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Are you experiencing contact lens intolerance?

Over 4 million people in the UK wear contact lenses for vision correction.[1]  A popular solution, contact lenses are particularly helpful for those people who dislike or cannot wear glasses. 

Although they are the preferred vision correction solution for many, contact lenses don’t come without their issues. Contacts can have a seriously harmful effect on your eye health, causing several eye related problems including serious eye infections, many of which can lead to hospital admission.

What is contact lens intolerance?

Many contact lens wearers find themselves relying on their lenses for extended periods of time, putting them in in the morning and not removing them until late in the evening.  However, some wearers begin to notice a change in their eye health over time. Where once they were able to wear their lenses for entire days, they find that their eyes quickly become irritated and sore, meaning they can only wear their lenses for short periods of time. This term is known as ‘contact lens intolerance’ where wearers struggle with numerous irritating eye related issues caused by their contact lenses.

What are contact lens intolerance symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms of contact lens intolerance that wearers can experience. The main contact lens intolerance symptoms reported generally include:

  • Redness
  • Dry Eyes
  • Irritation
  • Grittiness
  • Burning & Stinging
  • Eye Infections
  • Corneal Abrasions
  • Corneal Ulcers

What solutions and treatments are available for contact lens intolerance?

Symptoms differ for each individual wearer and can range from mild to severe.  In most cases, the most common method to relieve symptoms is to limit the amount of time that you wear your lenses.  It is advised to only wear contact lenses for a couple of hours a day, or on alternate days in order to give the eyes a rest. 

For some, contact lenses become something of ‘special occasion wear’ where they are only used for occasions where glasses are not appropriate. This however, can be a source of frustration for many contact lens wearers, defeating the purpose of why they chose contact lenses in the first place.

Hand hygiene has never been more of a hot topic and the World Health Organising is continuing to encourage people to frequently wash their hands and avoid touching your face and eyes. For contact lens wearers this message has never been more important. Every time a contact lens wearer puts in or removes their contacts they are at risk of causing a serious eye infection. Some infections can be so severe that they require hospital treatment and can even lead to sight loss.

For those who suffer with dry and irritated eyes, lubricating eye drops can be used to offer some temporary relief by helping to re-moisturise the eyes.

If you are concerned about your eye health or are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important that you speak to a professional straight away who can assess the health of your eyes.  Book an appointment at your local Optical Express clinic here and our experts will be able to assess your eye health and provide you with the eye care services you require.

Are there other vision correction solutions I should consider?

For contact lens wearers who are experiencing the symptoms of ‘contact lens intolerance’ the good news is that there are other vision correction solutions available which mean you don’t need to go back to wearing outdated glasses. Optical Express are the UK’s leading provider of laser eye surgery, lens replacement surgery and private cataract surgery – the ideal solutions for people who want to live a life free from their glasses and contact lenses.

The benefits of vision correction surgery over contact lenses and glasses are vast. Not only do they alleviate the hassle and reliance on contact lenses and glasses, it is also considered a safer option for your general eye health.

Optical Express’s peer review published data[2],[3] found that reputable daily wear contact lenses are 4 times more likely to lead to a serious sight threatening infection than LASIK laser eye surgery during each year of wear. As well as protecting your eye health, ditching contact lenses is also better for the environment as over 750 million single-use plastic contact lenses end up in our oceans or landfill in the UK every year. [4]

The vast majority of our patients are amazed at the improvement in their vision after surgery and now enjoy a life free from their glasses and contact lenses.  We receive a huge amount of positive feedback but the most common comment from our patients is “I wish I’d done it sooner.”

Book a free consultation

The first step towards achieving visual freedom is to book a free of charge consultation at your local Optical Express clinic.  Our experts will perform a range of comprehensive tests to check the health of your eyes and suitability for treatment. They will then discuss all of the options available to you.

Book your free consultation today here.


[2] Infective Keratitis after Laser Vision Correction: Incidence and Risk Factors; Shallhorn et al; J Cataract Refract Surgery 2017; 43: 473-479.

[3] Contact Lens Replicated Microbial Keratitis; Stapleton et al; Eye 2012; 26: 185-193.

[4] Optical Express survey of 3,104 Contact Lens wearers.

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