Do Your Contact Lenses Dry and Irritate Your Eyes? LASIK Can Relieve Your Symptoms.

A lady staring at a contact lens

Not only can LASIK improve your vision, it can also free you of irritants your contacts might be responsible for.

Do you find that just going about your daily life becomes far less comfortable when your contacts are in? You’re not alone — many people find that wearing contacts makes their eyes feel red, dry, itchy, or otherwise irritated. Wearing contacts for an extended time – like an entire workday — can exacerbate these problems as well.

Of course, this is a massive inconvenience to anyone who depends on contacts to see. If you’re searching for the reason why your contacts cause chronic discomfort, here are the five most likely culprits.

Fit

Anything you’re wearing is going to feel less than ideal if it doesn’t fit properly, including your contacts. Even if you think your contacts are the right prescription, a poor-fitting lens may not form to the shape of your eye properly.

Contacts that don’t fit can make it feel like something is in your eye that’s not supposed to be there. Just like an irritating piece of dust, these improperly-fitted contacts will be hard to keep in the eye for an extended period of time. You can avoid this problem to some extent by getting your contacts fitted by a professional, but the shape of a lens will also change with wear. Change your lenses on time – daily or biweekly – to avoid this issue.

Debris

Of course, it’s also possible that what feels like an irritating speck of dust in your eye is just that. Tiny debris like dust, hair, or lint can get on the surface of your contact lens while you’re handling it, which can then get in your eyes. Contact lenses trap this debris to the surface of the eye, creating discomfort.  

Prevent debris from irritating your eyes by thoroughly washing your hands before handling your contact lenses. You should also clean and disinfect your contact case regularly and make sure that your contact solution is consistently fresh. Never reuse a contact solution.

Allergies

Did you know that you can actually be allergic to your own contact lenses? Soft contact lens wearers are particularly prone to an inflammatory allergic reaction called giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC).

Though GPC only affects between 1-5% of contact lens wearers, it should be considered for patients who are having chronic problems with lens comfort. If you’re experiencing swelling, redness, blurry vision, and mucus-like discharge coming from the eye, contact an eye care professional immediately.

Dryness

If you find that your eyes tend to feel uncomfortably dry throughout the day, you may be struggling with chronic dryness. This means that your eyes don’t produce enough tears to stay properly lubricated. Unfortunately, if you have chronic dryness and wear contacts every day, they may be making your dryness worse.

To provide temporary relief from your dry eyes, use artificial tears as needed throughout the day. If you’re seeking long-term relief, however, you may need to switch to glasses or other means of vision correction.

Other Factors

While these four factors are the most common reasons why your contacts may feel uncomfortable, there are many other environmental factors that could be at fault as well. Irritants in the air, including sand, dirt, dust, or smoke, can enter your eye while your contacts are in. This can create the sensation of there being something in your eye that isn’t supposed to be there.

Some makeup products or fragrances can also irritate the eyes. If you’re not Sometimes, makeup or fragrance could be causing the discomfort; unfortunately, your favorite perfume and your contacts may not be getting along.

Finding Relief

If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort from your contact lenses, there are solutions. Switching to glasses is an option, but many people choose contact lenses for the freedom to live without glasses in the first place.

If returning to glasses or continuing to wear irritating contacts sounds like choosing the lesser of two evils, LASIK may be a good option for you. LASIK, a brief and painless corrective surgery that reshapes the cornea, is a permanent alternative to glasses or contacts that almost always results in discomfort-free vision.

After getting LASIK, you’ll even be able to resume the bulk of your everyday activities (even sports like golf or pickleball) as soon as the day after the procedure — and live with an improved vision for good.

If you’re considering LASIK, it’s important you go to an experienced, trained professional who knows what your individual set of eyes need, like the experts at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute. Schedule a consultation with us today.

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