Contact lenses are a convenient way to correct your vision without covering up your face with bulky eyeglass frames. However, some people experience a burning or stinging sensation while wearing their contacts or after taking them out.
Here, we'll explore some possible reasons for contact lens irritation and provide practical tips on how to prevent discomfort. Whether you're a new or seasoned contact lens user, these strategies can help you feel more comfortable in the long run.
Why Do My Contacts Burn?
There are several possible explanations for why your contact lenses may feel uncomfortable during wear or after removal. If you feel a burning sensation or irritation with contacts, it could be due to:
- Dry eye syndrome – Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don't produce enough tears, leading to a dry or gritty sensation. Wearing contacts can exacerbate this dryness and make your eyes feel worse.
- Allergies – Environmental allergens such as pollen and pet dander can trigger an allergic reaction in your eyes. This can make it very difficult to wear contacts.
- Eye infection – A bacterial infection can lead to eye redness and inflammation. You may experience pain that worsens when any pressure is placed on the affected eye.
- Improper lens care – If you wear your contacts too much and don’t replace them often enough, they’re more likely to collect bacteria and irritate your eyes. Neglecting to clean and store your contacts can also lead to a buildup of debris. Any accumulation of irritants of your lenses can cause burning and stinging.
Take Steps to Prevent Contacts from Burning
Taking proper care of your contact lenses is an important way to preserve your eye health and avoid irritation and burning. Here are some easy ways to keep your contacts comfortable:
- Wear the right lenses – Work with your eye doctor to find contacts that are best suited for your visual needs as well as the size and shape of your eyes. They’ll help you choose a reliable brand known for quality and comfort.
- Keep your contacts clean – Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts. Rinse and store your reusable lenses with a multipurpose disinfecting solution, and keep an eye out for any dirt or debris.
- Avoid environmental triggers – If you have allergies, try to limit your exposure to common triggers. Pollen, pet dander, and smoke can cause eye dryness and irritation. Keep your windows closed during high pollen seasons and use an air purifier indoors.
- Give your eyes a break – Follow the 20-20-20 rule during the day, taking a break from your screen every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s also good to have backup glasses in your current prescription so you can give your eyes a rest from contacts every once in a while.
- Replace your contact lens case regularly – A dirty contact case is an invitation for bacterial contamination. Clean your case thoroughly after each use and replace it every three to four months.
Use Eye Drops to Soothe Burning Eyes
Lubricating eye drops can be a great way to soothe dry and irritated eyes, but not every type of drop can be used with contacts. Before you try any eye drops, always check the label to ensure they’re safe for use with contacts, and consult your eye doctor to make sure they’re appropriate for your needs.
Rewetting drops like OPTI-FREE PureMoist drops are specifically formulated to help restore moisture to the eyes of people who wear contact lenses. They also clear away debris and provide much-needed relief from burning and stinging.
Artificial tears are another great option for people with dry eyes. but should also be labeled as safe for use with contacts. Look for a preservative-free or contact-specific formula to avoid damaging your lenses.
Read the instructions carefully before using any eye drops to ensure you apply them correctly and get the most out of them. Some eye drops will not be fully absorbed by your eyes unless you remove your contacts before application. Then, to prevent discomfort and give the drops time to settle, you would need to wait at least 15 minutes before putting your contacts back in your eyes.
If you have any questions about what eye drops will work best for you, talk to your eye doctor.
Understand the Importance of Routine Eye Exams
Regular eye examinations are an important part of maintaining your vision and eye health, especially if you wear contacts. They provide an opportunity for for you to:
- Ensure your eyes are healthy – During the exam, your eye doctor will perform a variety of tests to assess the health of your eyes and sharpness of your vision.
- Get an updated vision prescription – Outdated contacts can strain your eyes and cause irritation. Attending a regular eye exam with a contact lens exam and fitting allows your doctor to assess your current contact prescription and provide updates as needed.
- Learn about proper lens care – Your doctor can teach you how to handle, clean, and store your reusable lenses. This includes advice on how often to replace your lenses and which eye drops and solutions are safe to use with contacts.
- Prevent contact-related complications – Regular exams give your eye doctor the chance to find signs of issues before they become severe. Early detection can help you avoid long-term damage to your eyes and the need for extensive treatment.
- Explore new lens options – A contact lens exam and fitting allows you and your doctor to explore different options for vision correction. For instance, BioTrue lenses provide UV protection for your eyes. Other types may be more comfortable for people with dry eye disease.
Your eye doctor is the best source of information when it comes to your eye health and contact lens care. They can recommend the lens brands and care routines that will best suit your lifestyle and preferences, as well as any eye conditions you may have.
Get Comfortable, Quality Lenses
There's no need to suffer through the pain of burning eyes every time you wear contacts. From proper lens care to regular eye exams, you can help resolve your irritation and keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.
When you have a new contact lens prescription, visit our store to find the perfect lenses for your needs. ContactsDirect is a proud source of quality contact lenses from trusted brands like AIR OPTIX, Biofinity, and ACUVUE.
With a wide variety of lenses to suit any lifestyle and budget, we take pride in providing our customers with the most up-to-date products at competitive prices.