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  • Contact Lenses Question

    I have come a long way with my dry eyes over the last 2 years thanks to modern pharmaceuticals, restasis, fish oil, and every vitamin available to me. I would love to be able to wear contacts again. Maybe I'm being too greedy and should just appreciate my current good fortune, but glasses just annoy me. Although, not being able to see due to corneal damage is a little worse. Anyway, has anyone had success with contacts? My eyes are DRY, got nothin due to Meibomian gland dys function , etc. My eye dr said people with eyes as dry as mine wear contacts all the time and I do know someone as severe as me that wears gas perms daily. Sorry for long post but just wanted everyone's input. We are really the "experts". Thanks!!!

    Carolyn

  • #2
    Hi, I don't have enough longevity with my new contacts, but I never had contacts, always wore glasses, and yes they were annoying, I have severe dry eyes, and after yet another corneal abrasion I had a bandaid contact placed, I am now on my third week in acuvue oasis disposables, the only challenges I've had so far, is now that I don't need to drop every ten to twenty minutes, I have to be careful to keep my eyes hydrated, in fact last evening at work my eyes got supper dry, and I may have caused some irritation because my eyes feel supper sensitive right now. Check out some of the other posts here under contacts, that's what I did, there are a lot of encouragement on this sight, and so much knowledge, I'm so hopeful right now for the first time in over a year. What do the docs have to say about them for you? Good luck, I hope all goes well.

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    • #3
      Hi Carolyn, i had written a longer message but i got it messed up :S
      if we talk about soft lenses (sorry i have no experience with rigid types) from my experience you have 3 options:

      -a silicone hydrogel lens like air optix, acuvue oasys and so on: these lenses tend to do better with people whose dry eye is mostly aqueous deficency caused as they have very low water content (thus needing little moisture to be kept wet); the drawback is they are a bit rigid though so the friction on the eye tissue can be a problem for some types of dry eyes

      - a new generation material lens like proclear compatibles (there is also another very good brand i tried but i forgot the name): these lenses use polymers having a special affinity to human membranes and are specifically designed to allow dry eyes patients a more comfortable wear; i used them with average success but the vision quality wasn't the best for me

      - a daily disposable lens like 1 day acuvue moist and proclear 1 day (these are the ones i've been using for the last year): these lenses have the big advantage of a new fresh and clean lens every day thus avoiding protein build up (this is a big plus if you have a big blepharitis component in your dry eye); in my case this was decisive as i noticed the comfort of monthly disposable started to decrease noticeably after just one week of wear (furthermore i always struggled to find a lens solution not irritating for my eyes and obviously using daily disposable removed the problem).

      So my advice would be to find a good fitter willing to help you make your tests and give you some samples i hope this helps, let me know what you arrange with your otpician

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      • #4
        Hi there,

        If I were ever able to wear soft contacts again, I would consider:
        -Safegel contacts (apparently well tolerated by dry eyes), Unfortunately they are not available in Canada . . .yet.

        -single use disposables are probably a smart option as I used to always get protein build up on my soft contacts, before dry eyes . . . before lasik. I am not sure if they are available as toric lenses as well. I have astigmatism which a regular soft lens would not correct.

        -Use a hydrogen peroxide based cleaning system, like 'Clear Care'. There are no preservatives to this system. As someone who has been injured by preservatives (thimerisol caused contact lens / eye problems in the 80's), I plan to stay clear of anything with preservatives.

        Certainly go with a fitter who will let you try lots of different options. My optometrist has said there is no way I can wear soft contacts at this point.

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        • #5
          Carolyn after quitting contact lenses for 3 years, I have recently started experimenting with daily disposable contact lenses with an experienced optometrist who even fits scleral lenses. I am currently being fitted with the safegel contacts and they appear really promising. Any optomitrist can order them for you and you can try them out before you make a decision. Safegels are relatively new in the US but have been around for 5 years in Europe. They are contact lenses with lubricating drops incorporated in them, specifically Hyaluronic acid that is released in the tear film when you blink. It feels slightly different than you regular contact lenses but so far I find them comfortable. BTW, I have both aqueous and oil deficiency.

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          • #6
            Since you guys came up with safegel, being in europe i tried them when they very first came out and i remember they were quite nice even though back then my dry eye was fairly worse than now.. but i had to discontinue them for a problem never happened before or after with a contact lens which is they would fall out quite easily so my question is has someone else experienced the same with them?

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            • #7
              Wow! Thanks so much for all the information. People are always helpful here I have never heard of safegels, very interesting. I have tried the proclear lens but it seemed to adhere tightly to my eye and wasn't comfortable. Maybe the daily silicone disposables would work or accuvue moist. It is good to know that there are those of us out there wearing contacts with positive results.

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              • #8
                Mmm if the tight fit is not for you i would advice you to skip the silicone hydrogels, i remember it was kinda freaky in the beginning the feeling of the contact lense stuck on the eyeball.. i remember it was especially strong with the air 2optix. For the same reason they are quite a pain to take out.

