What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

While modern contact lenses are designed to be very comfortable for most wearers, it is common to occasionally experience mild discomfort. There are several different causes for contact lens discomfort, many with simple solutions.

The most common causes include:

Ill-FitContact lenses are not one-size-fits-all. When you have a contact lens fitting in Boiling Springs, your doctor will measure your eyes to ensure your lenses fit you properly. If the lenses don’t quite fit right, they may be uncomfortable.

If the lens is too large, it will not sit properly on the eye and will be dislodged by the motion of your eyelid when you blink. This can feel very uncomfortable and, if left untreated, can cause irritations.

Improper Use or Care – It’s important when wearing contact lenses that you follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use to ensure maximum comfort. Unless you are using daily disposables, your lenses must be cleaned every night to remove lipid and protein deposits which accumulate naturally from your tears.

You must also make sure you are following the manufacturer’s (and your doctor’s) guidelines for wearing and replacement of the lenses. Do not wear your contacts for longer than recommended (for example, do not wear the lenses overnight unless they are specifically designed for it), and do not try to extend the life of your contact lenses.

Dryness – If your eyes are not properly lubricated with tears, your lenses will likely cause you discomfort. Fortunately, many cases of dry eye can be treated with over the counter or prescription eye drops.

Causes of dry eyes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Smoking
  • Frequent computer use
  • Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications (including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, antidepressants)
  • Medical conditions (including Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, menopausal hormone changes, vitamin A deficiency, and certain skin conditions)
  • Refractive surgery, such as LASIK

Dust or Allergens – Allergens in your environment, such as dust, pollen or animal dander, can stick to your lenses and irritate your eyes. Ocular allergies can also make your conjunctiva swell and cause contact lens wear to be very uncomfortable.

Underlying Conditions – If your eyes are not healthy, your contact lenses may not be comfortable. If you are experiencing eye pain and/or have red or swollen eyes, you should stop wearing your lenses and see your eye doctor as soon as possible. You could have an eye infection or other condition that requires immediate treatment. Untreated eye infections can potentially lead to scarring of the cornea and permanent vision loss. If your contact lenses are uncomfortable, contact Palmetto Eye & Laser Center as soon as possible to discuss possible causes and solutions. Most problems can be solved with simple remedies such as a new prescription, changes in your lens care routine or eye drops. Call 864-583-6381 or visit palmettoeyeandlaser.com to learn more or to schedule an appointment today.