August 31, 2021
Contact lens discomfort can happen for various reasons, including poor fit, eye allergies, eye infections, and dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, your contact lenses may feel uncomfortable when you wear them for long periods. This is particularly true at the end of the day, when you may experience pain, burning, or a gritty sensation, as if you have sand particles in your eye.
Is your contact lens discomfort a result of dry eyes?
What Is Contact Lens Discomfort?
Contact lens discomfort is when your eyes experience a set of symptoms that make them feel uncomfortable. These symptoms may include:
Decreased wear time
Burning or stinging
These symptoms may signal an issue with the fit, environmental problems, or more serious issues, such as corneal ulcers, infections, or dry eyes.
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease is an eye condition that happens when you do not have enough tears to keep your eyes sufficiently wet and lubricated. This could be because your body is not producing enough tears or because the tears you have do not give your eyes enough moisture.
When this happens, your symptoms may be similar to contact discomfort but also include:
A gritty sensation
Sensitivity to light
Contact Lens Discomfort Due to Dry Eyes
Research has shown that contact lenses separate the tear film between the front part of the contact lens and behind the lens. Because of this separation, the tear film becomes thinner and produces fewer tears.
As a result, the contact lens does not receive enough moisture, and friction between the contact lens and the surface of the eye increases. This friction between the layers may trigger feelings of discomfort, grittiness, and dryness.
The main thing is that contact lenses need lubrication to work appropriately and if you do not have enough moisture in your eyes, contact lenses could worsen the situation.
What Can You Do?
Historically it was thought that contact solutions were the main factor in contact lens discomfort, while it is still a factor, new research points to Dry Eye Disease. If you find yourself wearing contacts less and less or rubbing your eyes soon as the lenses are out, these may be signs you need to seek further help.
As the only dedicated dry eye clinic in Pierce County, Dr. Day and Dry Eye Center at East Main Vision Clinic are perfectly equipped to treat your dry eye symptoms and ensure the comfort of your contact lenses.
Treatment options vary depending on your case and history, but rest assured we have leading-edge instrumentation and are multi-faceted in problem-based solutions.
Getting Suitable Contact Lenses
Generally, soft contact lenses are more suited to keep your eyes from drying out. Contacts with a higher water content are able to draw and hold moisture longer. In addition, daily disposable contacts or specially designed overnight contacts (Orthokeratology) are frequently recommended for the best comfort in your day-to-day activities.
Just remember, it may not be your contacts…treat your dry eye and keep your corneas healthy for longer, daily, comfortable wear time!
If contacts are uncomfortable for you, it could be dry eye. Call East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, Washington at 253-780-0700 today to schedule an appointment.