Dry eyes can be rather uncomfortable. The dryness isn’t just about comfort, however. Your eyes need to be moist for several reasons, all of them important.
1. Protect Your Eyes
Your eyes are designed to stay moist with tears. The liquid serves as a lubricant. Your eyelids can move smoothly over your eyeballs when the eye is moist. However, if you do not have enough lubricant, abrasions and ulcers can occur.
Tears also wash away any dust or debris that gets into your eye. It’s important to retain this function, as even small pieces of dirt can cause scratches to the cornea.
2. See Better
Tears actually serve a very important role in eyesight. The liquid refracts light, making it easier for you to see clearly. If your eyes are dry, you may not be seeing as well as you should. Anyone wearing contacts will find that this is very true. It becomes difficult to see when your contacts are dry.
3. Feel Good About Wearing Contacts
Wearing contacts shouldn’t be an uncomfortable experience, but it is for those with dry eyes. The contacts need lubrication to sit properly on the eye. When you don’t have enough natural tears, the contacts will dry out. Essentially, all the symptoms of dry eye syndrome are exaggerated when you have contacts.
You’ll notice that your eyes are scratchy and they may become reddened from the irritation. The lenses rub against the eyes. Without adequate lubrication, they can cause actual damage. Even a minor scratch to the eye is uncomfortable. Many people stop wearing contacts because their eyes simply cannot handle the scratching. With proper lubrication, contacts should be painless and easy to wear.
Keeping Your Eyes Moist
There are a few things you can do to ensure your eyes are well. First, be sure to drink plenty of water so your body has sufficient liquid for tears.
Use a lubricant. There are many artificial tear solutions on the market. Avoid those designed to prevent redness or anything with chemicals. You just want the basics. Applying the tears before bed will increase the effectiveness.
If you wear contacts, you should try removing them for a while. Another option is to purchase a type of contact that is designed to keep your eyes moist. Breathable lenses are best for this.to learn more about these comfortable lenses.
In some cases, your tear ducts may be blocked. If your ducts are blocked, you can rub the inner corners of your eyes, where they meet the nose. Apply a damp, warm washcloth over your eyes for a few minutes and repeat as needed.
Take care of your eyes. Whether you wear contact lenses or not, you need to avoid letting your eyes dry out. It’s not just uncomfortable, it’s damaging to your eyes. If you can’t relieve the dryness in a few days, you may suffer from ocular surface disease and should see an eye doctor. In many cases, simply having the right contacts can drastically change how you feel.
Daniel Peterson is an assistant to an optometrist. He frequently writes about healthy eye tips on health blogs.