By Jacqui Mayhew
Contact lenses for dry eyes which are only worn overnight while sleeping could provide the solution to many short-sighted young people who are developing Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) through spending too much time staring at screens - computers, TVs and smartphones. The latter represent an increasingly important part of people's work and personal lives, with the rapid growth in social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In providing additional reasons for people to spend time with their devices. This trend is directly leading to people developing DES, a condition that results in gritty, itchy and inflamed eyes due to the mind focusing so strongly on the screen, the viewer ‘forgets' to blink.
Indeed, research has shown that screen viewing can reduce blink rates by as much as 80 per cent which has a seriously adverse effect on the eye's lubrication system - the tear film. Dr Christine Purslow, Director of the Contact lens and Anterior Eye Research Unit at Cardiff University who is an expert in DES points out that: "Younger people are experiencing problems because of the modern office, with computers and air conditioning making it worse, as well as home use of display screens" and she highlights rapidly increasing usage of tablet devices like the iPad as being a significant factor. For daytime contact lens wearers in particular, reduced blink rates and air conditioning combine to exacerbate the problem which is where the new overnight contact lenses for dry eyes offer an excellent alternative way of correcting short-sightedness.
There is little likelihood in today's internet-led world that people are going to reduce their screen time let alone stop altogether. So for the rapidly growing population of DES sufferers who normally use daytime contact lenses, their choice is either to switch to glasses or to try out the overnight contact lenses for dry eyes . The latter work by gently flattening the surface of the eye during sleep using the pressure of the closed eyelids to correct the focusing distance between the front of the eye and the retina at the back. After the lenses are removed each morning, the wearer enjoys perfect natural vision all day long until reinserting the lenses at night. Whilst this won't cure the DES completely, it will prevent it being continually aggravated by daytime lens wear.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for dry eyes.