According to an international task force assembled by the Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins University in the US, Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome is a very common eye condition that affects up to 11% of people aged 30 to 60 years of age and 15% of those 65 years of age or older. Many millions of people are suffering with moderate to severe dry eyes and that this number is likely to increase with trend towards aging populations resulting in a significant decrease in the quality of life. Hence the search for effective dry eye treatments  is of critical importance. 

Now in a recent UK survey of 1,000 people aged between 20 and 60, Rohto - the makers of a solution for dry eyes - confirmed that significant numbers of daytime contact lens wearers experience persistent itching and soreness in the eyes. According to the findings, almost half of those quizzed by researchers said that sore, itchy or gritty eyes had prevented them from getting a decent night's sleep. More than one-quarter claimed to suffer sleepless nights at least once a week, while 37 per cent reported problems on a monthly basis.

Dry Eye Syndrome is most common in adults aged 40 and older given that younger eyes are typically healthier and produce a layer of fluid called a tear film which works to keep eyes infection-free. As people age, the eyes' tear glands produce less of this fluid, making the tear film break leading to dry eye. Symptoms of dry eye are typically a sensation of regular eye irritation, burning, tearing, and sometimes blurry vision. In certain cases, failure to treat Dry Eye Syndrome can lead to serious eye conditions requiring expensive medication or even surgery thus emphasising the importance of identifying effective dry eye treatments .

There are a number of recognised causes of Dry Eye Syndrome including corrective laser surgery, excessive wear of daytime contact lenses, the menopause and a number of other medical conditions. Additionally, oral medications such as antihistamines, anti-depressants and diuretics also often become triggers which generate symptoms of dry eye. However, increasingly in today's world people are spending much greater time on screen-based activity - computers, TVs, mobile phones - which tend to reduce blink rates by up to two-thirds and consequently reduce tear film activity leading to dry eye.

For short-sighted people who suffer with dry eyes, Ortho K overnight corrective contact lenses can be an ideal solution. Not only are they worn for much less time than daytime contact lenses - which in itself is much healthier - they are also tailored to fit an individual's eye exactly, making them much more effective than most dry eye treatments . Finally, as the lenses are only worn while sleeping, they do not act as a barrier between the eye and the natural world - which can result in a lack of oxygen getting to the eye as well as disturbing a person's natural tear film.

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