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Why Are My Contact Lenses So Uncomfortable?

February 10, 2022

Over 15 percent of Americans wear contact lenses, and yet many people experience discomfort to the point where they end up switching to glasses. And while eyeglasses do have their benefits, most problems with contact lenses can be resolved. So if you prefer not to wear glasses, don’t give up just yet. In this post, a Hackensack, NJ optometrist discusses the causes of contact lens discomfort and ways it can be treated.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Lens-Related Problems

By far, the most common reason why contact lenses feel uncomfortable has to do with how they fit. A contact that doesn’t sit correctly on your cornea can quickly become a source of irritation, especially if:

  • You’re in a dry environment or climate
  • The contact doesn’t stay in place
  • You wear them-all day

Other lens-related issues that can cause discomfort include:

  • The lens material has a low “wettability,” meaning it doesn’t retain moisture well and is prone to drying out
  • The design of the lens (soft, hard, gas-permeable) isn’t compatible with your eyes
  • The recommended wearing schedule (daily disposable, extended wear) for your contact lens isn’t right for you

Health-Related Causes

The overall health of your eyes can also affect how your contacts feel. For instance, if you’re prone to allergies, symptoms like burning, itchy, watery eyes may not be caused by wearing contacts but rather allergy-based. Another condition that can really make your contacts feel uncomfortable is dry eyes.

Dry eyes can develop in two ways:

  • Your eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep them properly lubricated
  • The composition of your tears doesn’t contain enough oil to prevent your tears from drying out

And if you spend lots of time looking at digital screens, this will not only aggravate dry eyes but may actually be the cause of dry eyes.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Redness
  • Watering, tearing
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitive to light
  • Itchy, burning, stinging
  • Seeing halos around objects
  • Mucus-like secretions
  • Feeling as if something is in the eye
  • Vision is not as clear as it should

Don’t Ignore the Signs

Considering the delicate structures that make up the eye, even mild eye irritations can develop into more serious problems. So if you frequently experience one or more of the above symptoms, stop wearing your contact lenses and schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.

And keep in mind that most causes of contact lens discomfort can be treated or resolved by switching to a different type of lens.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, feel free to call our Hackensack, NJ optometry office today.

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