Red Eyes and Contact Lenses: How to Avoid Irritation and Infection

Red Eyes and Contact Lenses: How to Avoid Irritation and Infection

Red Eyes and Contact Lenses: How to Avoid Irritation and Infection

Red Eyes and Contact Lenses: How to Avoid Irritation and Infection

Red Eyes and Contact Lenses: How to Avoid Irritation and Infection

In most cases, red eyes are a sign that your eyes are irritated. This can happen for a variety of reasons and contact lenses can often be a key factor. While contacts are a convenient alternative to glasses, they can also cause or exacerbate existing eye issues, particularly if they're not used correctly. Understanding the connection between red eyes and contact lenses is the first step toward preventing irritation and infection.

Causes of Red Eyes When Wearing Contact Lenses

There are several reasons why you might experience red eyes when wearing contact lenses. One of the most common causes is dry eye syndrome. This occurs when your eyes don't produce enough tears, or when the tears they do produce evaporate too quickly. Contact lenses can worsen dry eye symptoms, leading to redness and irritation.

Another common cause of red eyes with contact lenses is allergies. If you're allergic to the material your lenses are made from, or to the cleaning solution you use, your eyes can become red and inflamed.

Finally, improper use or care of your contact lenses can also lead to red eyes. This includes wearing your contacts for longer than recommended, not cleaning them thoroughly, or sleeping in them.

Symptoms of Irritation and Infection

If your eyes are red and irritated due to contact lens use, you may also experience other symptoms. These can include itching, burning, or a feeling of something being stuck in your eye. Your vision may be blurred, and you might be more sensitive to light than usual.

In more severe cases, contact lens use can lead to infection. Symptoms of eye infection can be similar to those of irritation, but they're often more severe and can include discharge from the eye. If you suspect that you have an eye infection, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. Left untreated, eye infections can cause serious damage, including vision loss.

How to Avoid Irritation and Infection When Using Contact Lenses

Maintaining good hygiene is crucial when it comes to contact lens use. This means always washing your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses and keeping your lens case clean and dry. It's also a good idea to replace your lens case regularly, as bacteria can build up over time.

Additionally, never share your contact lenses with someone else. Even if you think your lenses are clean, they could still harbor bacteria or other contaminants that could cause eye problems.

Remember to always use fresh cleaning solution. Reusing the same solution can lead to bacterial growth, which can in turn lead to eye infections. Always make sure to clean your lenses thoroughly before and after each use. Use a high-quality cleaning solution and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Finally, make sure to replace your contact lenses on schedule. Wearing your contacts for longer than recommended can increase your risk of eye irritation and infection.

Why Regular Eye Exams are Essential for Contact Lens Users

If you're a contact lens user, regular eye exams are a must. These exams can help to catch potential issues early before they become serious problems. Your optometrist can check for signs of eye irritation or infection and can make sure your contact lenses are the right fit for your eyes.

Additionally, regular eye exams can help to ensure that your contact lens prescription is up to date. Your vision can change over time, and wearing contacts that aren't the right prescription can lead to eye strain and other issues.


While red eyes and contact lenses can sometimes go hand in hand, it's certainly possible to use contacts without experiencing irritation or infection. By maintaining good hygiene, giving your eyes regular breaks from contact lens use, and getting regular eye exams, you can keep your eyes healthy while still enjoying the convenience and clear vision that contact lenses provide.

To learn more on how to avoid irritation and infection while wearing contact lenses, visit Loman Eye Care at our office in Carmel, Indiana. Please call (317) 844-7474 to schedule an appointment today.

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