Dry Eye and Contact Lenses

In practice dry eye is extremely common. There are a host of reasons why people have the daily discomfort of dry eye ranging from one’s overall health, rheumatic diseases, certain medications, hormonal changes and of course the environment. A recent study has highlighted a somewhat obvious point in that wearing contact lenses in an office environment and spending more than 4 hours at a visual display terminal may result in lower tear meniscus volume with significant dry eye.
Generally people tend to be engrossed in what they are working on, stare at their screens and blink less frequently. The eye’s tear film evaporates prior to the next blink and soon the cornea gets irritated, the contact lens will often cloudy up due to it’s dehydrated state
The prospective, case-control analysis examined 69 contact lens wearers — 45 women and 24 men, mean age 35.2 ± 7.3 years — and 102 non-wearers matched for sex and age — 66 women and 36 men, mean age 36.7 ± 7.3 years — from the same office.
The study determined contact lens wearers and long-term visual display terminal workers had significantly worse tear meniscus height values than those who did not wear contact lenses or worked for shorter periods on visual display terminals. The type of lenses worn had no discernable effect on the mean total dry eye severity scores.
Generally I advise patients to monitor the time spent on their computers and if comfortable with their glasses to use these for office work generally.

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