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What should I do if my contact lenses are hurting my eyes?

Your eyes could be hurting from your contact lenses for a couple of reasons; however, it is most likely down to them not being the right fit for your eyes. It’s advisable to have a copy of your prescription with you when you order your lenses so that you know you’re ordering exactly what you need. Eye pain from contact lens wear can also be a concern as it may indicate an eye infection. Remember, if your eyes don’t feel right, look good or seem well, you need to see an eye care practitioner for a checkup. Sometimes a minor contact lens irritation, if left untreated, can develop into a more serious problem — occasionally one that can be sight-threatening.


Lenses are made from lots of different materials, some of which are designed for different wearing schedules. If you’re wearing contact lenses overnight, but you haven’t been prescribed extended wear lenses by your optician, this could be the reason your eyes are in pain.

What should I do if my contact lenses are hurting my eyes?

  1. First thing’s first, you should wash and dry your hands thoroughly with a lint-free towel before carefully removing your contact lens.
  2. You’ll then need to use some fresh contact lens solution and gently rub your contact lens clean. This should remove any potential irritants from the lens surface. Doing this as soon as you feel some pain from the lens is important to avoid irritating your eye.
  3. After cleaning and reapplying the lens, if your eye is still hurting, you should take it out again for a closer inspection. Sometimes contacts can split, irritating the eye. If this is the case, you should immediately throw away the lens and apply a new one. That’s why you should always carry a spare set, especially if you’re a daily disposable contact lens wearer.
  4. Having thrown away the damaged lenses, and with a fresh pair in your eyes, the pain should go away very quickly. However, if your eyes are still hurting, you should cease wearing your lenses and seek help from your eye care practitioner. They may check to see if the lenses are suitable for your eyes or they may suggest an eye exam to see if there are any more serious factors at play.

When visiting your eye care practitioner, please make sure to take all your contact lens details with you. If you don’t have a written contact lens prescription, take the boxes that your lenses have come in so that the optician can see the lenses’ make and material.

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PLEASE DO NOT forget the contact lens solution if you are wearing monthly lenses (most problems occur due to patients using different solutions. Not all solutions are suitable for all lens types. If you are taking over the counter or prescription medications, remember to bring these with you too.

And, in instances like these, you should refrain from wearing contact lenses to avoid worsening your eyes’ condition. Having a pair of glasses with an up-to-date prescription is always advised for these sorts of situations.

Is it normal for contacts to hurt at first?

It is normal for new contact lens wearers to feel the edges of the lenses the first few times when putting them in; however, they should not cause pain. If you are experiencing pain, burning or irritation, you should return to your eye care practitioner.

Any minor irritations should disappear within 15 minutes as your eyes adjust and accept the lenses. If you feel irritation, then your lenses may be either inside out or dirty.

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