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Why do my contact lenses hurt?

Various factors can cause your contact lenses to hurt, which is why we recommend you see your optometrist or ophthalmologist should you experience pain or discomfort. An eye care professional will be able to determine the underlying problem accurately.


Your contact lenses could hurt as a result of lens-specific or environmental causes.

Lens-specific causes may be any of the following:

  • The lens material’s wettability- the higher the wettability of the contact lens material, the less likely it is to cause pain and discomfort.
  • The lens design- this can also affect the discomfort that some lens wearers experience. Silicone hydrogel lenses have become increasingly popular due to their breathable design which allows a higher amount of oxygen to permeate the eye, enabling them to stay better hydrated.
  • The lens fit- your eyes’ size and shape are unique to you, and therefore your contact lenses should be too. For this reason, it’s crucial that you wear the correct lens type. For example, if you require toric lenses for your eye shape. A poor fit can cause severe damage to your eye health, such as corneal abrasion.
  • The wearing schedule-there is a range of contact lenses, from daily disposable lenses to extended wear contact lenses, designed to be worn safely overnight. You should follow the wearing schedule recommended to you by your optician who will help you pick a lens best suited to your lifestyle.
  • Lens care solutions-using the wrong contact lens solution can cause your contact lenses to hurt. Different lens solutions have been designed for various purposes. Making sure that you use the correct solution for the intended purpose is very important.
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Environmental causes may be any of the following:

  • Age- ageing can cause a tendency toward meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) to increase. This occurs when the eyelid glands don’t produce enough oil to stop the tears’ watery layer from drying out.
    When this happens, there is a lack of lubrication on the eye, which makes it harder to tolerate contact lenses.

    Meibomian gland dysfunction can affect anyone and is mostly associated with blepharitis; however, it is more likely to occur after the age of 50 if you have oily skin conditions.

  • Medication-silicone hydrogel and rigid gas permeable contact lenses interact differently with medication and can cause adverse effects based on various factors. It is therefore important to consider a contact lens wearers medical history when prescribing contact lenses.
  • Tear film stability-this is strongly linked with comfort and contact lens wear. The stability of tear film helps to prevent evaporation from the ocular surface. If one has low tear film stability, they are more likely to experience discomfort from dry eyes when wearing contact lenses.
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Excessive digital screen use
  • Adverse weather conditions

The last three of these environmental factors can cause your lenses to lose moisture, and as a result, begin to dry out. This can eventually lead to dry eye, which can be painful and uncomfortable.

If this is the case, you should treat your eyes with eye drops recommended by your optician. Our comfi Drops are a premium product designed specifically to treat dry eyes and provide long-lasting relief.

There’s also the possibility that your lens has picked up allergens, dirt or protein build-up and needs cleaning. Our multi-purpose solutions offer a wide range of top-quality products for storing, cleaning, disinfecting and rinsing your lenses.

Nevertheless, if you have an allergic reaction, it does not matter how much you clean lenses. The best thing is to see an optician who will determine what you are reacting to; this could be either solution or lens material.

Why are my contacts suddenly bothering me?

Years of successful wear does not mean that you cannot suddenly encounter problems with your contact lenses. Contact lenses are a foreign body, so it is only natural that your immune system might see these corrective lenses as intruders and as a result, increase its production of white blood cells and antibodies. This can make it uncomfortable to wear contact lenses. If this happens, you will notice some irritation, indicating that you have developed an allergy to contact lenses. If you have a cold or are feeling unwell, you should avoid wearing contact lenses and wear glasses with an up-to-date prescription instead.

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