Why Are My Contact Lenses So Uncomfortable?

September 3rd, 2018
young man rubbing eyes

Are your contacts making your eyes feel dry or irritated? Here’s what could be causing your discomfort.

Contact lenses are designed to help you see more clearly and comfortably. That’s why it can be frustrating when your lenses dry out or irritate your eyes.

There are several reasons why your contacts might be bothering you, especially towards the end of the day. Here are some of the most common factors contributing to contact lens discomfort, and what you can do to alleviate your symptoms.

Poor Fit

Contact lenses are like clothes or anything else you wear. If they don’t fit correctly, it’s more than likely they’re not going to feel good. Different lenses fit the eye in different ways, and a poor fit can cause irritation and headaches. A trained professional will examine your eyes thoroughly and determine not only what your prescription is, but which lenses will fit your eyes best.

Debris On or Tears in the Lens

Contacts, especially soft contacts, can attract minuscule specks of dirt and debris like dust and lint. This can lead to discomfort and the feeling that there’s something in your eye that doesn’t belong there. Avoid collecting debris by keeping both your contacts and their storage case clean — wash your hands before touching or removing your lenses and regularly replace the contact solution in your case.

Remember too that contact lenses are delicate and can easily tear. If you notice a rip or hole in your lens, discard it and open a new pair of lenses.


No one likes having dry eyes, and many people find their contacts make it worse, especially after a long day. These symptoms can be especially intense in dry or windy climates.

Some people even have chronically dry eyes, meaning their eyes naturally don’t produce enough tears to keep them well-lubricated and may find that contacts exacerbate their condition. For temporary relief from dryness, artificial tears can help moisten and soothe the eyes.


Irritated, red, or swollen eyes are a common sight when allergy season rolls around. They can also be a sign that you’re allergic not to pollen or trees, but to your own contact lenses.

Giant papillary conjunctivitis, or GPC, is an allergic reaction that causes tiny bumps on the inner eyelid along with swelling, pain, blurry vision, and excessive eye mucus. People with GPC (which affects 1-5% of all soft contact lens wearers) may have to switch to another form of vision correction if their symptoms do not clear up with prescription eye drops or a rigorous hygiene routine.

External Factors

Though there are many reasons your contacts could be causing you strife, it’s also possible that the environment, not the lenses, is to blame. Pool water, cigarette smoke, sawdust, sand, and other air pollutants or foreign bodies can have a similar irritating effect on your eyes.

If you’re having a hard time getting through the day with your contacts, there’s no need to continue that way. You may want to switch to another corrective option like glasses, but there’s also a more permanent fix.

LASIK, a fast and painless eye surgery that reshapes the cornea using lasers, can help you achieve stable, long-lasting vision improvement. The team at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas are highly trained in administering LASIK and will work with you to determine what’s best for your eyes. Schedule a consultation with us today to find freedom from contact lens discomfort.

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