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Water drop forming the shape on an eye with packshots for dry eye

The best contact lenses for dry eyes 2024

It goes without saying – nobody likes the feeling of dry eyes, and if you've experienced them, you know the irritation and unpleasantness they wreak on your vision. According to a 2023 study conducted by Aston University, approximately one-third of the UK's adult population has experienced dry eye syndrome – which aligns with many similar studies conducted globally. 

Dry eye syndrome is caused when the eyes don't produce enough moisture or tears. It can be triggered by various causes, like spending too much time viewing digital devices, seasonal allergies, or just a natural side effect of eye ageing. Another common cause of eye dryness is wearing contact lenses for extended periods or using a lens that does not circulate enough moisture for their needs. 

To avoid putting your eyes in that discomforting dilemma, we've compiled a list of the top lenses that will keep your peepers perfectly hydrated so you can say 'goodbye' to dry eyes.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

Typically, dry eye symptoms usually affect both eyes and can include:  

  • Redness
  • Itchiness or scratchy sensation
  • Watery eyes in response to dryness
  • A feeling of soreness near the eye 
  • Eyelid mucus in or around the eye
  • A sensation of something like 'grit' or 'sand' in your eye
  • Blurred vision

Top contact lenses for dry eye syndrome

Oxygen permeability and moisture retainment are key to keeping the eyes comfortable, which means that lenses manufactured from silicone hydrogel materials are often the ideal option for wearers experiencing dry eyes. Lenses with technologies that work alongside the eye's natural tear film tend to be the best-performing in our findings for dry eye sufferers.  

Depending on the style of lens you regularly wear, here are the best contact lens options our in-house optician Roshni Patel BSC (Hons) MCOptom recommends for people with dry eye issues.

Best daily contact lenses for dry eyes


Acuvue oasys max 1-day packshot

Ditch dry eyes and live your life to the max with Johnson & Johnson's newest state-of-the-art contact lens – ACUVUE OASYS MAX 1-Day. This premium silicone hydrogel lens is packed with features to keep your eyes constantly feeling fresh. TearStable technology stabilises the tear film by continuously circulating moisture throughout the lens surface to offer a 2x lower evaporation rate than similar lenses to combat the causes of dry eye syndrome. Also available in convenient 90 packs.

Best monthly contact lenses for dry eyes


Total30 lens packshot for dry eyes

Boasting that they feel like nothing at all, even on day 30, these premium monthly lenses are perfect for those prone to dry eyes. Utilising exclusive Water Gradient materials, Total30 offers nearly 100% water content on the lens surface to give an outstanding hydrating experience during a day of wear. With only a gentle cushion of moisture touching the eye, any issues with eye irritation will become a thing of the past. 

Best two-weekly contact lenses for dry eyes


Acuvue oasys product packshot for dry eyes

These popular two-weekly lenses deliver 38% water content to the eyes through highly breathable Hydraclear Plus technology. Hydraclear Plus is an exclusive wetting agent that reduces dryness by mimicking the eyes' tear film to keep them moist. It also helps to stabilise the tear film for additional comfort. Two-weekly lens wearers requiring a lens to correct presbyopia can opt for ACUVUE OASYS Multifocal lenses with the same Hydraclear technology that provides exceptional all-day comfort.

Best toric contact lenses for dry eyes

Daily option: ACUVUE OASYS 1 Day for Astigmatism

Acuvue oasys for Astigmatism product packshot for dry eyes

Acuvue Oasys 1 Day for Astigmatism are made from Senofilcon A, a silicone hydrogel that is highly breathable for an excellent flow of oxygen to the eyes, which keeps lenses comfortable and eyes healthy. They also feature ACUVUE's patented HydraLuxe technology that integrates with your tear film for long-lasting natural relief from dry eye irritation. 

Monthly option: Air Optix plus HydraGlyde for Astigmatism

Air Optx plus HydraGlyde for Astigmatism product packshot for dry eyes

Air Optix plus HydraGlyde for Astigmatism are an ideal choice for lens wearers looking for a lens to correct astigmatism while also relieving dry eye discomfort. They feature Alcon's HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix, a technology that forms a copolymer to surround the lens with an envelope of moisture and a unique hydrophilic barrier that lowers friction during wear to provide extra hydration throughout the day. Available in pack sizes of either 3 or 6 lenses.

Best multifocal contact lenses for dry eyes

Daily option: Dailies Total 1 Multifocal

Dailies Total1 lens packshot for dry eyes

The combination of SmarTears and water gradient technology in Dailies Total 1 Multifocal lenses creates a moisture cushion that offers best-in-class hydration. Suited for lens wearers with presbyopia, not only do these lenses keep your vision crisp at all distances, but the nearly 100% water content at the lens surface keeps them feeling clear and comfortable against dry eye symptoms.

Monthly option: Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia

B+L Ultra lenses for Presbyopia product packshot for dry eyes

Long hours in front of digital devices that interrupt your natural blink patterns can be a leading contributor to eye dryness. Give your eyes a digital detox with Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia – a lens that tackles dehydration with MoistureSeal technology. This exclusive hydrating technology Maintains 95% moisture on the lens surface to provide a comfortable and fresh feeling for up to 16 hours. Available in your choice of 3 or 6 lenses per pack.

Best budget contact lenses for dry eyes


Biofinity product packshot for dry eyes

For people who are only affected by mild symptoms of dry eye syndrome and don't want to spend extra money on lenses with the newest premium features, CooperVision's Biofinity monthly lenses might be a suitable option. Using Aquaform® technology that combines naturally hydrophilic technologies with high oxygen transmissibility, the Biofinity family of lenses are highly rated for their added comfort and breathability.

How are dry eyes diagnosed?

An eye care professional can typically diagnose dry eyes from a short conversation about your symptoms and circumstances. They may ask various questions to determine the severity, as dry eyes can indicate an underlying disease.

When visiting your optician for an eye test, they may use a yellow-orange dye called fluorescein, allowing them to see your tears more clearly. This helps them calculate how long it takes for your eyes to dry out and whether it's within average limits. If there is damage to the eye, the fluorescein dye may highlight the affected areas.

During a lens check-up, if your optician notices your lenses are not fitting correctly or exacerbating your dry eye symptoms, they will recommend a better-fitting lens or one with higher breathability to reduce eye irritation. 

If you're looking for new lenses to provide your eyes with the relief they need from dry eyes, shop our wide selection at Lenstore and put your vision in comfort class.