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Getting Used to Contacts: 9 Perfectly Normal Symptoms for New Wearers

woman putting a contact lens into her eye

Let's face it: almost nobody has perfect vision these days. Three out of every four adults need some form of corrective lenses to function in their daily lives (Source: Visioncouncil.org).

But glasses can be annoying to the modern, always-on-the-go consumer. We drop them, misplace them, sit on them. And even if you take great care of your lenses, any experienced wearer knows that glasses are almost impossible to keep clean and smudge-free.

Luckily, there's a solution to our glasses-wearing woes. Contacts have been around longer than anyone might care to believe, and today's soft lenses are a whole lot more comfortable than our parents' and grandparents' gas permeable hard contact lenses.

Getting Used to Contacts

But even though contact lenses are more comfortable than the options twenty years ago, it can still take your eyes some time to adjust. If your eyes aren't quite sure what to make of your new contact lenses, don't worry! Here are some totally normal symptoms you might experience while adjusting to contacts.

1. A Wandering Lens

Contact lenses may move around on your eye before settling into place. The natural fluids in the eye are to blame! Don't worry too much -- a well-fitted contact will conform to your eye's shape after a short period of adjustment.

Astigmatism can also cause a contact lens to move out of place on the eye. The toric lens will correct astigmatism, but your vision may blur or cloud if the lens moves too much. A few blinks or some eye drops should correct the problem.

2. Tearing Up

Contacts are a foreign object on your eye. Even though the lenses are there to help, your eyes may react as if they're an errant eyelash or speck of dust. Eyes tear naturally to flush out debris.

If you wear makeup regularly, you might want to invest in some waterproof mascara so you don't look like a raccoon! But otherwise, just wait a little while. Once your eyes get used to the presence of the lenses, the excessive tears will go away.

close up of eye with eye makeup and tears

3. Dry Eyes

On the other end of the spectrum, a day of wearing contacts can leave eyes dry. New wearers are especially susceptible and may experience redness and itchiness from a lack of proper moisture.

It's easy to buy an over-the-counter eye drop for dry, irritated eyes. Check with your eye doctor or a pharmacist first, though -- not all drops are cleared for use with contact lenses.

4. Torn Lenses

We have a tendency to rub at our dry or irritated eyes. While you're not in danger of much more than a fingerprint smudge when you're wearing glasses, your contact lens may tear if you mess with your eyes too much.

A torn lens is instantly uncomfortable and may cause further redness and irritation. It's a good idea to carry an extra pair of lenses around in case one does tear so you can replace it right away.

5. Dropping a Contact

Sometimes, a contact lens falls out. New contact lens wearers often drop a contact while trying to put them in, or accidentally pop one out while rubbing at dry eyes.

You'll get the hang of putting your contacts in soon, and hopefully, you won't lose too many more lenses. But in the meantime, the potential loss of a contact is another good reason to carry a spare pair.

picking up a contact lens that fell on the floor
man at computer resting his eyes while getting used to contacts

6. Eye Fatigue

A lot of us spend our days staring at computer screens. Computers cause considerable eye strain, and contacts can make it worse at the beginning.

Limit your contact wear to a few hours a day until your eyes adjust to the lenses. If you notice that your eyes are dry or irritated, use some drops or switch out your contacts for glasses to let your eyes rest.

7. Blurry Vision

Dry, tired eyes can cause blurry vision. But so can improper cleaning and storage of your contact lenses, or the natural condition of your eyes.

If you're experiencing cloudy vision with your new contacts, make sure you're using a contact lens solution made for your type of lenses and approved by your doctor. Also, rinse your contacts in the solution before putting the lenses in every morning and before storing them every night.

8. Discomfort

You might be able to feel your contact lens sitting on your eye. It's weird but normal!

Blink as normally as possible, and apply eye drops if your contacts feel dry or out of placement. You'll get used to the feeling as you wear your contacts more often.

9. Expiration of Your Lens Wear

Contact lenses come in a variety of life expectancies. You can buy one pair of contacts that will last two weeks or even a month. For those who tend to fall asleep with their lenses in, you can even purchase ones suited for overnight wear. But our eyes can be hard on our contacts.

Some people are prone to calcium and protein buildup in their eyes or have chronic dryness that affects the life of their lenses. If that's you, check out daily disposable lenses to alleviate any problems you might have with longer-lasting lenses.

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See the World With New Eyes

Getting used to contacts can take some time, and you may find it to be a little uncomfortable at first. But it's worth it for the clarity a good pair of contacts can give you!

Do talk to your doctor if you're having major discomfort with your lenses, or contact us to talk about your order. You may just need to try a different brand or style to find your perfect fit!

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