Ophthalmologist Questions Contact Lenses

I can't stand to wear contacts

My vision isn't very bad but I would rather wear contacts than glasses. However, every time I've tried the one in my left eye drives me crazy. It feels like it's shredding the inside of my eyelid. Why is this?

26 Answers

The most likely cause of contact lens intolerance - what you are describing - is dry eyes. This is by far the most common diagnosis we make when patients are referred to us for contact lens-related problems. Dry eye has many potential causes so a thorough examination and medical history are essential as it can get progressively worse.

Another cause of contact lens intolerance is allergies to either something external or to the lens or lens solutions or cleaners. This will usually have tell-tale signs on examination so the doctor that prescribed the contact lenses should be able to tell you. If they are not sure you can request to be referred to a cornea specialist.
I would recommend visiting your eye care professional to evaluate the issue with your left eye. It sounds like you may need to be re-evaluated and re-fitted with a more properly fitted contact lens for your left eye, since it seems like your contact lens may be touching and irritating your left eyelid. If you are wearing a soft contact lens, then you may need a smaller diameter contact lens to decrease the amount of lid to contact lens interaction. A contact lens evaluation with your eye care professional will be your best bet as to the best course of action.
There are several possibilities. The most common would be eye dryness. There are a few conditions that alter the shape of the cornea (the window of the front of the eye that the contacts sit upon) and that might be a problem. You might make an appointment with a corneal specialist who can evaluate these possibilities.
for some individuals their eyes react to contacts as a foreign body which creates inflammation and irritation under eyelids.
- recommend evaluation by eye professional to learn what options are available for you
It can be 2 reasons:
1. Eyes may be dry
2. The contact lens does not sit properly on your eye
One or more possibilities may be factors.

1. The type of contact lens is not appropriate for your eyes (you did not specify daily wear, extended wear, water content, other lens material) or fit of the lens may not be right. A change n type of lens might help.
2. Ocular surface disease or simple dry eye which might respond well to change in lens or use of wetting solution may be involved.

An ophthalmologist or optometrist would be qualified to evaluate these and recommend a solution.
You probably have severe dry eye of your left eye. Please stop wearing contact lenses in both eyes and have your eyes checked by an eye professional, optometrist or ophthalmologist.
The most common cause of your symptoms is Dry Eye Syndrome (however, is not the only possible cause). There are several ways to try this syndrome from artificial tears, to medications such as restasis or xiidra to punctum plugs. Please see an ophthalmologist to determine which approach is best for you.
Either you have an ill-fitting contact lens which needs to be adjusted, or you have dry eye and the contact lens is making your condition worse. It's also possible you have bumps (papillae) on the underneath of your upper eyelid. Have an ophthalmologist see your upper lid to check and see if you are developing giant papillary conjunctivitis.
Contact lenses have to be fitted for everyone, each eyes curvature is different. It is possible that you have some changes in your cornea or some problem with your conjunctiva. You should see a doctor to evaluate your problem. It maybe that you simple need a different lens.
This is not a typical problem. f it is a disposable soft lens then try another. If the problem remains you will need to seek care from an eyecare professional.
There are many factors that can affect how a contact lens fits and comforts your eye without examining the eye and the lens on it. I would suggest a re-fitting for contacts to determine the cause.
Without examining the eye, I can only speculate. There are so many variables that could cause one eye to feel more uncomfortable. The left eye could have a poor tear quality, thus less lubrication, the corneal curvature could be different and the contact is not draping across the curvature in alignment so you feel the edge of the contact more or there could be inflammation under the lid of that eye only. If it happens with more than one fresh contact, I would place my money on inflammation under the lid. The newer, more breathable contacts have silicone that sometimes irritates one eye more than another causing a condition called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC). Seasonal allergies can also cause that as well. Sometimes switching to a lower silicone content lens or one with none will help but usually a prescription steroid drop is needed to get the inflammation under control.

The only way to know for sure is to have it examined by a reputable eye doctor and rule everything out until a solution is found.
There could be a number of reasons, from a dry eye condition, to mechanical issues, including a poorly fit contact lens. An allergic condition Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis, (GPC) can be a cause for discomfort of contact lenses too.
May be the fit is not right?! You should see an ophthalmologist or optometrist to have a proper fitting and try different brand that is thinner and softer.
This is difficult to answer with evaluating the eye. In many cases, this is either due to an improper fitting contact or dry eye disease. Both of these are treatable, but require a qualified eyecare professional to diagnose and help you find a contact that fits your cornea properly. Dry eye syndrome should be managed by an eyecare professional who is comfortable with managing the many variables that cause this condition. In short, your contact should not feel the way you describe and I would recommend NOT wearing it until it has been evaluated by your local optometrist or ophthalmologist.
This could be due to a number of reasons . Dry eyes is very common amkng contact lens wearers . Then there is giant papillary conjunctivitis from over wearing ornsleeping in contact lenses . Some patients have chronic allergic conjunctivitis also . So the best fit would be determined by examine the patients eyes !!! There are different lenses designed for dry eyes etc
Ask your eye MD if you have an irregular shape to the cornea or tear insufficiency. Both contribute to the comfort of your eye when wearing a contact lens
We have to check the lid lining, in case you have a chronic inflammation which can heal with steroid drops. Daily contacts would be more appropriate for you.

Dr. Shereen Hakki
This does not sound good! A properly fitting contact lens, on a healthy ocular surface, should not be painful. My suspicion would be either a poorly fitting contact lens, or potentially an ocular surface issue. Often this includes, but is not limited to, allergies, sensitivities to materials and/or solutions, or other inflammation. Also, a torn or cracked contact lens may cause similar sensations.

I would seek out an eye care professional who has experience with contact lens fittings and treatment of ocular surface disease.

Erin McCleary
You would require a careful Eye exam to best answer this.
One common issue is having GPC Allergy of your upper posterior eyelid tissue. Another can be subtle Cornea "front of the eye" conditions. Dry eye etc...
However, MOST common is just poor Contact Lens fit.
I would recommend you have your Doc see if you are a candidate for the "Daily 1-day disposable" Contacts.
Lastly, there is a percentage of patients that are just Contact Lens intolerant.
Options then could be LASIK or PRK Refractive surgery .
Good luck! Doc W
You may have dry eyes. That's a guess. I wouldn't be able to determine the actual cause until I looked at your eyes under a slit lamp. That would allow me to check your ocular health and look at the fit of the contact lens.
Thank you for your question about your left eye driving you crazy and feeling like it is shredding your inner eyelid. It could be a upper left inner eyelid issue vs a contact lens one. Asymmetry in your eyes is very common and treatable. Dr. Colorado or Dr. Richards are very good at medial mystery-solving so you can obtain your goal of contact lens wear. Please reach out to us anytime!
It could be a poorly fitting contact lens, or you might need a specific contact lens for dry eyes. First try with an over the counter rewetting drop. If that doesn't help then the fit needs to be examined. Feel better

The contact lens is a foreign body into your eye, and it might be uncomfortable at the beginning. There are many materials and different types. Visit your eye specialist so he can help you pick the best option.
An examination is needed to exclude local issues that could be the cause of your discomfort.