By Jacqui Mayhew
Contact lenses for dry eye worn only while sleeping can provide an effective solution for short-sighted sufferers whose condition may be due to the presence of so-called ‘Natural Killer' (NK) cells recently identified by scientists from the Scepens Eye Research Institute at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. New research from the Institute suggests that these NK cells which provide innate immunity to the eyes also appear to promote inflammatory responses at both the ocular surface and at the eye-draining lymph nodes. However, having now identified how these NK cells work, it is believed that this can enable new drugs to be developed which can effectively address dry eye syndrome.
"Dry eye disease is suffered by millions of people in the U.S but still lacks effective management," said Yihe Chen, MD, one of the researchers involved in the work. "Dry eye disease can be a very serious problem for some people," said John Wherry, PhD, from the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, "and while drops may help some, they only treat the symptoms of the disease." Hence why many dry eye sufferers - especially those with allergies - now are switching to overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for dry eye as a means of avoiding the severe comfort issues they experience with daytime contact lenses.
According to the US National Eye Institute, dry eye disease occurs when the eyes do not produce tears properly or when tears evaporate too quickly. As many as five million Americans 50 years of age and older are estimated to have severe dry eye disease, with the majority affected being women. Tens of millions more are believed to have similar, but less severe symptoms. Yihe Chen adds: ""Our study has promoted the further understanding of the pathogenesis of dry eye disease, which is fundamental to develop new treatments and thus improve quality of life for those with this disease." While work will go on to develop new drugs, overnight contact lenses for dry eye can provide an immediate way for short-sighted sufferers to gain relief and enjoy clear natural daytime vision.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for dry eye.