Why do my contact lenses burn?

Properly fitted contact lenses should be comfortable all day, but there are several reasons why you may experience discomfort or a burning sensation. Contact lens discomfort is one of the most common reasons why people stop wearing lenses, but this needn’t be the case.



Below are some of the many reasons why your contact lenses can ‘burn’.


Poorly fitted contact lenses


If you are wearing contact lenses that are not correctly fitted for your eye this can cause them to move excessively. Over a period of a day this can cause discomfort and can affect your vision. That’s why it’s so important to have contact lenses fitted by a qualified Optometrist or Optician, who will ensure that the lenses are suitable for your unique eyes.


Low quality lenses


Contact lenses have become more breathable and more comfortable over the years, but you can still be fitted with older designs. Newer technology has allowed the lens surface to stay hydrated for much longer, leading to improved comfort for the wearer.


Solution problems


If you wear reusable contact lenses and they burn when you first put them in, this could be due to a reaction to the solutions you are using. Your practitioner will be able to detect this using specific dyes and can offer alternatives such as preservative free solutions or daily disposable contact lenses.


Poor cleaning


Again, just like a problem with the solution itself it is possible to have poor comfort because of a build up of deposits on your lenses. This would usually be something that gets worse as the lenses get older. There are a variety of methods to help alleviate this problem such as improved solutions, doing extra cleaning steps or switching to daily disposables.


Dry eye


Many people suffer with a condition known as dry eye. There are a variety of different factors that can cause a person to have dry eye, from a poor lipid (or oily layer) to a lack of tears being produced. This is something that a qualified practitioner can diagnose and help treat. Some people do not suffer with dry eye without their contact lenses, but notice it more when they start wearing them -this is often referred to as contact lens associated dry eye. Due to the lens itself drying out it gives your eyes yet another challenge and can push you into dry eye symptoms.


There are also lifestyle factors that can lead to problems with dry eye, such as prolonged computer use, air conditioning and dehydration.


Takeaway


Contact lenses are classed as a medical device and can only be fitted by a qualified practitioner. By doing so you ensure that you are being fitted with lenses that are suitable for your eyes and given all the care needed to keep you wearing lenses comfortably all day.


There are a variety of treatments available to alleviate symptoms of both dry eye and contact lens associated dry eye.


Regular aftercare with your Optician is vital to ensure a long and happy relationship with your contact lenses. Prevention is always better than cure, so keeping up to date with your appointments may help you avoid future complications.

Always consult a qualified optometrist to confirm a diagnosis!

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