Many people who wear contacts occasionally feel like something is slightly off with their contact lens. This type of contact discomfort can be challenging. The irritation is often not significant enough to make a person take the contact out, but is noticeable nonetheless.
Most times, contact discomfort is not a sign that a person will need to stop wearing contacts. Instead, discomfort or irritation is often an indication that a person needs to take one of several simple steps to reduce it.
The Many Causes of Contact Discomfort
There are many reasons why people experience contact irritation.
One of the most common causes of contact discomfort is a poor fit. To combat this problem, you should make sure that your ophthalmologist performs thorough measurements to make sure that your contacts fit your eyes properly.
Another main factor when it comes to contact discomfort is dry eyes. While there are many medical conditions that can result in dry eyes, people also experience dry eyes due to other factors including caffeine, too much exposure to digital screens, and smoking.
A common group of people who experience contact discomfort or irritation are people with allergies. People in this group experience allergic responses because allergens in the air become stuck to the contact lens. There are two remedial actions that people who experience contact discomfort due to dry eyes can take. People who use the same contacts on a daily basis benefit by cleaning their lenses, daily and thoroughly. Others benefit by switching to a daily disposable contact lens, which often results in a great reduction to allergen buildup on the lenses and therefore limit one’s exposure to them.
Other common causes of contact discomfort include sleeping in your contacts, wearing your contacts in an inverted manner, using a contact solution that does not agree with your eyes, or using contact lenses that are poor in quality.
Signs of Contact Lens Irritation
It is always better for a person who notices contact discomfort to immediately take steps to remedy the problem. Some of the early signs of discomfort caused by contact lenses include the following:
- Blurred vision or seeing double objects
- A burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
- A decrease in the sharpness of a person’s vision
- Dry eyes or difficulty producing tears
- The feeling of a foreign object in the eye
- Significant discomfort after using the contacts for a short time
- Puffiness or redness in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Unusual secretion coming from the eye
Steps You Can Take To Alleviate Contact Discomfort
If a person notices contact irritation, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the severity of these symptoms. These steps include the following:
- Eat a Proper Diet. To avoid contact discomfort, it is essential that a person’s eyes create a sufficient amount of tears. To increase the amount of tears that a person’s body produces, a person can eat certain foods that are known to increase tear production. Some foods that are particularly helpful include salmon and other foods that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Practice Better Personal Hygiene. There are many steps involving proper hygiene that a person can take to reduce symptoms of contact irritation. For example, a person should avoid wearing contact lenses during sleep, wash their hands before touching their contact lenses or eyes, remove contact lenses when swimming or showering, and make sure to replace the contacts according to their ophthalmologist’s instructions.
- Reduce The Amount of Time That You Wear Contact Lenses. The longer the duration of time a person wears contacts, the more likely that person is to experience contact discomfort. Many people are able to successfully combat contact irritation by reducing the amount of time that they wear contact lenses. In some cases, people even choose to engage in orthokeratology, which is a process that involves reshaping a person’s eyes by wearing special contact lenses.
- Speak with An Eye Care Professional. If you experience substantial discomfort with contact lenses or discomfort that lasts for a long period of time and does not subside, consult with an eye care professional. Sometimes, a person is taking all proper precautions but has been prescribed a type of contact that is inappropriate for their eyes. In these situations, an eye care professional can prescribe more suitable contacts.
- Surgical Options. Some people who experience contact irritation pursue punctal occlusion, which involves the insertion of a duct plug in a person’s eyes. This decreases the amount of tears that escape from the eye. By retaining more tears in the ducts surrounding a person’s eyes, you can increase your likelihood of being able to avoid discomfort associated with dehydration.
Purchase An Eye Irritation Kit. There are some cases where people with contacts take proper precautions and experience irritation, anyway. Bio-Tissue manufactures Cliradex towelettes and Cliradex Light, natural products that can prove particularly helpful in reducing eye irritation.