By Malcolm Hughes

Contact lenses for dry eyes  worn only while sleeping could be the solution to the major problem of dry, irritable eyes suffered by an increasing number of people. The lenses are based on the long-established optical science of orthokeratology (orthok) and after removal each morning provide over 24 hours of perfect natural daytime vision. Dry eyes become an especially acute issue as airborne spring allergens proliferate and daytime contact lens wearers are particularly affected given that pollen and other pollutants can become lodged between the eyes and lenses. The condition affects about 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men and can significantly impact a person's quality of life by inducing burning, irritation and blurred vision.

Dry eye occurs when there is insufficient tear volume to lubricate the eye. Treatments for hay fever can also cause dry eye discomfort since medications that block histamine receptors to reduce allergic conditions have a drying effect, reducing mucus and aqueous production within the tear film. Many short-sighted people wear daytime contact lenses but suffer from watery eyes and are unaware that it may be a symptom of dry eye which can also cause a scratchy, gritty or smarting feeling. So the new orthok contact lenses for dry eyes  not only offer an effective treatment for correcting short-sight but also ensure allergy sufferers can deal with the difficulties posed by high allergen levels.

New research from the University of Miami published online in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, shows that dry eye - the little understood culprit behind red, watery, gritty feeling eyes - strikes most often in spring, just as airborne allergens are surging. The study marks the first time that researchers have discovered a direct correlation between seasonal allergens and dry eye. This discovery suggests dry eye sufferers may benefit from allergy prevention in addition to dry eye treatments like artificial tears. Switching from traditional daytime contacts to the orthok contact lenses for dry eyes  worn overnight can provide a further means of minimising the irritation and discomfort associated with the condition.

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