Contact lenses in dry eye disease and associated ocular surface disorders

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2023 Apr;71(4):1142-1153. doi: 10.4103/IJO.IJO_2778_22.


Dry eye disease (DED) is prevalent in all age groups and is known to cause chronic ocular discomfort and pain, and greatly affects the quality of life. Patients with ocular surface disease (OSD) may also have reduced tear secretion due to lacrimal gland damage, thus leading to aqueous deficient DED. Even with conventional management modalities such as lubricating eyedrops, topical corticosteroids, autologous serum eyedrops, or punctal plugs, many patients continue to suffer from debilitating symptoms. Contact lenses are increasingly being used in OSD providing surface hydration, protection from environmental insults, mechanical damage from abnormal lids, and as a modality for constant drug delivery to the ocular surface. This review describes the role of soft lenses and rigid gas-permeable scleral lenses in the management of DED associated with OSD. The efficacy of contact lenses, lens selection, and optimal lens fit are reviewed for specific indications.

Keywords: Aqueous deficiency dry eye; Stevens–Johnson syndrome; bandage contact lens; contact lens; dry eye disease; graft-versus-host disease; ocular chemical burns; ocular surface disease; scleral lens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contact Lenses*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / etiology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Quality of Life


  • Ophthalmic Solutions