Do you just love putting on your contact lenses every morning and then just about hate them by the end of the day? You are not alone. Some wearers complain that the clear and comfortable experience they enjoy during the early hours of the day don’t seem to last. If you too struggle with end-of-day discomfort, consider the following five tips.
1. Don’t lengthen the life of your lenses. Some people are tempted to save a few bucks by stretching out the life of their lenses. It is very important to throw out your contact lenses according to your eye care professional's prescribed replacement schedule.
2. Talk to your doctor about contact lens care products. Contact lenses can collect protein and lipid deposits over time. These exist naturally in your tears, but when these proteins or lipids deposit themselves on your contact lenses, it can affect your lens wearing experience. This is one of many reasons why cleaning your reusable contact lenses is so important. Always use the disinfecting and cleaning solutions recommended by your doctor. If you’re still experiencing discomfort, talk to your doctor to see if switching to another formulation might help. Alternately, your doctor may advise you to try a daily disposable lens. Since these lenses don’t need to be cleaned, there’s no chance that you’ll experience discomfort due to a reaction to the cleaning product.
3. Address allergies. Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, can cause contact lens discomfort and discontinuation of lens wear.1 Typical eye allergy symptoms include watery eyes, itchiness, sensitivity to light, redness, grittiness and eyelid swelling. If you experience any of these, it’s important to tell your eye doctor since these allergy symptoms sometimes mimic eye infections. If your doctor confirms that seasonal allergies are the culprit for your discomfort, you’ll likely be given strategies to avoid allergens or one of several available medications. If allergens are accumulating on your contact lenses, your doctor may also suggest switching to a daily disposable lens or trying ocular lubricants and cold compresses to help minimize your symptoms when the allergies are particularly troublesome.
4. Defeat dryness. Millions of people suffer with dryness2 and the symptoms can be a big hurdle to comfortable contact lens wear. If your eyes feel dry, make an appointment with your eye doctor, describe your symptoms and ask to be tested. Don’t try to self medicate. Your doctor can help you identify which artificial tear or rewetting drops may be best for you to use while you continue wearing your contact lenses.
As you sample strategies to help manage discomfort, circle back with your doctor to share what’s working and what’s not. Also, consider asking your doctor if a daily disposable silicone hydrogel could address your problems. Most eye care practitioners (87%) say wearers of 1 day silicone hydrogels have fewer problems and 90% agree that these lenses provide a better wearing experience.3
1 Chaglasian E, Than T. Allergy and CLs: The Seasonal Battle. Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses. May 2017.
2 O’Brien PD, Collum LM. Dry eye: diagnosis and current treatment strategies. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep.2004;4:314–319.
3 G. Orsborn and K. Dumbleton: Eye care professionals’ perceptions of the benefits of daily disposable silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. February 2019.