Sensitive eye is a condition where eyes over-react to certain happenings that are obviously normal for others. A gust of wind, smoke, pollen suspended in the air, colored lenses, minerals from cosmetics, or chemical fumes etc turn sensitive eyes blood shot, inflamed and uncomfortable. Having sensitive eyes do not necessarily indicate an infection or a disease- they just react abnormally to some irritants that are totally fine for others.
Sensitive Eyes & Contact Lens Tolerance
Contact lens tolerance is significantly reduced when you have sensitive eyes. All eyes are sensitive to contact lenses to some extent as they are a foreign agent, but sensitive eyes feel burning, scratchy or stubborn dryness with contact lenses.
Sensitive eyes need greater care as the major cause behind is the unbalanced tear film. Tears keep eyes moist and lubricated where blinking further helps to maintain the smooth surface. When the tear-chemistry is disturbed, blinking fails to flush out the irritants. Sometimes, a diseased called seborrheic blepharitis produces excessively oily tear film (dirty-tear film). Due to the oiliness, the surface of the eyes does not wet properly that creates true dry eye sensation. Frequency of blinking with seborrheic blepharitis is also affected due to which additional dryness is noticed.
Other than infections, seasonal allergies such as hay fever or use of cosmetics may trigger negative response against contact lenses among people with sensitive eyes. Everything affect sensitive eyes from improper hygienic habits to use of cosmetics that are improperly stored or are very old.
Sensitive Eyes & Best Type of Contact Lenses
Fortunately, people with sensitive eyes can still bear with contact lenses. However, after a thorough analysis eye doctor would often suggest avoiding certain kind of contact lenses. For instance, contact lenses with high water content are not a good choice for people with dry eyes. Similarly, extended wear circle lenses are never recommended for people having sensitive eyes. Daily disposable or monthly wear contact lenses are two main options depending on the level of sensitivity. Daily disposable may be a bit expensive though.
Some people can tolerate contact lenses fairly well than others who can’t wear contact lenses daily or consecutively for hours. Using re-wetting drops, keeping contact lenses cleansed and using hypo-allergenic cosmetics help improving the condition. FDA contact lenses minimize the risk & don’t pose potential hazards; yet the key to healthy eyes is “take out, when in doubt”.