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Contact Lens Wear and Dry Eye

Contact lens wearers benefit immensely from treating their dry eye, environmental allergies and meibomian gland dysfunction, if they have these. Untreated, contact lens wearers who have these conditions often become contact lens intolerant. This is due to the inflammation associated with these conditions and its resultant damage to the surface of their eyes, including their tear producing glands which, over time, results in less tear production (and dry eye). Contact lenses are designed to "hydroplane", or "float", on the layer of tears on the front surface of the eye. To comfortably wear contact lenses you need to have a sufficient tear film. Contact lens wear increases ocular irritation, especially while reading (i.e. computers), driving or watching television. Of note, contact lens wear leads to decreased sensitivity of the cornea which results in reduced tear production further exacerbating dry eye, ocular irritation and contact lens intolerance.