                I take it that you had this adhere feeling with the proclear compatibles and not with the proclear 1 day, now they are just from the same company but are made of different polymers and really feel nothing like each other so i would give the 1day a try, it's really a good daily. Acuvue moist is also comfortable for me but i found the liquid they put them in quite irritating for my eyes.. i tried also some less popular brands with alternating luck, stayed the hell away from focus dailies but im biased on this one since i had problems with every single ciba vision product i've tried :P

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                • #9
                  The fit of a contact lens has to do with the BC value of the lens (base curve). Typically lenses run between 8.3 and 9 mm. The bigger the number, the flatter the lens. The doctor through an eye exam would know the best BC value of the lens. If the lens feels too tight in the eye then it could be the size is off and if your eyes are dry then the feeling gets worse as the day goes on and removing the lens is close to impossible. If the BC value is too big, then the lens will move around in the eye and possibly rub against your lids. That is why you need an experienced optomitrist and several fittings before you find a comfortable lens.

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                  • #10
                    That size issue makes sense. I will just have to try a bunch and see what happens. Gone are the days of using any old lens.

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                    • #11
                      Chicagogirl,

                      i have aqueous deficient dry eye and occassionally wear oasis contacts. My advice is to find an optometrist who specializes in dry eye near you and has experience with these different contacts or perhaps one who seems willing to work with you on this. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like opthamologists are more anti- contacts with dry eye folks.

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                      • #12
                        The last time I wore contacts was back in the early 90s and they didn't work that well. I was always putting eye drops in and I got infections and all sorts of problems. I've been thinking of trying the disposables as they seem to have gotten better especially for those who suffer from dry eyes. I also have an astigmatism so disposable were out of the question back then.
                        Natasha - suffering from dry eyes

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                        • #13
                          I only wish I could wear contacts again. I've tried quite a few but don't remember all the names. No one has yet to explain why my minor DES/MGD, has made me contact lens intolerant after 25 years of contacts with no problems. Now, if I wear contacts for about an hour, my eyes hurt for at least a week. It feels as if I was punched in the eyes a few times. You should feel happy if you can wear contacts even part time.

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                          • #14
                            I have tried silicone hydrogel lenses (clariti 1 day). I was really into them because they allow a lot of oxygen through, but unfortunately I found them very uncomfortable because they feel thick. I used to wear acuvue moist a while ago and if i'm ever able to wear contacts again (which i am determined to do!) I will switch back.
                            If you hold a clariti silicone hydrogel lens in your fingertips you can see that it's made of a tougher material. It just doesn't seem to form around the eyeball nicely either.
                            Too bad I bought 3 months' worth before i realised this... ;p

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi all. I realize this is an old thread, but I wear soft contacts successfully and have dry eyes (not caused by LASIK or any procedure, just plain old dry eyes, probably some form of MGD). Here is how I manage it:

                              -I wear Ciba Focus Dailies. This is not one of the new, innovative, super-moist lenses, but I find it works really well for me, and it is one of the more affordable daily disposable lenses out there. You can buy it in a box of 90. My choices are somewhat limited as I am very nearsighted (my CL Rx is -10.00 OU), and many brands of lenses don't go higher than a -8.00. I've tried several of the brands that claim to be moist, super comfortable, or good for dry eyes (including Acuvue Oasys), and they all drove me nuts -- not comfortable, and my eyes would develop a film on the lens within a few hours. The Focus Dailies are comfortable, good for my median-to-flat base curve, and I don't develop any buildup on them.
                              -I can wear the lenses for about 12 hours before they start to feel dry and uncomfortable. Throughout the day, if they feel dry, I use TheraTears to rewet them. But I usually only feel the need to do that about 2-3 x a day -- sometimes not even that.
                              -When the lenses come out at night, I give my eyes a double-layer dry eye cocktail -- first, a nice big squirt of Celluvisc (the preservative free kind -- the vials, not the bottle). When that's absorbed, I top it off with a few drops of FreshKote, which seems to create a new tear film on my eye and keep the moisture in.
                              -In the morning, I "wake up" my eyes with a few drops of TheraTears. Then I use FreshKote 15 minutes before putting my contacts in. (Note, before FreshKote became readily available, I used Systane Ultra for this purpose, and it worked fine; I've just decided I prefer FreshKote now).
                              -I take a 3-6-9 Omega supplement daily. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

                              And that's it. I still have dry eye, and some days are worse than others, but for the most part it's tolerable, and I like being able to still wear contacts, especially given how nearsighted I am and how thick my glasses are. So for anyone who thinks they can't wear contacts, my advice is: Try using FreshKote before you put your contacts in, and after you take them out; and experiment with different brands of lenses; it doesn't necessarily follow that the lenses that have "aqua" and "moist" (or other "watery" terms) in the title are better for dry eye.

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