Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes irritation when wearing contact lenses?"
I prefer wearing lenses but after a few hours my eyes are scratchy and a bit itchy. Not sure of the cause. Is it dry eyes?
There are many potential causes of irritation with contact lenses, and one of them certainly can be dry eyes. I am sorry to hear that it is difficult for you to wear contact lenses, but am hopeful that you may be able to find a solution. It is important to discuss this with your doctor, as he or she will best be able to help you. There are different ways to think about why you are having irritation, and one of the easiest is to think about where the problem may be coming from, that is, is it from your eyes themselves, or is it from the contact lenses? This will obviously affect how the problem is treated. Your own history will often help, meaning that if you have a history of having the same problem with different contact lenses, then it may be that the problem is with your eyes. If, however, you have always done just fine with contact lenses and are only now having a problem, then it may be something intrinsically wrong with the lens itself. It may be torn, dirty, or even not a perfect fit for your eye. There are also certainly examples where a new problem could be presenting, such as seasonal allergies or poor sleep, which could both be presenting as a new problem. The best thing to do is to speak with your doctor to find the best answer and to protect your eyes. Please speak to your doctor.
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