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What causes contacts to hurt?

person putting a contact lens in eye

Many people prefer contact lenses to eyeglasses. Contacts are a convenient option that can easily be worn during physical activity, and you don’t have to constantly wipe and clean them. Unfortunately, contact can sometimes be painful. If yours cause you continual discomfort, does this mean you have broken contacts? Not necessarily, but you do need to figure out what’s happening.

  • Sometimes, the problem is an eye condition. If your eyes are too dry, contacts can feel uncomfortable. Dry eyes can happen because of dry eye syndrome, or it could be something you’re doing, like smoking or spending too much time in front of the computer screen. Your contact lens solution may also be causing the problem, so talk to your doctor about this as well as discuss whether lubricating eye drops could help. Allergies can also make contacts uncomfortable, whether it’s seasonal allergies or an allergic reaction to the contacts. Conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels in the eye, can be the result of allergies or an infection, and this can cause pain. It’s wise to see your doctor if your contacts hurt, to rule out serious problems that could cause vision issues.
  • Your contact lenses might not fit properly. Every pair of contacts is not right for every pair of eyes. If your contact lenses are fitted properly, you’ll hardly notice them. However, if they’re ill-fitting, it may feel like you’ve got a foreign object in your eye. Always get fitted for contacts by a trained professional so that your lenses will not only be the right prescription, but also the right type of contacts for your eyes.
  • You may need to clean your contacts. If there’s something on your contact lens, it can irritate your eye or even cause an infection. Always wash your hands before putting your contacts in or removing them, and keep your contacts and contact case clean. Replace your lens solution regularly, and if you notice something on the lens, clean it and disinfect it before you put it back into the case.
  • Here’s how to get to the bottom of your contact lens issue. First, remove the contacts and clean them. Then, rinse your eyes with sterile saline or eye drops approved for use with contacts. Reinsert the lens, and if it feels fine, you probably solved your problem. Remove it again, to check and see if it hurts to remove it; this can be a sign of corneal abrasion. If the lens hurts when you reinsert it, examine it carefully. It could be partially torn or have something stuck to it, in which case you’ll need to discard it and replace it with a new one.
  • Don’t wear your contacts until you figure out what’s causing you pain. If you’ve tried to determine the cause of the pain and can’t seem to fix it, take out both contacts, put on your eyeglasses, and call your eye doctor for an emergency exam.

Whether it’s an emergency or you just need a routine eye exam, trust Boulder Eye Surgeons to care for your eyes. Having served Boulder, Colorado, and the surrounding area since 1997, Boulder Eye Surgeons utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. We’re committed to enhancing the quality of life through exceptional patient care, and our doctors and staff members are second to none. Request an appointment with our community-oriented practice to learn how we work to understand your needs and exceed your expectations, call us at (303) 943-1483, or contact us through our website.


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