If you're tired of wearing glasses but aren't ready to commit to refractive surgery for vision correction, contact lenses are an excellent alternative. According to the CDC, more than 30 million Americans wear contact lenses. Their popularity reflects the fact that contact lens wearers are extremely satisfied with the results. However, this does not mean that contact lenses are without flaws.
Discomfort is one of the most common issues that contact lens wearers suffer. Contact lens discomfort can cause stinging, burning, itching, pain, redness, watering, impaired vision, light sensitivity, dry eye, and other symptoms. These symptoms could be caused by anything as simple as an environmental issue or a problem with the fit, or they could be caused by something more serious, such as an infection or a corneal ulcer.
Contact lens discomfort, whether slight or severe, can be bothersome in multiple ways than one. Most varieties of contact lenses should be comfortable all the time after an initial acclimatization period. You shouldn't even notice they're there. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of a variety of variables causing discomfort in the long haul.
Here are six remedies to alleviate contact lens discomfort:
* These suggestions are meant to supplement, rather than replace, the advice of your eye doctor. If you are having contact lens discomfort, schedule a visit with your eye doctor for a thorough evaluation.
Improve Your Fit
The tear film, a multi-layer (oil, water, and mucin) protectant, buoys contact lenses directly on your eyes. In order to identify the best contact lens for you, your eye doctor will perform a complete examination to examine the unique size and shape of your eyes. The majority of contact lenses are made to cover the entire cornea (gas permeable lenses being the exception). Various measurements are taken to ensure that your contact lens fits perfectly; unfortunately, these measurements are not always accurate.
If your discomfort is due to an ill-fitting contact lens, your eye doctor can recheck your eyes and redo the measurements to provide you with a better fit.
Contact Lens Care Products
Use the brand of contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor. Some lens care solutions may work well for the majority of individuals, but you may be the exception. If your contact lenses aren't cleaned properly, they might irritate or harm the surface of your eye. Under this condition, your optometrist or ophthalmologist may recommend contact lens solutions that may perform better.
Even if your lens care solutions or eye drops work well at first, some people can develop sensitivity to specific formulae, particularly those containing preservatives, over time. Your eye doctor may advise you to use non-preserved care solutions or daily disposable lenses, which are more healthy.
Take good care of your lens
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 to 90 percent of contact lens wearers do not properly care for their lenses. Inadequate care can result in serious eye infections like keratitis. Your eye doctor will go over all of the contact lens maintenance needs with you, but pay attention the followings:
– Carefully wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses.
– Remove your contact lenses when showering, bathing or swimming. (keep water away from them in general).
– Do not sleep with your contact lenses on. (unless otherwise indicated).
– Follow contact lens replacement instructions (e.g., do not reuse daily contact lenses).
– Replace your contact lens case every few months.
– Never mix contact lens solutions.
– Visit your eye doctor on a regular basis.
Shed an Artificial Tear
The way the lens rests on the thin tear film that covers the cornea is one of the most important elements influencing contact lens comfort. If your discomfort is being caused by dry eyes, an artificial tear eye drop may help by smoothing and lubricating the tear film. Artificial tears can alleviate dryness on occasion. However, before using artificial tears with your contact lenses, you must consult with your eye doctor because some eye drops are incompatible with specific types of contact lenses. Drops that are incompatible with lenses might discolor and destroy them. Furthermore, not all drops are intended for or approved for use with contact lenses.
Avoid using the products advertised to "get the red out" of the eyes for dryness; their purpose is to constrict the little blood vessels that sit behind the white eye (sclera). Shrinking the size of these blood vessels reduces the appearance of red eyes but does not treat the underlying dryness problem.
To be comfortable when using contact lenses, you must produce enough tears. But it's not simply the number of tears that matters; it's also the quality. Imbalanced tear chemistry, for example, might result in rapid tear evaporation, which is just as problematic as not producing enough tears. Inadequate tear production isn't the only tear-related irregularity that can lead to dry eye. You may be more prone to excessive tear evaporation if the chemical composition of your tears is somewhat off.
According to research, omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon and other fish, as well as flaxseed oil, can increase the oily component of tear composition, preventing abnormal evaporation and allowing contact lenses to rest more comfortably on the tear film.
Experiment with a Different Type
If your discomfort is unrelated to fit or any form of tear generation issue, switching to a new type of lens may be the simplest remedy.
Contact lenses are classified into two types: hard and soft. However, there is a subset of distinct types within these basic categories, including:
– Silicone hydrogel: Advanced soft contact lens.
– Gas permeable (GP): Hard contact lens that can be fitted closer to the eye.
– Hybrid: Combines the comfort of soft lenses with the clear optics of hard GP lenses.
– PMMA: An older version of hard contact lens that fewer people use these days.
Remember that most contact lenses cover the whole cornea, limiting the healthy passage of oxygen to the eyes. Certain lenses, including gas permeable and silicone hydrogel, aid to reduce oxygen deprivation, but proper usage is essential for eye health.