When you put your contacts in, you should not experience any pain, itching, or irritation. However, many new lens wearers do find that inserting their lenses is uncomfortable. If you're experiencing discomfort when you insert your lenses, it is important to know that this is not normal—and to take steps to find out what's causing it, so you can fix it. Here are three common causes of lens-related irritation in new contact lens wearers.
The lenses are too dry.
When you're new to contacts, it can take you a few tries to actually get the lenses in your eyes. During this time, the lens might dry out—and a dry contact can feel irritating on your eye. To combat this issue, try dipping your lenses back into the contact solution after each failed insertion attempt. You can also just squeeze a little solution from the bottle onto the lens, as it sits on your finger, if you have been trying to insert it for more than a minute or two.
The lenses are inverted.
When you learned to put your contacts in, your optometrist should have showed you that there is a right way and a wrong way for the lens to be flipped. Unfortunately, a lot of patients are a bit hurried and frazzled when learning to insert their contacts, so this detail can go in one ear and out the other. If your contact is inside-out it will hurt when you put it in your eye. To tell if your contact is right-side-out, hold it on the tip of your finger, and raise it to eye level. The edges should curve inwards. If the edges curve outwards, you need to invert the contact (flip it right-side-out) before putting it in.
Your solution is causing irritation.
Some people are sensitive to ingredients in certain contact solutions. If your contacts are not dry or inverted, this is likely the cause of your eye irritation. Give your eye doctor a call, and explain to them that you think your contact solution is irritating your eyes. If you tell them what solution you're using, they should be able to recommend one with different ingredients that is less likely to irritate you. There are also solutions made specifically for sensitive eyes. They might cost a bit more, but should make inserting your lenses more comfortable.
Do not ignore irritation when inserting your contact lenses. If none of the recommendations above work, speak to your eye doctor. He or she will examine your eyes and ensure nothing more sinister, like an eye infection or poorly fitted lenses, is to blame.
Check out Campbell River Optometry Centre contacts to find a variety of lens options and talk to an optometrist about proper contact lens care.