Contact lenses and dry eye syndrome: can they be reconciled? Review article

Main Article Content

Arleta Waszczykowska


The function of the tear film is to moisturize, lubricate, nourish, and protect the delicate surfaces of the cornea and conjunctival epithelium covering the eyeball and eyelids. A healthy tear film is crucial for shaping and maintaining a smooth refractive surface of the cornea, ensuring proper optical function of the eye by eliminating small irregularities in the epithelium. Contact lens wearers often experience various discomforts related to wearing lenses, known as contact lens discomfort (CLD), which can lead to discontinuation of lens wear. CLD is frequently associated with dry eye disease, caused by tear film disorders resulting from incorrect composition, reduced production, or excessive evaporation of tears from the ocular surface. Contact lens wear can diminish corneal sensitivity and lead to a reflex blockade of sensation, causing a deficiency in the aqueous layer of the tear film. Additionally, wearing contact lenses may increase tear evaporation due to reduced blinking frequency and incomplete eyelid closure during blinking. This paper discusses therapeutic approaches and modifications in lens fitting aimed at maintaining a healthy ocular surface and improving comfort for contact lens wearers.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Waszczykowska A. Contact lenses and dry eye syndrome: can they be reconciled?. Ophthatherapy [Internet]. 2024Mar.31 [cited 2024Jul.18];11(1):25-9. Available from:
Conservative treatment


1. Masoudi S. Biochemistry of human tear film: A review. Exp Eye Res. 2022; 220: 109101.
2. Thulasi P, Djalilian AR. Update in Current Diagnostics and Therapeutics of Dry Eye Disease. Ophthalmology. 2017; 124: 27-33.
3. Sheppard J, Shen Lee B, Periman LM. Dry eye disease: identification and therapeutic strategies for primary care clinicians and clinical specialists. Ann Med. 2023; 55: 241-52.
4. Abelson MB, Knight E. Dry eye therapy: evaluation of current directions and clinical trials. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1994; 350: 431-6.
5. Perry HD. Dry eye disease: pathophysiology, classification, and diagnosis. Am J Manag Care. 2008; 14: 79-87.
6. McMonnies CW. Incomplete blinking: exposure keratopathy, lid wiper epitheliopathy, dry eye, refractive surgery, and dry contact lenses. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2007; 30: 37-51.
7. Veys J, Meyler J. Essential contact lens practice: a practical guide. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford 2001.
8. Chaudhary S, Ghimire D, Basu S et al. Contact lenses in dry eye disease and associated ocular surface disorders. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2023; 71: 1142-53.
9. Luigina S (ed). Korekcja stożka rogówki za pomocą stabilnokształtnych (twardych) soczewek kontaktowych. Centre Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, 2011.
10. Shimazaki J, Seika D, Saga M et al. A Prospective, Randomized Trial of Two Mucin Secretogogues for the Treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome in Office Workers. Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 15210.
11. Waszczykowska A. Możliwości współczesnej kontaktologii. OphthaTherapy. Terapie w Okulistyce. 2018; suppl 1: 31-6.
12. La Porta Weber S, Becco de Souza R, Gomes JÁP et al. The Use of the Esclera Scleral Contact Lens in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Dry Eye Disease. Am J Ophthalmol. 2016; 163: 167-73.