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Problems with Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a convenient way to achieve focus if you suffer from refractive errors.

Unfortunately, many patients experience discomfort, blurred vision, dry eyes, and other difficulties as a result of their contact lenses.

What should I watch out for?


Of Contact Lens Issues

poor fitting contacts icon Pain and Irritation

An improperly fitted contact lens and other factors can lead to stinging, burning, and the sensation of a foreign object in your eye.

dry eye icon Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome can affect anyone, but symptoms can be more pronounced because of contact lenses.

red eye icon Excessive Redness

Contact lens wearers may notice increased redness in their eyes. This is often due to wearing lenses for longer than the prescribed time.

Are there more serious conditions I need to worry about?

Infections, Abrasions

& Corneal Swelling

A number of contact lens issues can lead to corneal abrasions and infections, which can cause serious ocular health problems. It is important to contact your doctor immediately to prevent these complications from becoming worse.

What causes these conditions?

Tight-Fitting Lenses

& Bacteria Buildup

eye measurement icon Poor Fit

Your doctor takes great care to measure your eye and ensure a comfortable fit. Commonly, those who wear contacts for cosmetic purposes experience a poor fit.

damaged contact lens icon Overuse

Wearing damaged lenses or keeping contacts in for too long can cause injury to the cornea. A sharp edge on a damaged or dried contact lens can scratch the delicate tissues of the cornea.

contact lens case icon Improper Cleaning and Storage

Improper cleaning and storage of contact lenses can contribute to bacterial buildup, often leading to an infection. Infections can cause keratitis, and contact wearers are more prone to conjunctivitis (pink eye).

How can I protect my eyes?

People who wear contact lenses overnight are more than 20 times more likely to get Keratitis. Wearing contacts and not taking care of them properly is the single biggest risk factor for Keratitis.

Jennifer Cope, Medical Epidemiologist, CDC.

Proper Use

Is Your Best Defense

sleeping icon Do Not Sleep in Your Contacts

Falling asleep with your contact lenses in, or just wearing them for extended periods of time, can contribute to serious problems. Although some lenses are designed for extended wear and are safe to sleep in, removing your contacts can reduce the risk of developing eye conditions.

hand washing icon Proper care and cleaning

Replacing your contacts storage case every three months can help prevent the development of bacteria. Use a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for contacts and always make sure that your hands are clean when handling your lenses.

eye makeup icon Take Care with Makeup and Eye Drops

Soft contact lenses can absorb chemicals from makeup and eye drops, resulting in a buildup of materials that can cause problems. Follow your doctor's instructions when it comes to avoiding certain products.

What can I do if my contacts are causing problems?

Contact Your Doctor


Time Pain Level Results
30 minutes None Up to 2 weeks

Your doctor can determine if an issue related to your contact lenses is causing your symptoms. Many issues can be diagnosed with a visual examination, while others may require a culture to be analyzed in a lab to determine the type of infection.

A patient undergoing an eye exam

A simple eye exam can often reveal any issues your contacts may be causing.

What treatments are available?

Replacing, Refitting, or Reevaluating

Your Contact Lenses

two contact lenses icon Replacing

Many problems can be solved by switching your contacts for a different type of lens.

placing contact icon Refitting

Other problems may be solved by remeasuring your eyes and using a lens that is better suited to the shape of your eye.

reevaluate icon Reevaluating

Changing between soft or hard lenses, reusables or dailies, or choosing to wear eyeglasses instead of contacts can eliminate many of the problems associated with contact lenses.

I have noticed redness and swelling...

Contact Your Eye Doctor

Many contact wearers experience problems with their lenses, especially when using new lenses. Contact your doctor immediately to discuss your issues and find a solution for your needs.

Want More Information?

Contact a Doctor Near You.