Maybe It’s Not Your Contact Lens!

17 11 2011

At times contact lenses can be uncomfortable, especially in the climate of the Texas Panhandle.   Low humidity, wind, and lots of allergens do not make for an environment conducive to all day, comfortable contact lens wear.   A torn lens, a piece of lint or dust or lens coatings from using the same lens more than 1 month can definitely make a contact lens uncomfortable.  A thicker lens, a larger diameter or the improper curvature of the lens that doesn’t match the eye curvature can make the contact lenses uncomfortable.   Sometimes the contact lens is the problem.

However, more often than not, the source of discomfort is not the actual contact lens but your contact solution.  Most people use Multi-Purpose Solutions (MPS) such as Optifree PureMoist, Complete, Renu, etc…to disinfect their lenses since it is easy to use.    These MPS solutions all have preservatives (chemicals) that keep the solution from becoming contaminated.  These chemicals, while effective at that, are soaked up into the contact lenses and will slowly diffuse into the tear layer of your eyes during the course of the day while wearing them.  Often this results in from mild to severe irritation to the surface of the eye and inside of the eyelids in certain people.  Irritation to the eye results in dryness, foreign object sensation, redness, burning, blurry vision and sometimes itching and mucous production.  I have found MANY people use cheap, generic, store brands from the Bigmart stores to save money.   While they say they are comparable in how they work, the chemicals may not be as gentle as the name brand solutions.

The only way to know is for your eye doctor to look at your eye to determine what the exact nature of the problem is.  Switching to a preservative-free contact solution, such as Clearcare or Purilens,  is sometimes all that is needed to make contact lenses more comfortable.  The ideal scenario is to wear a daily disposable lens, such as Focus Dailies AquaComfort Plus, that involves using no contact lens solution at all.  No chemicals in the eye, no more problem!

So before you decide to stop wearing your lenses or try to ride out the discomfort, check with your eye doctor first to see if using a daily disposable contact lens or a trial run of a preservative free disinfection system may be the answer.

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 21 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas112727 and like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source You also can visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.   Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

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