5 Common Causes for Contact Lens Discomfort

July 9th, 2018
close up finger holding contact lens

From allergies to poor fit, there are plenty of reasons your contacts may be bothering you.

People typically wear contacts because they’re a convenient way to improve vision. Unlike glasses, they’re easy to wear during physical activity and don’t need to be constantly cleaned.

Unfortunately, contact lenses can occasionally irritate the eye. Many contact lens wearers experience moments of discomfort, but when it’s happening all the time, there may be a problem. Here are five common reasons your contacts could be giving you a hard time, and how you can find relief.


Dry eyes occur when the eye doesn’t produce enough tears and is one of the most common complaints of contact lens wearers. Dryness can be caused by chronic medical conditions like dry eye syndrome or exacerbated by things like smoking or computer use. Using the wrong contact lens solution or poor lens care can also cause dryness.

Lubricated eye drops can reduce discomfort while wearing contacts. Make sure you talk with your eye doctor about choosing a brand compatible with contact lenses.


Allergy season can wreak all sorts of havoc on the eyes. It’s possible for seasonal allergies to make your contacts less comfortable, but you could also be having an allergic reaction to your contacts themselves.

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) – an inflammation of the blood vessels in the eye – is a common complication of contact lens wear. GPC can cause pain and/or vision problems, and people who develop it may need to stop wearing soft contact lenses altogether.


Everyone’s eyes are different, so not all types of contacts will feel good on all eyes. Properly-fitted lenses should be hardly noticeable, but ones that don’t fit may feel like there’s something in your eye that shouldn’t be there.

That’s why getting fitted for contacts by a trained professional is so important. An eye doctor will assess your eyes and determine not only what your prescription is, but exactly what model of contacts will feel good on the eye. If you have additional problems like astigmatism, you may experience strain if you’re not wearing contacts that also correct for that.

Something on the lens

It’s important to keep your contacts as clean as possible. If you don’t, you risk getting something stuck on your lens, which can result in discomfort, irritation, and even infection. Be sure to wash your hands before you put on your contacts and before you remove them. Also, keep your contact case clean and regularly replace your contact solution to minimize the possibility of collecting dirt or debris. If you notice any type of foreign body on your lens, wash it off and disinfect it before putting it back in the case.

Comorbid conditions

If you’re experiencing discomfort, it may not be the contact lens itself that’s the culprit. Other conditions like conjunctivitis can make doing anything with your eyes uncomfortable, including wearing contacts. If you suspect you’re experiencing health issues in your eye, refrain from wearing contacts until the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

If your contacts are causing you strife, there’s no reason you should continue to suffer in order to see clearly. One way to improve your vision while freeing yourself from irritation is LASIK, a surgery that uses lasers to reshape the eye, resulting in permanent vision correction. LASIK takes only about 15-30 minutes and is generally pain-free. After the procedure, you’ll be able to resume the bulk of your normal activities as soon as the following day.

If you’re interested in learning more about if LASIK is right for you, schedule a consultation with the experts at ICON Eyecare today.

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