Can What You Drink Affect Your Contact Lens’ Comfort?
I was recently challenged to drink a gallon of water a day. Yes, that’s right, a gallon. It was difficult, to say the least. I thought I drank a lot already and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But, truth is: Staying hydrated takes a lot of effort.
The thing I noticed though, in addition to feeling like there was a swimming pool in my stomach, I had zero dry eye problems. Usually after a long day of lens wear, my eyes start to feel dry. I start my day around 5:30am and so by 7pm I’m usually reaching for my eye drops or replacing my contacts with my glasses. But, during the week I conscientiously consumed all that water, I didn’t have the dry eye feeling in the evening.
This got me thinking: Does what we drink affect our contact lens’ comfort? Of course, water has a positive impact on our entire systems–eyes, blood flow, detoxification–every part of us benefits by increased hydration. But, do other things we drink impact our eyes in a negative way? I asked my optometrist at an America’s Best retailer in my town, and what I learned was quite interesting.
Apparently, drinking a lot of caffeine or even alcohol can be bad news for your eyes and your contact lenses. Both of these substances have a dehydrating affect on your eyes and, thus, they dry them out. When your eyes are dry your contacts don’t feel that great–they become irritable. Or, they can start twitching. I’ve had this happen before and I hate it.
If there’s no way you are giving up your coffee all morning and Happy Hour routines for the sake of your contact lenses, there is something you can do. You can take flaxseed oil as a supplement or add it to your food. The Omega 3’s in the flaxseed help improve the quality of your tears which can keep your eyes feeling more moist.
And, the other thing you can do is to drink more water. A gallon a day may be extreme. But, I challenge you to start counting the amount of water you actually consume each day (not just the number of glasses you fill!) and you may be surprised. For each cup of coffee, caffeinated soda, or alcoholic drink you consume you need to add an extra glass of water to your recommended daily consumption.
Talk to your optometrist for more details on how your drinking habits could be impacting your contact lenses.
*Always check with your doctor first before changing your diet or taking additional supplements.