By Nigel Little
Contact lenses for dry eye worn only while sleeping can be a solution for the increasing numbers of shortsighted contact lens wearers who spend a lot of time staring at their smart phone screens for emails, text and web browsing. A recent study reported in Optometry & Vision Science, the journal of the American Academy of Optometry has highlighted how the majority of smart phone users are holding their devices at a much closer distance to the eye because of the typically smaller fonts used for mobile web pages and SMS. Given that users are staring for long periods at their screens with a consequent dramatic reduction in blink rate and the associated tear film production which lubricates the eyes, many are finding that this is giving rise to dry eye problems.
The study found that the average focusing distance for text messages was 36 centimetres (14.2 inches) which is closer than the typical near working distance of 40 centimetres (15.7 inches) when reading printed text (ie newspapers, magazines etc). More importantly, the average working distance when viewing a web page on a smart phone was even shorter at 32 centimetres (12.6 inches). Holding smart phones at such close distances could place increased demands on the eye's ability to correct for distance (accommodation) and coordination between eyes (vergence), compared to the distances typically used for reading printed text. Over time, this leads to symptoms such as dry eye, eyestrain and headaches. For shortsighted contact lens wearers, a solution is now available in the form of overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for dry eye .
The new ortho-k corrective contact lenses for dry eye are only worn while sleeping - typically for 6-8 hours - then removed the following morning after which the wearer has perfect natural vision all day long until reinserting the lenses again at night. The lenses are bespoke for each individual and work by gently flattening the surface of the eye during sleep thus correcting the focusing distance and enabling wearers to live busy 24/7 lives without needing any corrective aids such as glasses or daytime contact lenses. Thus they are less susceptible to the major problems of dry eye caused by various lifestyle factors such as reduced blink rates from excessive screen-stare with smart phones and PCs, working in air-conditioned environments and suffering from allergies like hay fever.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for dry eyes