Over 15% of the population wears contact lenses, but many experience discomfort and give up too soon. While it is not a pleasant experience for anyone, everyone should know what to do if and when this happens to them. Making sure the problem remains a minor one requires understanding what the issue might be, and knowing what to do if it occurs.
In general, contact lens discomfort refers to any discomfort you experience while wearing contact lenses.
Have you ever felt like something got into your eye while you're wearing your lenses, or that the lens is moving while you're wearing them? That’s contact lens discomfort. Fortunately, contact lens discomfort is rarely a sign that you’ll need to permanently stop wearing contacts. A simple change to the lenses, care products, or daily habits can allow you to quickly return to wearing contacts comfortably.
If you are new to wearing contact lenses, it’s likely that they will take some getting used to. That isn’t the same as the contact lens discomfort we are discussing here, though if it takes more than a few days for any initial discomfort to subside, it might be an indicator of a bigger issue with your lenses
The common symptoms of contact lens discomfort may seem difficult to miss, but you should understand them in order to be prepared if they occur.
Symptoms of contact lens discomfort include:
There are several reasons why you may experience discomfort when wearing contact lenses. It might be because of something as simple as an environmental issue, or it could be because your lenses are not fitting correctly. In more serious cases, there may be a corneal ulcer or an eye infection causing the discomfort.
If you have a history of dry eye, you might be experiencing contact lens related dry eye, which may necessitate switching to a new type of contact lenses or taking some time off from wearing them, based on the conclusion of your doctor following an examination.
It is best to consult with your eye care professional if you are experiencing contact lens discomfort. They are equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Additionally, if the underlying cause of your discomfort is actually due to a more serious issue than simple contact lens discomfort, it is important to catch it early.
You should seek medical attention as soon as you experience discomfort, since even minor issues can become something more serious if left untreated.
As mentioned above, the most important thing to do if you start experiencing contact lens discomfort is to see a doctor. However, there are some simple steps which can be taken that will often help, and which your doctor may recommend.
Get your lenses re-fit: It’s possible there is an issue with the fit of your lenses causing them to not sit right and thus cause discomfort. This can be corrected by returning to your eye doctor for new measurements, which will ensure your lenses are perfectly fit for your eyes.
Change your lens care products: It’s possible that you are sensitive to something in the lens solution or lens cleaner that you use. If your doctor determines this to be the case, they will likely recommend you change to a different brand or type of cleaner or solution.
Take better care of your lenses: It’s not uncommon for people to get lazy with their contact lens care regimen. If your lenses aren’t properly clean and sterile, there is a much greater chance that something will get in there and cause irritation. Being careful with your maintenance, following the directions on your lenses and cleaning solution, and not trying to wear your lenses longer than recommended can put an end to your discomfort.