What Causes Eye Pain from Wearing Contact Lenses?

What Causes Eye Pain from Wearing Contact Lenses?

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Millions of Canadians choose contact lenses over regular eyeglasses to improve their vision.

They choose contact lenses because they don’t interfere with their appearance or their active lifestyles.

Contact lenses work just like eyeglasses.

They float on a thin layer of tear film on the surface of the cornea.

They refract and focus light to enhance vision.

But wearing contact lenses on a daily basis comes with a set of risk factors.

Failing to properly use and care for your contacts can lead to excess tearing, itching, burning, sensitivity to light, dryness, distorted vision, and pain.

These consequences doesn’t automatically mean people always take proper care of their contact lenses.

Results from a 2010 study titled, Patient Compliance During Contact Lens Wear: Perceptions, Awareness and Behaviour, showed 24% of patients demonstrated non-compliance to proper contact lens wear behaviour.

That’s a lot of people.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to properly care for your contact lenses.

To easily avoid eye pain from wearing contact lenses, read our blog about What You Shouldn’t Do With Your Contact Lenses.

Improper care is one of the major reasons why you’re experiencing eye pain from wearing contact lenses.

But there are a few other reasons you should watch out for:

Dry Eyes

Sometimes the pain or discomfort you’re feeling isn’t a result of your contact lenses at all.

Your tear ducts may not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist.

Dry eyes naturally occurs in many people.

But it’s also linked to factors such as smoking, excessive computer use, or caffeine.

Air travel, antihistamines, and birth control pills can also cause dry eyes.

You can treat dry eyes by using a lubricating solution to add moisture to your soft contact lenses.

Minimize lens dryness and your discomfort by applying rewetting drops while wearing your contacts.

Artificial tears are especially handy if you wear your contacts in a dry environment.

Environmental Allergens

Dry eyes, redness and irritation can come about from environmental allergens.

Dust or dander can affect your contact lenses causing discomfort.

You can avoid discomfort and eye pain from wearing contact lenses by making sure you remove any buildup on your lenses.

If you find this strategy isn’t working, switch to daily disposable contacts if you find this strategy isn’t working.

Poor Fit

Your eye size and shape are uniquely yours.

Just as you would wear eyeglasses that fit you perfectly, your contact lenses should aim for the same.

If you feel pain, irritation or like there’s something in your eye, your contact lenses may not fit properly.

Go to an eyecare professional so that they can use processes and procedures that promise well-fitting contact lenses.

Properly fitting lenses is just as important to avoiding eye pain from contact lenses as proper care.


People who wear contact lenses are most at risk to developing keratitis.

This inflammation of the cornea can be caused by a trauma such as a scratch from your fingernail while applying or removing your contacts.

Bacteria or fungus can also cause infections in people who wear contact lenses.

Improper contact lens storage and maintenance can cause serious infections that can lead to visual impairment or blindness.

Symptoms include eye pain and redness, blurry vision, and light sensitivity.

Early diagnosis is key for treatment.

Have regular eye exams to catch the infection before it gets worse.

Once the condition is diagnosed, it can be treated with prescription medication.

The good news is that this rare condition can easily be prevented with proper care of your contact lenses.

Extended Use of Contact Lenses

Clinical studies found that extended use of contact lenses increases the risk of developing corneal ulcers.

Ulcerative keratitis occurs when an ulcer scars and permanently damages the cornea.

Give your eyes a break from contact lenses when you can, especially overnight.

Renew your contact lenses when your eye doctor recommends it.

Don’t try to wear them for longer than your doctor prescribes.

You may think you’re being efficient, but you’re just exposing your eyes to unnecessary risks.

It’s Been Awhile Since You’ve Seen Your Eye Doctor

Avoiding eye pain from contact lenses and healthy eyes in general starts with you.

Follow proper care procedures and use good hygiene when you clean your contacts.

Listen to your eye doctor and make a regular appointment for checkups.

If you notice any unusual symptoms that could be a sign of infection, don’t waste time.

Better safe than sorry.

Immediately contact your eye doctor for an examination.

See your eye doctor at least once a year.

Take our suggestions to help you prepare for your next eye exam at Image Optometry. If you are looking for an optometrist in dunbar, remember to book an appointment first.

Oh, and check in with our blog from time to time to get more tips to keep your eyes healthy.

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