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Eyes Irritated From Contacts? 8 Common Problems and Their Solutions

woman with eyes irritated from contacts

Approximately 3.5 million Canadians use contact lenses for vision correction.

Contact lenses are convenient , but they may also come with minor annoyances. One of the most common annoyances would be itchy, or red eyes.

Are your eyes irritated from contacts? If they are, don’t ditch your contact lenses! You may be facing one (or more) of the 8 common problems below. Don’t worry! Keep reading for the possible causes to each problem and their respective solutions.

1. Itchy Eyes

Your eyes are one of your most valuable assets. They are also quite sensitive though, so you must be mindful when wearing contacts.

Irritation from your contacts may arise from exposure to cosmetics and household products. So it’s important that you clean your lenses at the end of each day. This helps remove buildup from your lenses. But don’t forget to also clean your contacts case! Clean your case every morning and let it air-dry. Always store your contacts in fresh contact solution every night.

Make sure your hands are also clean when handling your contacts. Wash them thoroughly with soap and water, then dry them with a lint-free towel. This will minimize the transfer of harmful bacteria to your lenses. You should also keep up with the replacement of your lenses, following the schedule as instructed.

Now if you’ve done all of the above, and your eyes still itch, then your contacts may just be dry. You can use eye drops to re-wet your lenses during the day. It might be a good idea for you to explore hydrating soft gel lenses for greater comfort.

2. Itchiness After Being Outside

tree pollen in the air visible against the blue sky

The great outdoors is a wonderful place of never-ending adventures and excitement. It's also a place with lots of pollen, dirt and dust. These particles can accumulate on your contact lenses to cause uncomfortable eyes.

If you’re an outdoors aficionado or if you suffer from allergies, then you may have dry itchy eyes. You should ensure that you clean your contacts every day. If you have allergies, then you should also keep up with allergy medications.

For dusty or pollen-filled environments, consider wearing glasses instead. This will give your eyes the much-needed break from your contacts, allowing that dry and itchy feeling to subside.

3. Redness After Multiple Uses

man with conjunctivitis

Life can be a chaotic mess, and you may forget to change your expired contact lenses. It happens to even the best of us.

If your eyes are turning red and watery, you may have pushed your lenses past their normal lifespan. Make sure to always check the expiration dates and discard any expired contacts.

If you can’t remember to update your lenses, then use reminder apps to keep you on track. When purchasing contacts you need to keep your lifestyle in mind. If you’re quite busy, then you should opt for contacts lenses with a longer shelf life.

Wearing your contacts for too long each day can also lead to redness. You should follow the recommended daily wear time. Give your eyes a break once you get to that daily limit. Wearing glasses in the interim will give your eyes some rest time!

Redness of your eyes can also be a sign of pink eye (or conjunctivitis). Visit your doctor if there's watery, sticky yellow, or sticky greenish-yellow eye discharge. If you have pink eye, then stop the use of your contacts until your eyes are all better.

4. Light Sensitivity

young woman shielding eyes from sunlight

Light sensitivity (or photophobia) is one vision problem that you may encounter with contacts. If this is accompanied by temporary vision loss and/or migraine headaches, then you have extreme light sensitivity.

If you are recovering from an eye infection or inflammation, then photophobia is common. Once the underlying condition is resolved, then this symptom should cease.

Photophobia can also arise due to ill-fitting contact lenses, or from wearing them for too long. These actions can lead to corneal abrasions and even corneal ulcers. The end result: you could end up needing sight-saving corneal transplants.

So you should never wear contacts that are not prescribed for you. Even a minor difference in alignment can cause irritation and sensitivity. And, as always, you should give your eyes the occasional break by wearing glasses instead. A good pair of sunglasses can help with the light-sensitivity, even on a cloudy day. Not to mention, they can help reduce your exposure to UV rays from the sun.

5. Abnormal Feeling

Our bodies are highly reactive, so we can easily detect when something isn’t quite right with our eyes.

If you experience an abnormal feeling in your eyes: don't freak out! Your anxiety might try to get the best of you. There is a quick fix!

You may be getting this feeling from contacts that are inside-out or damaged. You should remove your contacts with clean hands for an inspection. Check to ensure that each lens is correctly positioned and is free of damage. Before inserting your lenses again, you should carefully wash them in a contact solution.

If you still feel the abnormality, then consider wearing another pair of contacts. It may be that the existing ones are damaged, but the damage is too small for you to detect.

6. Discomfort

If wearing your contacts gives you a sense of discomfort, then this may be due to incorrect sizing. Your eyes are not uniform in size and shape. In fact, each of your eyes may be a different shape.

If you are experiencing great discomfort, consider a visit to your optometrist once more. Your contacts probably do not fit properly. Ill-fitting contacts are dangerous, as they can lead to corneal abrasions and ulcers.

Alternately, the prescription in your lenses may not be appropriate for you. Either way, you still need to visit your optometrist to resolve this discomfort.

We understand the importance of budgeting and that you may be worried about having to grab another pair of contacts. Don't worry! Contacts are not very expensive. Also, there are lots of sales available on great contact lenses!

7. Blurred Vision

blurred vision of city sidewalk

Did you get contacts to fix your blurry vision but there seems to be no great improvement?

Your blurred vision may be the result of dirty or damaged contact lenses. Always conduct a daily inspection of your contacts to assess any damage to them. Also, remember that you should never use saliva or tap water to clean your lenses. Only contact solution should be used.

Your contacts can also move or rotate out of position. When that happens, just remove, clean, and insert your lenses once more.

If you suffer from dry eyes, then this can also blur your vision. You can use the prescribed eye drops to rewet your lenses. Hydrating soft gel contacts may also be the best type of lenses for you. Their design retains moisture throughout the day to help your eyes feel more comfortable.

In the worse cases, blurry vision may arise due to changing eye health. Problems such as infections, cataracts or glaucoma may manifest as blurry vision. Any changes in your eye health will require a new prescription.

If you experience continuous blurred vision, don't waste time trying to pinpoint the issue. Visit your optometrist for a thorough checkup. Catching a problem early can lead to an easy treatment.

8. Persistent Problems

If you have done all that you can to troubleshoot problems without any success, then you need assistance from your eye care professional. There may be deeper-rooted issues that need to be addressed.

Whenever you have persistent vision issues, always err on the side of caution and visit your optometrist. Your eyes are precious and you must do all that you can to protect them!

Find Relief for Your Eyes Irritated From Contacts

Make sure that you follow the best practices for cleaning, storing and replacement of your contact lenses. You also need to make frequent check-up visits with your optometrist in order to preserve your vision.

These tips will stop your eyes from getting irritated when you use your contacts. If you have any more concerns, your eye doctor can answer any questions you have about your eye comfort. In the meantime, before your next appointment, check out the different contact lens options available. This way you can be fully prepared to start a discussion with your eye care professional.

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