ZocdocAnswersAre my contact lenses damaging my eyes?

Question

Are my contact lenses damaging my eyes?

My eyes water all the time and lately have gotten itchy too. I wear contact lenses most of the time and glasses at night before bed. Are the contacts hurting my eyes? Should I stop wearing them if my eyes are itchy and watery?

Answer

You need to go see your primary care doctor or your eye doctor about this issue. I would recommend that you stop wearing your contacts until you are seen by your doctor and get to the bottom of this issue. One of the feared consequences of wearing contacts is the possibility of damage to the surface of the eye, either through scratching of the cornea, or from an infection. If your contacts are old or if you are not cleaning them properly, then these are a possibility that needs to be ruled out by your eye doctor prior to resuming wearing your contacts. If this turns out not to be related to your contacts, then it is likely to be allergic conjunctivitis, which is an allergic reaction of the eyes, usually to indoor allergens like mold or mites. Your primary care doctor can confirm a diagnosis of allergic conjuntivitis and can recommend various medications to you to help control the symptoms. Fortunately, allergic conjunctivitis usually responds really well to basic medications like nonsedating antihistamines (for example, Claritin or Zyrtec) or various anti allergy eye drops. Start by holding off on wearing the contacts and getting in to see your doctor!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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