Reasons your contacts are giving you dry eyes
Contacts are a marvel of human ingenuity, but sometimes, they do more harm than good. Redness while wearing contact lenses can indicate several different problems, from a simple irritation to a more serious inflammation. Contact lenses are a foreign entity in your eye, and with them several problems can occur. If you begin to develop red eyes while wearing contact lenses, it’s important to pay attention to this warning sign, as it may be a symptom of a much more serious affliction.
- Dry Eye Syndrome - Contacts are very good at soaking up liquid, and if you don’t produce an adequate amount of tears, that can be a real problem. Dry eyes only get worse as the day progresses, causing itchiness, redness and general discomfort. If your eyes get extremely dry, you may have to remove your contacts after just a few hours.
- Contact solution sensitivity- If you’ve developed red eyes from your contacts, it may be due to your contact solution! Whether you’ve switched your brand recently, or have used the same one for years, an allergy or sensitivity can develop at any time. This can cause red, itchy eyes and overall discomfort.
- Eye allergies - Allergies, especially in the spring and fall, can wreak havoc on people who wear contacts. Allergies already make your eyes red and itchy, but contacts can actually trap and house irritating particles such as pollen, further exacerbating the situation.
- Poorly fitting contacts- Contacts that don’t fit right can really irritate the eye. If they’re too tight they can restrict the tear flow underneath, drying out the cornea and restricting oxygen. Too loose, and they can move with every blink, further irritating the cornea
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis- A slightly more serious issue, GPC is fairly common in people who wear contact lenses. It is a type of inflammation caused by having something foreign, such as a contact lens, in the eye. Contacts can irritate the surface of the conjunctiva, making your eyes red, itchy and irritated.
- Corneal Ulcer - Corneal Ulcers can be a serious affliction, and the first symptom is often red eyes. It is an open sore on the cornea, which can lead to severe complications, including scarring, reduced vision and even blindness. It initially feels like there’s something in your eye, and you may suffer from increased light sensitivity, tearing and irritation. If you notice these symptoms, you should see a professional at once.
- C.L.A.R.E. - An acronym for ‘contact lens induced red eye” C.L.A.R.E. is caused by toxins produced by typical bacteria that exist in your eyes. While these toxins are usually flushed by blinking, contact lenses can protect these toxins, and allow them to build up. This causes red eyes, irritation and general discomfort.
Still curious about how your contacts affect your eyes? Check out our DOs and DON’Ts of Wearing Contacts!
February 19, 2020