Contact Lenses (cont.)
Contact Lenses Symptoms
It is not unusual to have some general irritation, even some redness, upon
beginning contact lens wear. However, persistent redness, light sensitivity,
pain, and blurred vision are the main signs and symptoms of potential eye
problems. Depending on the cause, symptoms vary in intensity. In more serious
infections, the pupil in the infected (red) eye may be smaller than the other pupil.
- With a torn or broken lens or if there is something
in the eye, there is usually a slight feeling of general irritation as if
something is in the eye. There may be some associated redness.
- With a poor-fitting lens or a lens that is old, there
may be a slight irritation and redness associated with some blurring of
- Makeup on the surface of the eye or a reaction to
solutions can vary from slight to marked redness of the eye with slight to
- Corneal abrasions (scratches) are usually quite
painful, with or without the lens in the eye, and are associated with light
sensitivity and redness. Vision may or may not be blurry.
- Infections are a major concern because they may cause
severe eye damage.
- Simple pinkeye (a mild infection) is
usually associated with redness, clear or mucous discharge, and
matting of the eyelids. Vision is usually clear. When this happens, remove
the contact lens in hopes of avoiding spread of the infection to the eye.
Contact your fitter as to how to proceed.
- Infections of the cornea are of more concern. These
infections cause marked redness, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and a
variable degree of pain. Occasionally, it is possible for the lens wearer to
see the infection, which may appear as a white spot on the surface of the
eye. These infections require immediate evaluation and care. Infections may
be secondary to contaminated solutions, poor hygiene, contaminated tap
water, or dirty contact-lens cases.
- When a lens slips off the surface of the eye, vision immediately becomes blurry, which may or may not be associated with a sensation of something under the upper eyelid. If you can't move the lens to the correct position on the eye, you might have to seek the advice of your fitter.
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