Why Are My Contacts Blurry? 6 Possible Reasons

If you wear contact lenses, chances are that, at some point, you've wondered about this. There are a number of different possible causes that are important to understand, so you know what to do if this problem arises.

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Causes of Blurry Vision With Contacts

There are several possible causes for blurry vision while you’re wearing your lenses, and it is important to understand them so that you can act properly and deal with the problem quickly.

Needing a New Prescription

Changes in vision are natural with age, and you might ask, "Why are my contacts blurry?" Your blurry vision while wearing contacts may be due to as simple an issue as your prescription not being quite strong enough to provide the vision correction you need.

Beyond it just being a good idea to have an up to date prescription, it is important to keep our eye doctor informed of changes to your vision. A significant change may be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition, such as diabetes.

Be sure to keep a record of any vision irregularities you experience and share them with our eye doctor. If anything indicates something more serious, they will catch and advise you on what steps to take to address the problem.
Learn more about contact lens prescription.

Lenses Have Moved Out of Position

Contact lenses aren’t locked in place on your eyes, and they may shift and move out of position at times, leading to blurry vision. If you have astigmatism, this may be due to the irregular shape of your cornea, and you can ask our eye doctor about improving the fit of your contact lenses.

Additionally, if either your eyes or lenses become too dry, they may get stuck to your eyes and cause somewhat hazy vision. This is more often seen in people who sleep with extended-wear contact lenses in their eyes. If you wake up with hazy vision, you should remove your lenses right away. To efficiently do this, tilt your head back and check if the contacts are stuck to your eyelids. Then you should apply some saline solution to your eyes, which will loosen the lenses and allow you to easily remove them. If waking up with blurry or hazy vision is a regular occurrence, you should remove your lenses before going to bed. You should also try to wear glasses as much as possible instead of contacts, and try a different contact lens brand.
Learn more about can contact lens get lost in your eye.

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Deposits or Buildup on the Contact Lenses

If you wear your contact lenses for longer than you are supposed to, deposits may build up on the lenses. This can lead not just to blurry vision with contacts, but also to eye infections.

Daily disposable lenses are called that for a reason; they are only meant to be used for a single day (and weekly or monthly lenses are similarly only safe to wear for their allotted time.) Don’t try to stretch their use beyond the recommended limits. 

There are about a million eye infections yearly due to people misusing their contact lenses; don’t become a part of that statistic. Follow the directions given to you by our eye doctor, as well as those on the box.

If your vision is still blurry after removing the lenses, that may mean they need some time to clear up. Try wearing your glasses for a day or so; in that time, your natural tear production should clear away any remaining deposits on your eyes.

Dry Contacts or Dry Eyes

Blurry vision while wearing contacts is a common symptom of dry eye, which has a range of causes, including an underlying condition called dry eye. Contact lenses are generally not the cause of dry eye, but wearing them can worsen the effects. If your contact lenses are feeling itchy or irritating, and especially if you are experiencing blurry vision, it is best to remove them and take a break.

Our eye doctor can provide additional support if you have contact lens related dry eye, and may recommend a different brand of lenses, changing lens solution, switching lens modalities (for example switching to daily disposables or to scleral lenses) that might be more comfortable for your eyes. Furthermore it is important to visit our eye doctor to evaluate the tear film and your meibomian glands to assess the underlying cause of your dry eye and to discuss the best treatment options.

Leaving your contacts in too long

One of the most common reasons that people experience blurry vision with contacts is leaving their lenses in too long. Our eyes require oxygen and a contact lens, even if they are a breathable kind, will reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your eyes. This can often result in hypoxia which means that your eyes have a lack of oxygen, which in turn can lead to corneal clouding & edema. 

Hypoxia is the most common complication of contact lens wear. The reason that our eyes need oxygen is because the cornea has no blood supply of its own, and only gets oxygen only from tears and from the atmosphere. Like all of our cells, our eyes need oxygen to survive. Normally for cells inside the body, oxygen is delivered through the bloodstream, but for the cornea, which doesn’t have enough blood vessels, it primarily relies on receiving oxygen through its exposure to the air.

If you experience blurry vision take a break from contact lenses for a day and switch to glasses. Furthermore make sure that you are not wearing your contact lenses for many hours in a row, for example take them out when you get home for the day and switch to glasses. Another recommendation is to try wearing glasses on the weekends to give your eyes a chance to get more oxygen to them.  

​​​​​​​Hypoxia which causes blurring can be seen as a slight annoyance and taken lightly, however it is incredibly important to ensure that your eyes are getting enough oxygen because prolonged hypoxia can cause severe medical conditions that can potentially be vision threatening. In extreme cases hypoxia can lead to the development of corneal cysts and death of the epithelial cells, conditions that can lead to permanent vision loss.

A Corneal Abrasion, or Conjunctivitis

If you have the unpleasant experience of waking up with your eyes stuck shut, pink eyes, or with them leaking a yellowish fluid, you may have conjunctivitis (also often referred to as pinkeye.) This can also lead to blurred vision, especially if you wear contacts. It is highly recommended, both for reasons of comfort and for helping the infection heal more quickly, to not wear your contacts if you have pinkeye. A common remedy is holding a clear, warm washcloth over your eyes several times a day, though you should also contact our eye doctor, especially if symptoms persist.

Corneal abrasions are caused when something sharp gets in between your contact lenses and eyes, such as a grain of sand or a piece of glass. The biggest danger with corneal abrasion is that they make eye infections more likely, and corneal ulcers, which can lead to vision loss if untreated. They will also cause blurry vision and discomfort while your lenses are in. If you experience eye pain along with blurred vision, remove your contact lenses right away and contact our eye doctor.

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Common Questions

Your vision can be temporarily affected by crying. Your contact lenses can become cloudy due to deposits left by enzymes, lipids, and mucus in tears.
Why Are My Contacts Blurry? 6 Possible Reasons
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There are several possible reasons why you might experience blurry vision while wearing contact lenses. Fortunately, most of the time this is easily addressed. However, it is always a good idea to speak with our eye doctor if this occurs, as they can best provide advice and assistance. If you are experiencing blurry vision or discomfort while wearing your lenses, or if you have other questions, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.

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