This question can be answered simply: no contact lenses should not hurt. If they do, you should talk to your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Contacts may feel a little uncomfortable as your eyes adjust, particularly when you first get them, but they should never hurt. This feeling of discomfort should go away relatively quickly — typically within a few hours as your eyes become acclimated.
If your lenses do hurt, there could be an underlying reason for the pain. It could be a minor issue or a sign of a potentially dangerous condition. For this reason, unresolved irritation while wearing contact lenses should be addressed by an eye doctor. Here are some of the reasons you may experience discomfort while wearing contacts.
1. The contact lens is inside out
This may seem silly, but a contact that is inside out can cause irritation and pain in the eye. The first thing you should do in this instance is take the contact out and wash it, and it can then be properly reinserted.
2. The lens is ripped
If you take out the lens, clean and reinsert it and it still hurts, your lens may have a small tear in it. Take it out of your eye immediately because a torn contact lens can damage sensitive tissue. Discard the torn contact and replace it with a new one.
3. There is an eyelash stuck to the lens
Sometimes, eyelashes can get stuck under the contact lens. This can cause an immense amount of pain, however, you should experience immediate relief after you take out the lens. The lash may not be visible so be sure to clean the contact thoroughly before trying to put it in your eye. If it feels better after you wash the lens and reinsert it, then it’s okay to continuing wearing.
4. You could have an eye infection
Eyes can get infected from a number of things, from dirty hands rubbing them to environmental issues. Eye infections can occur on multiple parts of the eye, such as the eyelid, the inside of the eye, the cornea, or the very back of the eyeball. If you have any sort of eye infection, it’s very important to avoid wearing contacts until cleared by a doctor. A contact lens could make the infection in your eye worse. You should go see a doctor at the first sign of infection.
5. You might have a corneal abrasion
A corneal abrasion, or a scratched eye, is one of the most common eye injuries. When you have a corneal abrasion, you’ll likely have significant discomfort, red eyes, and a hypersensitivity to light. Wearing a contact lens on top of the abrasion will cause a lot of discomfort, even if the contact is thoroughly cleaned. Most doctors recommend avoiding contacts while the eye heals and you should visit a doctor if the pain and sensitivity continues.
6. There are deposits on the lens
Occasionally, your contact lenses can get a build-up of gunk on them, known as deposits. When a contact lens is too dry, then the lens will develop a build-up on it that can cause irritation. There are many reasons and causes for deposits – anything from a windy environment to wearing your contacts too long during the day to sleeping in the lenses. When the deposits start irritating the eye, contact lenses should be removed immediately to ensure that no permanent damage is inflicted upon the eye.
7. The lens solution is dirty.
Another reason that your contacts may be bothering is reusing your cleaning solution. This negates the cleaning agent, making the contacts dirtier when they are placed into the old solution. Be sure to use fresh solution in order to keep you contacts clean and comfortable.
8. Not replacing lenses on time.
Trying to extend the life of contacts, or stretching, is highly discouraged. Wearing lenses longer than instructed can cause the matrix of the contact to break down. This can damage your eye and potentially cause a serious infection.
Contact lenses should not hurt when worn, and discomfort is an indication there is an underlying cause that should be addressed. If you need assistance, the experienced physicians and staff at The Eye Doctors can help you determine why your lenses are causing pain and how to make them comfortable again. Call today to schedule your consultation!