best contacts for dry eyes 2020

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Best Contacts for Dry Eyes

Approximately one in four patients report symptoms of dry eye.1 This makes it one of the most common eye problems. 

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Contact lenses are actually one of the causes of dry eye. They can also make the symptoms worse for people who already have dry eyes.

Over 50 percent of contact lens wearers experience dry eye syndrome. 

— Eye & Contact Lens Science and Clinical Practice

Fortunately, contact lens technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Wearing contacts is now a viable option for most patients that suffer from dry eye. 

Soft contact lenses are a better choice than hard (rigid gas permeable lenses) for those suffering from dry eye. They are made from silicone hydrogels. This lens material contains and holds water while allowing oxygen to reach your eye. Hard contact lens wearers with dry eye may benefit from switching to soft lenses.

Read More: Types of Contact Lenses

In this article

10 Best Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes

Best Overall: Proclear 1 day

Many people with dry eyes find daily disposable contacts to be the best. Improper cleaning of reusable lenses leads to the buildup of protein, calcium, lipids, and other substances. Daily disposable lenses are discarded after a day of wear, eliminating this. 

Proclear contacts are the only lens that is FDA-approved to improve lens-related dryness and discomfort. They are made with PC Technology™ that uses Phosphorylcholine (PC). This material attracts water and keeps lenses hydrated all day.

Proclear 1 day contacts

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Lens Features:

  • 96% hydration for 12+ hours
  • PC Technology™ is naturally biocompatible
  • Material: 40% polymer (omafilcon A); 60% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

Runner Up: Dailies Total 1

Dailies Total 1 contacts use water gradient technology. This provides a cushion of moisture near the surface of your lens which increases the water content to almost 100% at the surface of the lens. In addition, SmarTears® technology releases a natural ingredient that helps stabilize your tear film.

Dailies Total 1

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Lens Features:

  • SmarTears® Technology to stabilize your natural tear film
  • Nearly 100% hydration near lens surface
  • Material: 67% delefilcon A; 33% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Best Daily Disposable: 1-Day Acuvue Moist

1-Day Acuvue Moist lenses feature LACREON Technology, which is extra moisture built into the lens. The moisture-rich ingredient acts like natural tears to provide a cushion of moisture all day. The lenses also protect your eyes from 82% of UV-A rays and 97% of UV-B rays.

1 day acuvue moist

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Lens Features: 

  • 96% hydration for 12+ hours
  • PC Technology™ is naturally biocompatible
  • Material: 40% polymer (omafilcon A); 60% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

Best Weekly/Biweekly: Acuvue Oasys

Weekly contact lenses can be worn for one to two weeks depending on your eyes’ response to the lens. Acuvue Oasys lenses are built with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS technology. This helps to stabilize your tear film resulting in less dryness.

Acuvue Oasys

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Lens Features: 

  • Highest UV protection of any contact lens
  • BLINK STABILIZED® design to keep contacts in place
  • Material: 62% polymer (senofilcon A); 38% water
  • Manufacturer: Johnson & Johnson

Best Monthly: Bausch + Lomb ULTRA

Bausch + Lomb ULTRA contact lenses feature MoistureSeal technology. This prevents dryness and helps retain 95% of moisture for 16 hours. These monthly lenses fight digital eye strain symptoms, making them a great monthly contact lens for heavy screen users. They are also available in toric and multifocal versions.

Bausch Lomb ULTRA

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Lens Features:

  • OpticAlign design for stable, consistently clear vision in their astigmatism lenses
  • MoistureSeal technology maintains 95% of lens moisture for 16 hours
  • Material: 54% samfilcon A; 46% water
  • Manufacturer: Bausch + Lomb

Best for Heavy Screen Users: Biofinity Energys

Eye tiredness and dryness are common symptoms caused by screen use. The Biofinity Energys lens was designed specifically for people who use digital devices every day. 

The Digital Zone Optics® lens design helps you shift focus from your screen to your natural environment with less effort, reducing eye fatigue. They also feature Aquaform® technology that attracts and binds water throughout the lens. 

Biofinity Energys

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Lens Features:

  • Digital Zone Optics® lens design to reduce eye fatigue
  • Aquaform® Technology to minimize eye dryness
  • Material: comfilcon A 52%; 48% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

Best for Astigmatism: 1-Day Acuvue Moist Astigmatism

Normal corneas (outer lens of your eye) are spheres. Astigmatism is an eye condition where your cornea is misshapen. Astigmatism requires special “toric” lenses to provide vision correction. Dry eyes are common in people with astigmatism.

1-Day Acuvue Moist Astigmatism lenses are a great option for people with astigmatism and dry eyes. They feature LACREON® technology with an embedded wetting agent. This gives your eyes a cushion of moisture all day. Plus the added convenience of never needing contact lens solution or cases.

1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism

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Lens Features:

  • High UV protection (at least 82% of UV-A and 97% of UV-B radiation)
  • BLINK STABILIZED® design to keep contacts in place
  • Material: 42% etafilcon A; 58% water 
  • Manufacturer: Johnson & Johnson

Best Multifocal: Air Optix HydraGlyde Multifocal

If you have presbyopia (farsightedness) and want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need multifocal lenses.

