Authored by Geoff Vaughan in Eyes and Vision
Published on 04-26-2009
The advent of contact lenses was one of the most important advances in sight correction since the invention of eyeglasses. For people who did not wish to wear glasses, whether for appearance or convenience reasons, suddenly another option became available. Some people have had trouble wearing contacts, however; because their eyes are too dry. Contact lenses must be kept moist or they become increasingly uncomfortable the drier they become. Most people’s eyes are capable of supplying the necessary lubrication, with the occasional help of some saline solution. But for contact wearers with dry eye syndrome, this lack of moisture can cause problems ranging from irritation to inflammation.
There are several different reasons one may develop dry eye syndrome. For some, their eyes don’t produce enough moisture due to an advanced age, and women going through menopause may also develop this condition. Also, some drugs such as antidepressants, birth control pills, antihistamines, and blood pressure medication may cause dry eye syndrome. Or, a person’s environment may be to blame. Living in an arid climate such as the American southwest can contribute to this, as well as some air conditioning or heating systems. Finally, certain diseases such as rosacea, arthritis, and lupus have been knows to cause a person to have dry eyes.
For those who have this chronic problem, fortunately there are certain brands of contact lenses which cater to people with dry eyes.
This brand is made by Cooper Vision, and according to the product description they give the wearer increased moisture retention by using a unique technology based on phosphorylcholine, which is a compound most often used in stents to prevent the narrowing of coronary arteries. In these contacts, however, it’s used to help reduce dirt and deposit build up and help the wearer’s eyes retain moisture.
Made by the popular and well-known Acuvue, the Oasys is another brand of contact lenses designed for sufferers of dry eye syndrome. The company claims they help sooth dry eye discomfort and reduce the need for eye drops. The technology behind these lenses is called Hydraclear Plus, and it’s billed as a next generation, proprietary system that creates a lens that’s extra smooth and more “wettable”. These lenses also have a slight tint to them to increase the visibility when they’re not being worn, thus helping prevent the user from losing them. They also have a special mark to aid the wearer in telling which side is which. In addition, the Oasys is billed as having the ability to block 96% of ultraviolet-A rays and 99% of ultraviolet-B rays, which can damage the eyes over the long term.
AirOptix Night and Day
Ciba Vision makes these lenses which are designed to be worn day and night, reducing the amount they have to be inserted and removed. For people with dry eyes, Ciba Vision has developed its AQUA Moisture System to help combat this affliction. And like the Oasys, these lenses also have the visibility tint and side indicator. But the main selling point of the AirOptix is that they have been designed to allow oxygen to pass through them to the eyes at a rate of six times more than that of normal lenses. This is said to allow for greater comfort and eye health.