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Now You See, Now You Don't: Four Reasons Why Your Contacts Aren't Working For You

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Eye contacts, or contact lenses, have come a long way from the very hard and scratchy ones first sold in the sixties and seventies. However, you still have to be really careful with your soft contact lenses, or you could tear them. Even while wearing your lenses, you may encounter a lot of problems with your vision and plenty of discomfort. If you are having a hard time seeing and a more difficult time wearing your lenses, something is very wrong. There are at least four reasons why you are having trouble with your contacts.

Cloudy, Foggy Lenses

Usually, cloudy, foggy vision with your lenses means that the lenses desperately need to be cleaned. A lot of protein buildup has made a sort of germ-plaque over and under the lenses. If you actively clean the lenses, this should dissipate quite a bit. It is also a much healthier option than the multiple eye infections you will incur wearing these dirty, gross lenses.

If you already frequently wash your lenses, and these lenses are not that old, you need to examine just what is going on. If you have the especially bad (and disgusting!) habit of moistening your lenses in your mouth and then putting your lenses back in your eyes, guess what? All the bacteria in your mouth is being transferred to your lenses! Now your bacteria-covered lenses sit on your moist eyes and reproduce massive amounts of bacteria because they have both the moisture and the starter bacteria. Do NOT put your lenses in your mouth! Instead, use a sterile saline drop for contacts to rewet the lenses, or use your saline solution. (They do make travel and sample bottles that are easy to carry with you.)

Too Much Screen Time

If you spend eight or more hours a day parked in front of a computer screen, your lenses will dry out and your eyes will get very itchy and irritated. While people without contacts are advised to spend ten to twenty minutes away from their screens every two hours, you should know that (as a lens wearer) you definitely need to follow that advice. Your vision is not only hampered by too much white screen light, but your lenses will feel like fiberglass on your eyeballs after long stretches of screen exposure. 

Major Eye Infections Are Present

If you already have a major eye infection, inserting contacts is the last thing you should be doing. First and foremost, an infection produces bacteria, which transfers to your lenses and can reinfect your eyes anew every time you put the lenses in. Secondly, the lenses will be occluded by the presence of pus, as is the case with pink eye, and will only add to the mad itching you are already doing because of the infection.

Before you put contacts in, make sure your eyes are not experiencing:

  • Excessive watering
  • Excessive itching or burning
  • Redness
  • Pus coming from the corners
  • Eyelids glued shut with a crusty substance
  • Swollen eyelids

All of the above are signs that you may have an eye infection. 

Your Vision Has Changed

Your vision goes through some major changes at different points in your life. The most rapid changes occur when you are an infant, and again mid-life. Sudden changes in vision at any other time are indicative of something much more serious. You should always have your eye doctor check your vision right away if your vision becomes blurry or dark overnight.

As for the usual changes mid-life, you may need bifocal contacts. Your vision could also get worse or you could get cataracts. Only a very small and very rare percentage of people have changes for the better in their vision. No matter what, your lenses are not going to help. Only your optometrist can.