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Why Are My Contacts Irritating My Eyes?

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A woman holding her hands to her eyes due to eye irritation from her contact lenses

Contact lenses are a fantastic way to achieve clear vision and reduce your reliance on traditional eyewear. While we love a great pair of designer spectacles, there’s no denying that contact lenses can provide the same great benefits without you having to worry about matching your frames to your outfit or bringing around a glasses case wherever you go.

But what if your contacts aren’t living up to your expectations? What if they’re causing more discomfort than clarity? There are several reasons your contacts may contribute to your irritating symptoms. Knowing what to do can help you achieve the comfortable, clear vision you deserve. 

Today, we’ll look at why wearing contact lenses can lead to common discomfort issues and what you can do to help manage them. If you believe you might be struggling with contact lens discomfort, please get in touch with us today to book an appointment. Whether the issue stems from your contacts or a different eye care concern, our team is here to help find meaningful strategies for all of your eye health and vision needs.

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What Causes Irritation & Discomfort?

Before we can recommend a relief strategy, our team must determine what may be causing your symptoms. There are several different reasons you might struggle with wearing contact lenses, but they can share several of the same symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Eye redness
  • Wateriness
  • The feeling of something in your eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision

We’ll have you come in for a comprehensive contact lens exam so we can evaluate your vision and the health of your eyes. Some of the most common causes of contact lens discomfort include:

Poorly Fitted Contact Lenses

Having a contact lens that doesn’t fit properly on your eye can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms.

Even if your contacts fit fine when you first got them, your prescription may have changed over time, or you might have developed a corneal irregularity like keratoconus. In these cases, we can examine your eyes, look for potential issues, and update your prescription. In some cases, we may recommend a specialty lens to help support your vision and eye comfort, like hybrid or scleral lenses.

If your symptoms persist, it might be an underlying issue with your eye health, and your contacts may be contributing to your discomfort.

Dry Eye

Dry eye is one of the most common eye concerns people can face, and wearing contact lenses if you have dry eye can cause serious discomfort and possibly increase the risk of further issues later on.

Contact lenses need a healthy tear film to help keep them hydrated and comfortable. If your eyes struggle with maintaining a stable tear film, your contacts can dry out and irritate your eyes. If your discomfort stems from dry eye, we may recommend dry eye therapy to help manage your symptoms so you can wear contacts comfortably again.

Even specialty contacts, like scleral lenses, are specifically designed to help address dry eye symptoms. However, we’ll need to examine your eyes before we can recommend a strategy or provide a new contact lens prescription.

Eye Infections

Even though contact lenses may be a great way to achieve clear, comfortable vision, they’re still a responsibility. Not taking proper care of your contact lenses can increase your risk of experiencing an eye infection and cause additional irritating symptoms, like mucusy discharge from your eyes.

Some things that can increase your risk of developing an eye infection include:

  • Sleeping in your contacts
  • Wearing your contacts longer than recommended
  • Not cleaning your storage case
  • Not cleaning your contact lenses properly
A woman properly cleaning and storing her contact lenses in a contact lenses case with contact lens solution

How to Manage Symptoms

Now that we know what may cause the discomfort we experience while wearing contact lenses, the next step is to know what to do to manage our symptoms so we can enjoy our vision.

Still, we always recommend visiting us for an eye exam if you’re struggling with eye discomfort, whether it may be connected to your contact lenses or not. Your eyes are a unique combination of systems all working seamlessly together to provide you with sight. Your optometrist can examine how these systems work and determine if there is an issue worth addressing.

All you need to do is book an appointment and our team can handle the rest.

Clean & Store Your Contacts Properly

A great way to lower your risk of infections while wearing contact lenses is to store and clean your lenses properly. We provide detailed cleaning instructions during our contact lens exam and fitting appointments, but some of the most important points to remember include:

  • Washing your hands and dry them off with a lint-free cloth before cleaning your contacts
  • Only cleaning your contact lenses with your lens solution, never saliva or water
  • Cleaning out your contact lens case with lens solution every time you store your lenses
  • Unless otherwise stated, never sleeping with your contact lenses in your eyes

Replace Your Contacts Regularly

Depending on your needs and lifestyle, we can recommend a few different types of contact lenses. These can include:

  • Daily lenses: these lenses are removed at the end of each night before going to sleep and will need to be replaced after about 2 weeks of use.
  • Extended-wear lenses: you can wear these lenses for up to 7 days of continuous use before they need to be removed and cleaned, but you can keep using the same pair for up to 30 days before they need to be replaced.

If you wear your contact lenses for too long, it may increase your risk of developing an eye infection. Always follow your optometrist’s recommendations for cleaning and replacing your contact lenses.

Ask Us About Dry Eye Therapy

If your contact lens discomfort is connected to dry eye, we might recommend a few different dry eye strategies to help you take control of your symptoms. Depending on your needs, we could recommend either lifestyle changes, medications, or eye drops.

Please speak with our team if you believe dry eye therapy could help you achieve the comfortable vision you seek.

Book a Contact Lens Exam & Fitting Today

Whether you’re a long-time contact lens wearer or are interested in how contact lenses can support your vision, eye exams are essential for maintaining your eye health and keeping your sight clear.Comprehensive contact lens exams and fittings can give you a better understanding of your eye care needs and help you determine if contact lenses are right for you. Please book an appointment today and uncover more about your vision with the help of Charles Korth Optometry.

Written by Total Vision

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