What to Do if You’re Experiencing Contact Lens Discomfort

By May 11, 2015 Contact Lenses No Comments

SYMPTOMS OF CONTACT LENS DISCOMFORT

The most common symptoms of contact lens discomfort are listed below.

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing rainbows or halos around objects
  • Red or dry eyes
  • Green, yellow or clear eye secretions
  • Unexplained watering or tearing of eyes
  • Eye pain
  • A feeling like something is in the eye
  • Burning or itching in the eye, which can be extremely painful or irritating

NORMAL CAUSES OF CONTACT LENS DISCOMFORT

Contact lens discomfort can be situational and temporary in some cases. As soon as you feel any discomfort in relationship to your contact lenses, you should immediately remove the lenses from your eye. Once you have successfully removed the contact lenses, carefully examine each contact lens. If either of the contact lenses is damaged, it is critical that you do not reinsert it into your eye. A damaged contact can cause significant damage or cause a painful infection in your eye.

If neither contact lens is damaged, you may have debris or a foreign object in your eye. This temporary discomfort can be remedied by cleaning the contact lens with the appropriate solution. After you have cleaned the lens, you may try to reinsert it. If the discomfort has subsided, you should be okay to continue wearing the contacts. If the discomfort does not subside, it is necessary to consult with your eye doctor right away in order to have the condition diagnosed correctly.

OTHER CAUSES OF CONTACT LENS DISCOMFORT

The following four conditions are often responsible for contact lens discomfort. If you suspect you have any of these conditions, it is vital to seek care from an eyecare professional immediately. Failure to treat any of these causes of discomfort can lead to eye injury or further damage to the eye.

UNDERLYING DISEASE

It is critical that contact lens discomfort not be ignored. What you may perceive as dry eye or basic contact lens discomfort can actually be an underlying infection or eye disease.

In this situation, it is best not to wear your contact lenses until you have been seen by your eye doctor. If you are prescribed topical eye medications, it is essential that you do not wear your contact lenses until your eye doctor says you are allowed. Some medications can ruin contact lenses and cause significant damage to your eyes if worn during treatment.

POOR FIT

Contact lens prescriptions are unique for everybody. The size and shape of a contact lens is chosen by your eye doctor to fit your individual eyes. However, sometimes the prescription can be a bit off. When this occurs a contact lens wearer can feel like they have a foreign object in their eye. In some cases, the discomfort can be so significant that eye pain, redness or problems with vision occur.

Discomfort due to a poor contact lens fit is easily corrected with an adjustment to the contact lens prescription. If you think improperly fit contact lenses are causing your contact lens discomfort, consult with your eye doctor. It is vital that you do not continue wearing your contact lens if they aren’t fitting properly because ill fitting contacts can cause significant corneal abrasions and scratches.

ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES

Some contact wearers are susceptible to environmental allergens like pet dander and dust. These types of allergens can stick to the surface of lenses and cause irritation. Symptoms of environmental allergies affecting your contact lens includes eye dryness, irritation and redness.

To help prevent environmental allergies from affecting your contact lenses, it is essential to frequently clean your contact lenses. If frequent cleaning doesn’t improve your symptoms you should consult with your eye doctor about wearing a different brand or modality of contact lenses. For some contact lens wearers, a daily disposable contact lens may significantly reduce the frequency of environmental allergies causing contact lens discomfort.

If your eye doctor prescribes an eye drop to treat your environmental allergies, it is important to read and follow the instructions for the medication. Some eye drop medications cannot be used while wearing contacts, and others may require you to wait up to 20 minutes before inserting contact lenses into your eyes.

DRY EYES

Some people have dry eyes because their eyes do not naturally produce enough tears to keep them comfortably lubricated and moist. Eye dryness can be caused by medical conditions, lifestyle factors like smoking and caffeine use, or due to use of certain medications. When these individuals wear contact lenses, their eye dryness can be significantly increased.

Symptoms of dry eyes causing contact lens discomfort includes eyes that feel tired, uncomfortable and dry. If you suspect your dry eyes are making your contacts uncomfortable you should consult with your eye care professional. Your eye doctor will likely recommend a contact lens solution for lubrication and rewetting purposes. This type of solution will moisturize your contact, which will cause your eyes to be less dry, and, therefore, make your contacts more comfortable to wear.

The best way to avoid contact lens discomfort is to care for your contact lenses properly. Proper care of contact lenses includes following the stated cleaning schedule and adhering to the replacement schedule suggested by your eye care doctor.

Brighton Optical has NYS licensed Opticians available to help you with all of your contact lens needs! Visit or call our office to learn more!

Resources:

http://theeyedocblog.com/2013/01/25/the-leading-causes-of-contact-lens-discomfort-are/

http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/contact-lens-discomfort.htm

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