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How to Relieve Eye Pain From Contacts

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A woman is rinsing her contact lens with a solution in her hand.

Contacts can be an excellent tool to correct vision for people with refractive errors and other eye conditions. With that in mind, taking care of your contacts and speaking with your eye doctor if any discomfort persists when wearing them is crucial. 

You can relieve discomfort from wearing contacts by cleaning them, using different medications, or finding alternative vision correction options, like laser eye surgery. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to relieve eye pain from contacts and how Griffin Optometric Group may be able to help. 

Tips for Relieving Pain from Contacts

There are many reasons why you might experience some discomfort when wearing your contact lenses, and fortunately, there are several treatments you can try to relieve some of the symptoms:

Take Care of Your Contacts 

The first step to relieving discomfort caused by your contact lenses is to ensure you care for and clean them properly. Here are some simple tips for cleaning your contacts:

  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes or contacts 
  • Ensure your contact solutions is not expired 
  • Store your contacts safely in a clean environment 
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions on wearing and removing your contacts 
  • Avoid showering or swimming with contact lenses in
  • Never use a homemade saline solution
A close-up of a woman with a contact lens pouring lubricating eye drops into her right eye.

Eye Drops 

If your contacts lead to dry eyes, consider using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops to help bring back some moisture and reduce discomfort. In more serious cases, your doctor may recommend prescription eye drops or combine these with other treatments to help combat the symptoms of dry eyes. 


Orthokeratology (also known as ortho-k) is a non-surgical procedure involving wearing rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses to correct and manage myopia. They are worn overnight and work by gently reshaping an abnormally-shaped cornea. When used regularly, ortho-k lenses can eliminate the need to wear contacts during the day, which may be a more comfortable option for you.

Laser Eye Surgery 

Your doctor may recommend surgical intervention depending on your symptoms and what might be causing the discomfort when wearing contact lenses. For example, LASIK surgery can help correct refractive errors like astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia. For many, laser eye surgery can eliminate the need for contact lenses and provide comfortable, lens-free vision.  

What Can Cause Pain when Wearing Contacts? 

Discomfort when wearing contact lenses can be rooted in several different issues. 

Germs & Bacteria 

Poor personal hygiene can considerably impact your contact lenses, leading to bacteria and germs entering your eyes. Showering with contact lenses is among the most significant risks for developing these issues. 


Giant papillary conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction that can happen from wearing contact lenses. It typically causes the inside of your eye to become red and swollen. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Feeling as if something is stuck in your eye
  • Red, itchy eyes 
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Mucus in the eyes that cause blurriness 

Dry Eyes 

Dry eye is a common condition that affects millions of Americans. It’s a disease where your eyes cannot produce tears, or the tears being produced are low in quality, leading to discomfort. Wearing contact lenses for prolonged periods can cause dry eye symptoms, and studies show that half of all contact lens wearers develop dry eye. 

Wearing Contacts Too Long

Wearing your contacts for too long can result in discomfort. It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your eye doctor and any instructions that come with your lenses. 

Poorly-Sized Contacts

Contact lenses are intended to fit comfortably with your eyes and feel almost as though they’re not even there. If your contact lenses frequently fall out or fit improperly, you may experience discomfort and other dry eye symptoms. Before choosing contacts, schedule a contact lens exam and fitting so your optometrist can help you find the right fit. 

What Are My Options for Contact Lenses? 

Contact lenses are clear plastic discs that float on the tear film covering your cornea and help to correct poor vision. Some examples of refractive errors contacts can help with include:

Contact lenses are generally created using hard or soft plastics, depending on your visual needs and preferences. 

Soft Contacts

Soft contacts are the more popular type as they are typically more comfortable. Here are a few of the different types:

  • Daily wear contacts: A disposable contact lens that can be worn during the day and disposed of or stored at night
  • Extended wear contacts: Lenses that can be worn for several days and during the night but should be cleaned weekly

Hard Contacts

Hard contact lenses can be slightly more uncomfortable than soft ones but are generally longer lasting and less likely to break when handling. RGP lenses are the most popular form of hard contact and can be better for people with allergies or unevenly shaped corneas.

Find Comfort in Your Contacts

If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort with your contact lenses or worried they might not be appropriately fitted, book an appointment with our team at Griffin Optometric Group. Our team is committed to helping our patients find solutions for comfortable, clear vision.

Written by Total Vision

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