Air Optix HydraGlyde Multifocal lenses feature a unique Precision Profile® design which allows you to transition between near, intermediate, and far distances smoothly. They also are made with HydraGlyde technology which keeps your lens surface moist for longer.

Air Optix HydraGlyde Lenses

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Lens Features:

  • Unique Precision Profile® design
  • HydraGlyde Technology for increased surface moisture
  • Material: 67% lotrafilcon B; 33% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Best for Sensitive Eyes: 1-Day Acuvue TruEye

1-Day Acuvue TruEye silicone hydrogel lenses provide high breathability. They also have HYDRACLEAR® 1 Technology that maintains a consistently lubricated surface for long periods.

1 Day Acuvue TruEye

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Lens Features:

  • HYDRACLEAR® 1 Technology for ultimate lubrication
  • High UV protection (at least 82% of UV-A and 97% of UV-B radiation)
  • Material: 54% narafilcon A; 56% water
  • Manufacturer: Johnson & Johnson

Best Colored Lenses: Air Optix Colors

Air Optix Colors are monthly lenses that transform the color of your eyes. They can be worn with or without eye correction. They are made from a state-of-the-art silicone hydrogel material that allows a high flow of oxygen. They also feature SmartShield® technology that prevents protein deposit buildup.

Air Optix Colors

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Lens Features:

  • 12 colors to choose from
  • SmartShield® Technology
  • Material: 67% polymer (lotrafilcon B); 33% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Why Trust Us?

The Vision Center team spends several hours researching and writing every review page. We scour the internet and base all of our recommendations on:

  • Customer reviews
  • Product details and specifications
  • Company reputation and reports
  • Contemporary scholarly articles 

Every review is then reviewed, edited, and ultimately approved by our staff optometrist Dr. Melody Huang, O.D..

Always get an eye exam and contact lens fitting from an eye care professional before purchasing contact lenses online. Your eye doctor will be able to provide you with professional medical advice band recommendations.

What Causes Dry Eye?

Dry eye, also known as dry eye syndromedry eye disease, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a chronic condition. It is characterized by insufficient lubrication of your eyes. This is usually caused by poor-quality tear film or the lack of tears.

AdobeStock 87639262

Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Burning or itching sensation
  • Eye pain, soreness, or fatigue
  • Foreign body sensation (can feel like an eyelash is in your eye)
  • Discharge
  • Redness
  • Blurry vision 
  • Light sensitivity
  • Glare

Common causes of dry eye include:

  • Old age. Your tear production decreases the older you get. Women have a higher risk of developing dry eye syndrome as they age.
  • Environment or climate. Sun, wind, pollution, pollen, dust, and other irritants can cause dry eyes or make symptoms worse. People living in dry climates are more prone to dry eye syndrome than humid climates.
  • Heavy screen usage. Blinking helps distribute your tears. Staring at digital devices reduces your blink rate. This makes your eyes dry out faster.
  • Contact lenses. Contacts can change the quality of your tear film, reduce oxygen flow, and add allergens and irritants in your eye.
  • Medications. Blood pressure medication, decongestants, allergy medication (antihistamines), sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, hormonal therapies, diuretics, retinoids, and other medications can cause dry eye.
  • Eye surgery. Post-surgical dry eye is common for LASIK, cataract surgery, and other eye surgeries.
  • Other medical conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems, lupus, and specific eye conditions such as blepharitis, entropion, and ectropion, are just some of the medical conditions that can cause dry eye.

What to Consider in Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes

Custom Fit

We highly recommend getting a professional contact lens fitting from a qualified eye doctor. First, they will perform an eye exam to check your prescription. This will include a visual acuity test with an eye chart, and additional tests to determine if you have any refractive errors and your general eye health. 

After the eye exam, they will gather additional information to determine the best contact lenses for you. This may include:

  • Corneal measurements (with a keratometer or a corneal topography)
  • Corneal health evaluation (using a biomicroscope/slit lamp)
  • Tear film evaluation 
  • Questions about your lifestyle

Once the exam is completed they will make recommendations based on the outcome. Some eye doctors may provide free trial lenses.

Water Content

Many people assume that a high water content is better for dry eyes, but it’s actually the opposite in most cases. Lenses that have a high water content can actually draw water away from the eyes. They are also thicker and may irritate your eyes, especially when blinking.

Breathability

Contacts cover your eyes and can prevent oxygen from reaching your cornea. The lens material and thickness will determine its oxygen permeability. The more oxygen that reaches your eyes, the better.

Care & Maintenance

Buildup of proteins, lipids, bacteria, and other substances on your lenses is one of the most common causes of dryness. Improper cleaning can increase your chances of dry eye or eye infection. 

It’s crucial to take good care of your contacts. Proper hygienic practices help reduce your chance of getting an infection. If you wear weekly or monthly contacts, be sure to clean your contacts and use proper contact lens solutions. However, daily contacts minimize buildup and keep your eyes healthy with minimal effort.

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