Contact Lens Irritation
Millions of people across the world wear contact lenses either weekly or daily, and many could be affected by contact lens irritation.
It’s a good idea to understand the best practices around wearing and even putting in contact lenses, as well as the reasons that could be causing contact lens irritation.
Over 75% of contact lens wearers suffer from dry eyes at some point, so it’s possible that you may have been affected, but why?
Contact lenses are a leading cause of dry eyes, as they can irritate, break and displace the lipid layer on the eye.
They could also prevent tears from adequately covering the eye’s surface. In this instance, using a rehydrating eye drop that’s also suitable for contact lenses could be considered.
Optrex Rehydrating Eye Drops, for example, can help reduce symptoms of dry eyes while also being suitable for contact lens wearers.
Types of Contact Lenses
Depending on what you want to wear lenses for, there a number of different types to try. You may want to wear contact lenses every day, or only a few days a week, depending on what activity you are engaged with.
For sport, for instance, contact lens wear can be a more pragmatic choice than glasses. Speak to your optician to discuss what would best suit you.
Of the two main varieties (daily and monthly), re-usable lenses can be used up to a certain time before needing to be thrown away. After use, it’s essential to disinfect them.
Soaking overnight is the most common option - this requires changing of solution daily, and cleaning of the storage container at least weekly.
With daily lenses, simply use them once, and throw them away. Never re-use daily lenses as this could lead to infection.
Putting them in
Before handling your contact lenses, ensure that you wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly. This also goes for when removing them, as for monthly contact lenses you will need to remove them with a view to wearing them the next day.
Refreshing the solution you keep them in will also ensure that your lenses are clean for next use. If you experience irritation in the corner of your eye when you put your contact lenses in the morning, this could be due to "sleep" that has built up overnight, so make sure to clear your eyes before application.
In general, many opticians may advise you in person that contact lenses should be worn for a maximum of eight hours per day, although depending on the type, and on the person, this can vary. Speak to your optician for clarification.
Here are some other tips to be aware of:
- Never wear your lenses while you’re showering, or swimming without goggles
- Never wear your lenses overnight, unless wearing a type that specifically allow it
- Never wet your lenses with saliva
- Never bring your lenses into contact with tap water
- Seek professional care if you find problems with your contact lenses
If you experience extended symptoms of dry eye, or other forms of irritation, such as tiredness, then visit your doctor, pharmacist or optician for professional advice.