In a perfect world, you would pop your contact lenses in each morning and not think about them again until you need to take them out. In reality, however, most people who wear contact lenses have experienced some level of discomfort at one point or another.

There are many different reasons why your contact lenses may be causing you discomfort, from allergies to ill-fitting lenses. The good news is that uncomfortable contact lenses should not be the norm, and there are many easy ways to relieve contact lens discomfort.

Let’s look at some of the potential causes of uncomfortable contact lenses and what you can do to get relief.

Causes of contact lens discomfort

The cause of contact lens discomfort falls into one of two categories: lens-specific causes or environmental causes.

1. Seasonal allergies are causing discomfort.

The arrival of spring is an exciting time for most people, but those who suffer from seasonal allergies may experience more contact lens discomfort. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include dry, itchy, puffy, or red eyes, and contact lenses can sometimes exacerbate these symptoms. This is because allergens in the air love contact lenses and adhere to the surface of the lens, causing miserable symptoms such as itchy, watery, or swollen eyes.

What you can do:

If allergies are making contact lens–wearing insufferable, there are a few things you can do.

  • Wear daily contact lenses: Daily contacts are the best option for those who suffer from allergies. When you throw out the lenses at the end of the day, you’re also throwing out the debris that sticks to the lens, including the allergens causing you discomfort.

    Aveo offers daily contacts for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, with cutting-edge design that locks in moisture and provides high oxygen transmissibility for healthy eyes.

  • Keep your eyes moist: Allergies tend to cause dry eyes, so using lubricating eye drops can help keep your eyes happy. The more frequently you use eye drops, the less success allergens will have in sticking to your lenses.
  • Use a cold compress on your eyes: When your allergies are acting up, we know how tempting it is to rub your eyes. However, this only makes the reaction worse as it spreads the allergens. Instead, press a cold, damp compress to your eyes to relieve discomfort.
2. Your contacts don’t fit correctly.

Contact lenses that don’t fit correctly aren’t just uncomfortable, they can pose the risk of scratching your eye. Eyes come in many different shapes and sizes, so if it’s your first time wearing contact lenses, it’s important to visit an eye doctor for a contact lens fitting.

Aveo daily contacts are specifically designed for a comfortable, no-slip fit. Our unique BlissEdge is a frictionless dual-tapered edge that keeps the lens in place and allows your eyelid to glide over the edge with no drag. Every time you blink, BlissEdge swaps water and oxygen under the lens for fresh moisture and oxygen from the air — so that it feels like you’re wearing no contacts at all.

What you can do:

If you suspect that your contacts don’t fit properly, begin by removing the contacts to prevent any further irritation or damage to the eye. Then, book an appointment with your eye doctor so that they can give you a comprehensive eye exam and reevaluate the fit of your contact lenses.

3. Something is on or under your contact lens.

If something is stuck under your contact lens, it can scratch or irritate your cornea (the outermost part of your eye). On the other hand, if something is stuck on top of the contact lens, it may irritate the inside of the eyelid. Either way, this discomfort can increase throughout the day if not dealt with immediately.

What you can do:

If you feel like there may be something caught in your contact lens, start by removing the lens and rinsing it with contact lens solution. Place the lens in the palm of your hand with some solution, and gently rub it with your finger (don’t forget to wash your hands first!). If you still feel as though there may be something in your eye even after the lens is removed, try flushing your eye with lukewarm water. You can do this by placing a glass of water just under your eye and pouring the liquid over your eye, or by hopping in the shower and letting lukewarm water run over your forehead while holding your eye open.

4. You’ve been wearing your contacts for too long.

You may love wearing your contact lenses, but the truth is that your eyes need some space. Generally, contact lenses can be worn for up to 14–16 hours, but after that need to be removed and, in the case of reusable contacts, placed in a cleaning solution overnight. Wearing your contacts for too long — or worse, sleeping with them on — can cause stress to the cornea and put you at risk for dangerous conditions such as conjunctivitis, keratitis, or corneal neovascularization. If you wear monthly contact lenses, wearing your lenses for longer than a month can also put you at risk of infection and cause discomfort.

What you can do: 

When it comes to the health and safety of your eyes, daily contacts are your best and safest option. Daily contacts are also the most convenient, as you don’t have to remember when to replace them — simply toss them at night, and use a fresh pair in the morning! People with daily contacts tend to save money on contact lens solutions as well. Daily contacts are also better for the environment, and produce far less plastic waste than monthly contacts. (Check out our post on the sustainability of daily contacts!)

Setting an alert on your phone can help remind you to take out your contact lenses before bed. If you wear monthly lenses, set a calendar reminder so that you do not exceed the one month with each pair.

5. You have dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears to lubricate themselves, causing feelings of itchiness, burning, sensitivity to light, or blurry vision. It is important to note that dry eye syndrome is different from general eye dryness, which may happen for any of the above reasons.

Your eye isn’t used to having anything touching it, so contact lenses can cause eye dryness no matter what your eye health is like. This is heightened if you work at a computer and naturally blink less often than usual, which may cause your contacts to feel dry by the end of the day.

Aveo lenses help keep your eyes lubricated using AquaLock, which mimics a hydrophilic molecule that occurs naturally in your eyes. AquaLock creates a cushion of hydration against the surface of your eye and keeps your contacts 96% hydrated even after 12 hours of wear — and it’s integrated right into the lens, so it won’t wear off or dissipate like a coating.

What you can do:

If you think that your contact lens discomfort may result from dry eye syndrome, your first step should be to get a diagnosis from your healthcare provider. Treatment for dry eye syndrome usually depends on what is causing the symptoms and can range from over-the-counter eye drops to prescription medications. Avoiding smoke, wind, and air conditioning can help with symptoms of dry eye syndrome, as can simple lifestyle changes such as limiting screen time.

Read more: Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses

Summing it up

Uncomfortable contact lenses are no fun and should not be the norm. There are many reasons why your contacts may feel itchy, sore, dry, or uncomfortable, from allergies to dry eye syndrome. Thankfully, there are just as many ways to relieve this discomfort so that you — and your eyes — can be happy and comfortable again.

Switching to daily contacts will always be the first step towards healthier eyes. Aveo offers daily contacts with and without astigmatism correction, and makes getting your contacts easier and more affordable than ever before. Learn more about how to get 10 pairs of contacts for $5.

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