More than 30 million Americans wear contact lenses as contacts instantly make your vision better if you’re not very fond of wearing eyeglasses.
However, contact lenses have the tendency to make patients feel some discomfort like stinging, burning, pain, itching, watery eyes, redness, sensitivity to light, dry eyes and blurred vision. If you’re experiencing any of these, chances are there are issues with the fit of the lenses, or these may be symptoms of infection or corneal ulcer.
Here are six remedies for contact lens discomfort from your trusted local eye care provider in Virginia, Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry.
1. Artificial Tears
Only use dryness-relieving eye drops recommended by your doctor as not all are designed and approved for contact lenses. Do not use products that get rid of red-eye because, though they get rid of redness, they don’t eliminate dryness.
2. Nutritional Supplements
The quality of your tear production is important to cure eye dryness. Research says that salmon and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can improve the oily part of the tear composition, which prevents tears from evaporating too quickly.
3. Punctal Occlusion
This blocks the ducts that drain tears from your eyes by placing a tiny piece of silicone or acrylic called a punctal plug to reduce drainage and improve moisture on the eye surface. There are temporary dissolving plugs so you can try them to see if they work for you.
4. Dry Eyes Contact Lenses
Your eye doctor may prescribe a different type of lens if the ones you’re using fit yet you still feel discomfort. You may be asked to wear daily disposables if you suffer from allergies as disposable contacts reduce the buildup of airborne allergens. Other options include lenses with different water content, silicone hydrogels and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended cures for dryness.
5. Contact Lens Care Products
Use a contact lens solution that is recommended by your doctor and is suitable for your contacts. Thoroughly clean your lenses as contamination can irritate your eyes.
Orthokeratology (ortho-K) is when you wear special gas permeable contact lenses overnight. While you’re asleep, these lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye, so, when you wake up in the morning, you can remove the contacts and continue to see clearly without them. The results are temporary, however, and you must consistently wear the lenses every night.
Consult the Eye Care Specialists
Before trying any of these options, it’s highly advisable that you talk with your eye care doctor first. At Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, we provide eye care services like low vision therapy and LASIK eye surgery co-management. Call us at (703) 467-9080, or complete our online form to schedule an appointment. We work with patients in Reston and in other parts of Virginia.