Contact lenses are immensely popular ocular solutions in America.
Indeed, approximately 45 million of us wear them each and every day.
It’s no wonder. There’s no pesky frames obstructing your view, no fogging up to worry about, far fewer visual distortions to get frustrated by, and a natural field of view to revel in.
They’re perfect for sports and nights out where glasses just don’t go with your outfit. And, ultimately, they’re ideal whenever you want to see clearly without putting something on your face!
But, unfortunately, contact lens discomfort can taint the experience somewhat.
Have lenses in for long enough and you can expect stinging, itching, watering and other uncomfortable effects to occur. For some people, such struggles can dissuade them from wearing lenses at all.
Want to wear contacts but don’t want the discomfort?
Keep reading for 6 helpful tips for dealing with contact lens irritation.
1. See the Optometrist
To get your contacts, you will have seen the optometrist for an eye examination.
They’ll have analyzed your eyes and performed a bunch of measurements. Why? Because they were trying to find the perfect fit for the contact lenses.
The lenses themselves fit are designed to fit over your cornea. However, it isn’t uncommon for some people to be handed ill-fitting lenses, which contribute to the eye-irritation they feel.
If you’ve tried and tried to relieve the discomfort of lenses and nothing’s worked, then book in to see the optometrist again. They can take another look, re-do their examination, and, hopefully, offer some lenses that fit better.
Don’t want any of further fuss over lenses? LASIK eye surgery could help. Here’s a post to help you see if you could be a candidate for LASIK.
2. Change Your Lenses
The lenses you’re wearing might not be right for your eye.
Something about them might just disagree with your particular eyes, causing discomfort as a result. If this is the case, trying out new lenses can be a simple solution to the problem.
Try out different types of lenses (in consultation with your eye doctor, of course). With a bit of time and experimentation, you’ll stand a better chance of settling upon the perfect contacts for you.
Another option is to play around with your wearing schedule. The lens itself might be okay, but the frequency with which you change them could be at fault. Daily disposables could be the solution in providing a fresh set of lenses each day.
3. Use Them Correctly
Lenses causing ongoing discomfort?
Well, sorry as we are to say it, there’s a reasonable chance that you’re the one to blame.
A huge number of contact lens wearers fail to use, wear, and care for their lenses appropriately. They’ll put their lenses in with dirty hands, forget to take them out at night, reuse them, and fail to replace their lens case. Many others will fail to see their eye doctor at regular intervals.
Those are only a small selection of ways people fail to take care of their eyes and lenses!
The result is a host of possible afflictions, some serious, most uncomfortable. In your bid to wear them and maximize comfort levels, it’s of vital importance that you follow the recommended guidelines.
4. Try Eye Drops
Dry eyes are never fun.
In fact, they’re another common cause of discomfort when wearing lenses. If you’ve ever inadvertently left your lenses in too long, then you’ll know the struggle!
The worst cases of dry-eye occur when your eye is dry anyway, and then your contact lens starts to dry out too. The eye feels as dry as the Sahara, and serious discomfort ensues.
Using eye drops, or fake tears, to restore the moisture in your eye can make a mighty difference.
Don’t rush straight to the pharmacy to pick some up though! Some contact lenses aren’t designed to work in cahoots with artificial tears. They can even damage the lens and make them unusable.
Speak with your optometrist to see whether your lenses are compatible or not.
5. Eat Certain Foods
Your diet can have a direct impact on how susceptible you are to getting dry eye.
Thus, eating certain foods can help restore the moisture in your eye. The lenses will then sit better atop the tear film of your cornea and feel more comfortable as a result.
Flaxseed oil and omega-3 fatty acids are both reported to help in this way. Mix some fish into your diet and/or supplement with omega-3 tablets. With a bit of luck, you’ll be on your way to reduced lens discomfort in no time.
Of course, speak with the eye doctor as well! They’ll be able to tell you about the root cause of your dry eye. It might be nothing to do with your diet at all.
6. Consider Punctal Occlusion
Unfortunately, you might just be naturally susceptible to dry eye.
You can use as many artificial tears as you want- they’re unlikely to prove a long term solution to the issue. If your eyes aren’t producing enough tears, then you’re in for a rough ride.
In certain cases, punctal occlusion could be a viable option suggested by your optometrist.
This procedure places tiny ‘plugs’ in the tear ducts of your eye. Think of it like blocking the gutters of your home. Just as the rain could no longer drain away from your roof, your tears would be unable to drain from your eyes as easily.
The result? More moisture over your cornea to help relieve lens discomfort.
Anybody worried about committing to this solution could think about fitting dissolvable plugs instead. These are temporary in nature, which enables you to ‘try before you buy’.
Get Rid of Your Contact Lens Discomfort!
Favoring them over glasses for one reason or another, tens of millions of people wear contact lenses in America.
However, they’re not without their problems.
Contact lens discomfort, for example, can be a serious burden that puts many people off the entire process.
Hopefully, this post has provided some useful ways to relieve the irritation that can occur.
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