How to Relieve Burning Eyes and Irritation Caused by Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses can significantly enhance vision and convenience for many people, but it can also introduce challenges like burning eyes and irritation. These issues can arise from various factors, including improper lens care, dry eyes, or allergic reactions. Understanding the common causes and recognizing the symptoms early on is essential to prevent discomfort and potential eye health complications.

Addressing contact lens-related problems effectively requires a combination of proper hygiene practices, appropriate lens selection, and timely professional advice. Whether you buy contact lenses online or through an optometrist, selecting the right lens will help minimize the risk of irritation. In this article, we will explore the common causes of burning eyes and irritation from contact lenses and provide practical tips to alleviate these issues, ensuring a comfortable and healthy lens-wearing experience.

Common Causes of Burning Eyes and Irritation

Burning eyes and irritation from contact lenses can often be traced back to several common causes. Poor hygiene and improper lens care are among the primary culprits. Failing to wash hands before handling lenses or neglecting regular cleaning and disinfecting can lead to the accumulation of harmful bacteria and deposits on the lenses, causing significant discomfort. In addition, using expired or non-sterile lens solutions can exacerbate these issues, leading to further irritation.

  • Allergies or Sensitivities: Allergic reactions or sensitivities to certain contact lens materials or solutions can also trigger burning eyes and irritation. Individuals who are allergic to pollen, pet dander, or other allergens may find that their symptoms become more severe when wearing contact lenses. Switching to hypoallergenic solutions or lenses designed for sensitive eyes can help mitigate these reactions.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as dust, smoke, or dry air can contribute to eye irritation. Contact lens wearers who are frequently exposed to these elements should consider using lubricating eye drops or wearing protective eyewear to shield their eyes from irritants.
  • Incompatible Lens Material or Solution: Some contact lenses or solutions may not be compatible with an individual’s eyes, causing discomfort. Consulting with an eye care professional to identify and switch to more suitable options can alleviate these issues and ensure a more comfortable lens-wearing experience.

Immediate Relief Steps for Contact Lens Discomfort

Experiencing burning eyes and irritation while wearing contact lenses can be distressing, but taking immediate steps can provide quick relief. The first and most crucial action is to remove the contact lens immediately. This helps prevent further irritation and allows your eyes to begin recovering. Once the lenses are out, rinse your eyes with a sterile saline solution. This step helps wash away any irritants or debris that may be causing discomfort.

  • Apply Lubricating Eye Drops: After rinsing your eyes, use lubricating eye drops to soothe and rehydrate them. These drops can provide instant relief from dryness and reduce inflammation. Ensure that the eye drops are compatible with contact lenses if you plan to reinsert them soon.
  • Inspect and Clean Contact Lenses Thoroughly: Before reinserting your contact lenses, inspect and clean them thoroughly to remove any debris or contaminants that might have caused the irritation. Consider switching to daily contact lenses, as they offer the advantage of a fresh pair each day, reducing the risk of irritation. If you buy your contact lens online, make sure to select reputable brands and products designed for sensitive eyes.

Long-term Solutions for Contact Lens Comfort

To prevent burning eyes and irritation over the long term, adopting a comprehensive approach to lens care and lifestyle adjustments is essential. Ensuring proper lens hygiene and storage is the foundation of eye health. Always wash your hands before handling your contact lens and use the recommended cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Proper storage in a clean, dry case can prevent contamination and prolong the life of your lenses.

  • Use Hypoallergenic or Preservative-Free Solutions: If you experience frequent irritation, consider switching to hypoallergenic or preservative-free solutions. These products are gentler on the eyes and can reduce the risk of allergic reactions. When purchasing contact lens online, check for these specifications to ensure you select the best products for sensitive eyes.
  • Switch to Daily Disposable Lenses if Necessary: For those who continue to experience discomfort, switching to daily contact lenses might be the best solution. Daily disposables offer a fresh pair of lenses every day, minimizing the risk of protein build-up and contamination. This option is particularly beneficial for individuals with sensitive eyes or allergies.
  • Maintain Proper Hydration and Reduce Screen Time: In addition to lens care, maintaining proper hydration and reducing screen time can significantly improve eye comfort. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your eyes moist, while limiting screen exposure reduces strain and dryness. These lifestyle changes, combined with the right contact lens choices, can ensure long-term comfort and health for your eyes.

When to Consult an Eye Care Professional

While self-care measures can often alleviate minor contact lens discomfort, there are times when consulting an eye care professional is crucial. Persistent symptoms despite following proper hygiene and care routines may indicate an underlying issue that needs professional attention. If you continue to experience burning eyes, irritation, or other discomforts even after using recommended solutions and daily contact lenses, it’s essential to seek expert advice to prevent potential complications.

  • Signs of Infection or Severe Discomfort: If you notice signs of infection such as redness, swelling, discharge, or severe pain, contact an eye care professional immediately. These symptoms could indicate a serious condition that requires prompt treatment. Early intervention can prevent further damage and ensure your eyes remain healthy.
  • Need for Personalized Advice on Lens Type and Care: Consulting an eye care professional is also beneficial when you need personalized advice on the best contact lens type and care practices for your specific needs. Whether you’re purchasing your contact lens online or from a local provider, a professional can recommend the most suitable options, including daily contact lenses or hypoallergenic solutions, to enhance comfort and eye health. Regular check-ups can help you maintain optimal vision and prevent future issues.

Preventative Measures for Contact Lens Comfort

Taking proactive steps can significantly reduce the risk of discomfort and irritation associated with contact lens use. Adhering to recommended lens replacement schedules is fundamental. Whether you use daily contact lenses or monthly disposables, following the guidelines ensures that you always have fresh, clean lenses, reducing the risk of protein build-up and bacterial contamination.

  • Avoid Wearing Lenses in High-Risk Environments: It’s important to avoid wearing your contact lens in environments with high levels of dust, smoke, or other irritants. These conditions can worsen irritation and increase the risk of infection. Always have protective eyewear handy if you need to be in such environments.
  • Regular Eye Exams to Monitor Eye Health: Regular eye exams are essential to monitor your eye health and ensure your lenses are suitable for your needs. An eye care professional can detect early signs of potential issues and provide timely advice or treatment.
  • Educate Yourself on Best Practices for Contact Lens Use: Educating yourself on best practices for contact lens use is crucial. This includes proper hygiene, correct insertion and removal techniques, and understanding when to replace your lenses. Whether you buy your contact lens online or from a local store, being informed will help you maintain optimal eye health and comfort.


Proper contact lens care is essential to maintaining eye health and preventing discomfort. Following recommended hygiene practices, such as washing your hands before handling lenses and adhering to the replacement schedules, can significantly reduce the risk of irritation and infection. Whether you use daily contact lenses or other types, taking these steps ensures that your lenses remain clean and safe to use. In addition, purchasing your contact lenses online from a reliable retailer and choosing high-quality products designed for sensitive eyes can make a significant difference.

It’s equally important to seek professional advice when experiencing persistent symptoms or discomfort. Consulting an eye care professional can provide personalized recommendations and help address any underlying issues. Prioritizing eye health not only enhances your vision but also contributes to overall well-being. By being proactive and informed, contact lens wearers can enjoy the benefits of clear vision and comfort every day.