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How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Corktown Eyecare in Toronto today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

At Corktown Eyecare, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Corktown Eyecare in Toronto today.

Contact Lenses in Downtown Toronto

We offer a wide range of contact lenses to fit your needs including contact lens exams and fittings

Proudly serving Toronto, ON.

Expert Fittings & All Types of Contacts

Contact lenses are more popular than ever. New materials and advanced engineering have enhanced the comfort, clarity, and convenience of these high tech discs. In contrast to eyeglasses, contacts provide superior vision and a broader peripheral view, without the nuisance of frames slipping down your nose.

However, not all contact lenses are equal – and you need a professional contact lenses eye exam and fitting from a skilled eye doctor in order to find the perfect pair. Our eye doctor is qualified and experienced with contacts in Downtown Toronto, book an appointment for your eye exam to get started with crisp and healthy vision with contacts!

Fitting Contacts in Downtown Toronto

When our eye doctor checks your eyes to fit contacts, the specialized exam consists of more than just basic vision testing. We will use advanced equipment, along with personalized attention that considers your unique visual requirements.

In addition to figuring out your prescription for contact lenses, we will also assess your ocular health to confirm that you do not have any pre-existing conditions that necessitate wearing specialty lenses (such as dry eye). Depending upon the results of your contact lenses eye exam, we will recommend the best types of contacts for your eyes.

The next step of your eye exam for contact lenses in Downtown Toronto is to measure your eyes. Our eye doctor may use a keratometer to inspect for any corneal irregularities (it is a quick and painless procedure). We will also measure corneal curvature, pupil size, and iris size.

Your Contact Lenses Prescription

Your accurate prescription for contact lenses will include:

  • Base curve (lens curvature)
  • Lens diameter
  • Power of each lens
  • Manufacturer and brand-name of lenses

What is the Best Type of Contact Lenses for You?

In addition to performing a complete eye exam, we will also ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle, visual expectations, and typical activities. All of this information is significant for recommending the most suitable contact lenses.

Here is a review of the different types of available contacts in our Downtown Toronto optical store:

Soft Contact Lenses

Nowadays, most people prefer soft contact lenses. Composed of specialized plastic mixed with water, soft lenses enable a high quantity of oxygen to reach your cornea.

They also give sharp vision and are comfortable as soon as you insert them, with no adjustment period. However, soft lenses can be fragile and some people find them hard to handle.

Soft contacts come in several wearing schedules, and the decision about which type to purchase depends heavily upon your lifestyle and personality. Will you be vigilant about disinfecting your lenses every night? Will you adhere to the wearing schedule instructed by your eye doctor?

Do you plan to insert and remove your lenses a few times each day? When you meet with our contact lenses specialists in Downtown Toronto, your answers to these questions will help us recommend the type of contacts to meet your needs.

  • Daily Wear Lenses: Must be taken out and sterilized nightly. These lenses are replaced on a set schedule, ranging from every two weeks to every three months, depending upon the brand.
  • Extended Wear Lenses: Designed to be worn overnight. You need to remove and sterilize them at least once a week. Many eye doctors do not recommend this type because it is linked to a higher risk of eye infection.
  • Disposable Contacts – Dailies:  These lenses are discarded after each use, so zero maintenance is required. Dailies are ideal for people with allergies because allergens do not have time to build upon the lenses. Daily disposable lenses are also appropriate for other eye conditions that cause protein deposits.
Hard Contact Lenses

Also known as rigid gas permeable lenses, these contacts are made from oxygen permeable silicone. Many people experience crisper vision with hard lenses.

In addition, if you have astigmatism or a medical condition that facilitates the build-up of protein deposits on the contact lens – hard lenses may be more suitable. You must remove, disinfect, and store hard lenses nightly, and usually, they last a very long time due to their durable construction.

Specialty Contact Lenses

These include:

  • Bifocal/multifocal contacts for presbyopia:  people with presbyopia benefit from these lenses, as they facilitate both near and far vision by looking through different prescription zones in the lenses
  • Toric lenses for astigmatism: used to correct astigmatism, which is when an irregular cornea or lens leads to blurred vision. They are available as both soft and hard contact lenses, in daily and extended wear versions.
  • Scleral lenses for keratoconus and other corneal irregularities
  • Colored contacts for fun!
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Trying On Your Contact Lenses

After your eye exam, we will help you insert and try on some contact lenses.

Once they are in your eyes for about 10 minutes, our eye doctors will check the fit and make sure they move smoothly on your eyes.

Before you go home, we will provide clear instructions on how to handle, insert, remove, and care for your lenses.

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Follow-Up Eye Exams for Contacts in Downtown Toronto

Our eye doctors strongly encourage all wearers of contact lenses to return for regular eye exams. This is the only dependable way to monitor the health of your eyes and acuity of your vision.

We will also inspect the condition of your contacts, to make sure there are no problems. Sometimes, a change in the type of lenses or disinfectant is needed.