Contact lenses should not make your eyes feel uncomfortably dry, unless perhaps you've been wearing them for 18 hours or the wind has been blowing in your face. If your eyes are feeling dry and scratchy after just a few hours of contact lens wear, then something is amiss. Here are a few solutions you can try to make wearing your contacts more comfortable.
The problem could be that the contact solution you are using does not really agree with your eyes. Try switching solutions to one made specifically for sensitive eyes. Your eye doctor may be able to recommend a brand if you cannot settle on one. Many patients find that preservative-free solutions help keep their eyes feeling moist for longer. The only downside to these formulas is that they do not last very long. You must be very careful to replace the bottle in the recommended time, even if there is some solution left.
Ask Your Eye Doctor About Different Lens Sizes
Contact lenses are not one-size-fits-all. They come in different widths and curvatures, and if the size your eye doctor prescribed is a bit too small, this could be why your eyes are drying out. There's just not enough room for tears between the contact lens and your eyeball. Your eye doctor can re-measure your eye and make sure you've been prescribed the proper size lenses. If needed, they will give you a slightly larger size, which should make for a more moist experience.
Consider Taking Allergy Medications
Are you also suffering from allergy symptoms like sneezing and a scratchy throat? Your eye dryness may actually be due to allergies. Allergens can get trapped under your contacts, and their constant contact with your eyes results in irritation that you perceive as dryness. Taking an allergy medication will help a lot. Start with an over-the-counter one, and if this does not work, ask your doctor about prescription options. You may also find that removing your contact lenses, rinsing them, and then re-inserting them every few hours helps alleviate dryness, since this process removes the allergen particles.
Using eye drops every few hours is a good short-term solution to eye dryness associated with contact lens wear. But this solution is not getting to the root of the problem. If you use the strategies above, you should have more comfortable eyes without the need for frequent eye drop use.