Can you use eyedrops with contacts? Or artificial tears?
If you wear contact lenses, sooner or later you’re bound to experience it -- dry eyes. When your eyes don’t make enough natural tears to keep your eyes hydrated, or the tears that are produced dry out too quickly, the result is an uncomfortable, dry sensation in your eyes, aptly named dry eyes. Symptoms of the condition can include itchy, tired or red eyes, as well as a stinging sensation in the eyes.
Why do eyes get dry?
The surface of your eyes are covered in a layer of what is called lacrimal fluid, which forms a liquid barrier that protects and hydrates the membrane of the eye. When you wear contact lenses, you may notice that sometimes when you blink, the lenses can swirl in and out of focus. This is because the lenses are actually resting on top of the lacrimal fluid. Wearing contact lenses for an extended period of time can actually disrupt the layer of liquid and can give rise to dry eyes.
You can think of your contact lenses kind of like a sponge -- most lenses are made of a flexible, water-absorbent plastic material that adheres to the surface of your eyes, resting on the lacrimal fluid. When the lenses dry out, they can lose their quality and even crack, that's why they need to soak in solution overnight when you aren’t wearing them, not only to remove any impurities from the lenses, but also to make sure that they stay hydrated and maintain their quality! Thus, over an extended period of time, the lenses can absorb some of the lacrimal fluid from the eyes, making dry eyes more likely. Read how long you can wear contacts before you start to feel these effects, and make sure to stock up on eyedrops and artificial tears to rehydrate your eyes as soon as you start to feel them drying out.
Can you use eyedrops with contacts?
If you find yourself frequently experiencing dry eyes, whether from wearing your contacts or from other factors like allergies, you should take care to make sure that the kind of eyedrops that you use are also compatible with contact lenses. Not all types of eyedrops are safe to use when also wearing contacts. In fact, many over the counter eyedrops are not recommended for use while also wearing contact lenses. This is because the chemical components of the eyedrop solution can interact with that of the lenses and damage them.
Make sure that whatever eyedrops you use specifically state that they are ok for use with contact lenses. Otherwise, remove your lenses to apply the eyedrops and wait 15 to 20 minutes before putting them back in. What if you don’t have contact-friendly eyedrops? Read to see if you can use contact solution as eye drops instead.
Can you use redness relief eye drops with contacts?
If you have dry eyes, and you were prescribed preservative-free artificial tears by your doctor to alleviate the symptoms, you can generally apply the artificial tears to your eyes without first having to remove your lenses. Artificial tears are usually made to be compatible with contact lenses, so they are safe to apply even while wearing your contacts.
You can order eyedrops and contact solutions, and refill your prescription for contact lenses online through ContactsDirect! You can order the lenses and solution online and have them shipped directly to you, hassle free!