stuck to the surface of the eye
- Watery eyes
- Stinging or burning sensation
Contact lens water content and dry eyes
Let's start by busting a common contact lens myth! The higher the percentage of water in a lens doesn't always mean that your eyes will be more hydrated in the long run. In fact, the best lenses for dry eyes are those without a high water content. One of the most common types, hydrophilic soft contact lenses, actually need a lot of water to maintain their shape and do their job correctly - they even attract and absorb water when in the eye.
So, if you already suffer from dry eyes to begin with - this could be a problem. But one that can also be easily avoided, by simply blinking more often, applying eye drops and rewetting the lenses in a multi-purpose solution.
Our recommended contact lenses for dry eyes
With that nugget of knowledge under your belt, we'll cut straight to the chase. Truthfully, there isn't a miracle product on the market that will banish all your dry eye blues. However, thanks to advanced technology, you can still find some unbeatable options that will better your contact lens wearing experience, and increase your level of comfort.
We're talking about lenses designed with silicone hydrogel - an advanced lens material that's ultra-light, flexible, has a low water content and allows 5 times more oxygen to pass through to your eyes. Opt for this magical material in a daily disposable lens design, and you're in for an incredibly comfortable and convenient time - we promise. Embrace the benefits of this wearing pattern that's majorly hygienic (with no protein deposit build-ups), as you can pop in a fresh, new pair whenever you want, and 100% hassle-free - you don't have to faff about with cleaning or storing routines. Want to make the move? Just speak to your optician, or eye doctor to see if dailies will work for you.
These are our top 3 silicone hydrogel lenses, featuring a very low water content - yes, please!
Dailies Total 1, created by the vision experts, Alcon are the ideal daily disposable contact lenses for dry eyes. Thanks to their 33% water content and super-smooth surface that reduces friction between the eyelid and the eye, you'll revel in that wonderfully fresh and irritation-free feeling for up to 16 hours every day.
While these lenses are an excellent option, some other 5-star equivalent daily brands include everclear ELITE and Acuvue Oasys 1 Day with Hydraluxe. Plus, Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric lenses are available for those with astigmatism, too.
For monthly contact lens wearers with dry eyes, Air Optix plus HydraGlyde is the whole package and the ultimate way to go, as long as you keep up with your eye care routine. Designed from HydraGlyde Technology, and with a reduced water content of 33%, these lenses lock in moisture, keeping your eyes hydrated from bedtime to breakfast.
Astigmatic wearers, with a rugby-shaped cornea, or lens can also opt for the toric version - Air Optix plus HydraGlyde for Astigmatism to enjoy these benefits, and crystal-clear vision at all distances.
Acuvue Oasys from Johnson and Johnson are arguably the most popular two-weekly lenses in the world - and for good reason. Each lens has a 38% water content, and draws on Hydraclear Plus Technology to delight wearers suffering from dryness. An added extra is an in-built UV filter, protecting your eyes from harmful sun rays, too. Similarly to monthlies, they need to be stored and cleaned overnight in contact lens solution.
If you're after multifocal lenses, Acuvue Oasys for Presbyopia can help correct the condition while ensuring your eyes stay hydrated at the same time.
Other ways to avoid dry eyes
- Rigid gas-permeable lenses: Unlike soft hydrogel contact lenses, rigid lenses don't need water to maintain their shape, or to work properly. Although, the fitting process is a bit more fiddly and can take longer than it does for other lenses.
- Eye drops: The easiest and swiftest method to get rid of dry eyes in a flash, eye drops act like artificial tears to instantly soothe and comfort. Our opticians recommend everclear Eye Drops, with a gentle-yet-effective formula - perfect for sensitive eyes.
- Eye vitamins: Your eyes just like your body are in need of vitamins, too. Up your intake of vitamin and mineral goodness for eye health and comfort with supplements like PreserVision Lutein Soft Gels or Ocuvite Lutein.
Try everclear Eye Drops
Featuring a natural formula of herbal ingredients, everclear Eye Drops provide instant and long-lasting relief for dry eyes, caused by everything from wind to air-conditioning. Each conveniently-sized 10ml bottle, perfect for popping into a pocket or purse, promises speedy refreshment whether you wear contact lenses or not. Plus, these eye drops work wonders for rewetting contact lenses of all types, ensuring lubrication and upping the levels of comfort. An in-built dispenser makes it super-easy to apply drops into each eye wherever you are.
Discover everclear Eye Drops