Yes, contact lenses have their obvious benefits over eyeglasses, but there is a downside; bacterial infections and contact lens intolerance (CLI) included.
What is Contact Lens Intolerance?
Contact lens intolerance describes a condition where contact lens wearers cannot put their lenses in without experiencing pain, stinging and discomfort. This can be scary for those who rely on their contact lenses for clear vision.
What Causes Contact Lens Intolerance?
Contact lens wearers may wear contact lenses for years and years before suddenly experiencing contact lens intolerance. Of course everyone is different, but there are a few things that may trigger the onset of CLI including a pre-existing dry eye condition that worsens with the continuous use of contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, then you’ve likely experienced some level of discomfort with them before. Contact lenses are foreign objects that cover the surface of the eye and restrict the amount of oxygen that reaches it. Unable to breathe freely causes dryness, itchiness, scratchiness and redness.
Another reason could simply be that you’ve been wearing contacts for too long. It’s always a good idea to alternate between contacts and glasses whenever you can. Over time the occasional contact lens discomfort experienced throughout the day literally becomes intolerable and unbearable. Even if you are diligent about contact lens cleaning and care, you’re still at risk. However, not using proper care or wearing them for extended periods of time can also be a contributing factor to CLI. Protein begins to build on the lens immediately after using a new pair. Eye irritating toxins are a byproduct of the proteins breaking down over time. You may even feel this process happening in your eye as your lenses begin to feel worn. If you’re a contact lens wearer then you know what this feels like and it’s a sign that it may be time for a fresh new pair. As a result, the contacts become less comfortable to wear over their prescribed course of time which can trigger an inflammatory response that can affect your vision.
If you start to experience more than usual discomfort with your contact lenses, it’s important to speak to your eye health doctor as soon as possible.
Here are some tips to reduce the irritation associated with contact lens wear:
- Take care of your contact lenses! Clean lenses routinely and this includes the case. Refill contact lens case with fresh solution daily.
- Never ever wear your contacts to sleep.
- Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses because they are sponges for bacteria.
- If your main cause of discomfort is dry eye, try using lubricating eye drops. There are drops made specifically for wearing contacts. There are also prescription eye drops that your eye care professional may prescribe depending on your particular needs. Although they may not provide a permanent solution, they will provide temporary relief.
The severity and outlook of CLI depends on the individual. Some people may be able to wear contact lenses after taking a solid break for them while others will never be able to wear them again. For those that will never be able to wear contacts again, they will start to look into alternative solutions such as LASIK. LASIK is the safe and effective permanent solution for treating common eye problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Get your vision back on track by scheduling a LASIK consultation at Eye LASIK Austin and never wear glasses or contacts again!
Treating Contact Lens Intolerance
At Buda Vision Source we care about the health of your eyes. If you are experiencing any discomfort with your contact lenses, we advise you to make an appointment so we can figure out the problem and come up with a solution. The problem may be the type of lens you are wearing or possibly even the fit. We carry a wide range of special use contacts including bifocal, monovision, astigmatism, sport, and keratoconus treatment contact lenses.
To find out more about our quality services or to make any other inquiries, contact us today. Our doctor and trusted staff look forward to meeting your eye care needs!