Delayed reaction to contact lenses

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Been a contact lens wearer for 30 years with no major issues with any types of lenses. However my latest set of lenses are causing a delayed reaction causing redness and burning sensation, can wear for as little as 15 minutes then several hours later eyes have reacted, no reaction during wear or when first taken out. Redness and soreness can then take 7-10 days to completely clear. Fit is ok, and slight tweaks to lens fit haven't made any difference, this has now been going on for 18 months, and trying lenses from different manufacturers hasn't made any difference.

One lens is KCSL 17mm, other eye is Scleral 21mm. Despite different lenses in each eye reaction is the same. Unfortunately I lost my last Screral lens but was on paper an exact match and never had an issue, still have old KCSL for other eye and can wear 18 hours a day with no problem. I'm told it's a fit issue but I'm not convinced, to me it seems more a coating/material reaction and that something must have change but I cannot back this up, or find anyone else with a similar problem.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    I wore contacts all my life and then suddenly started having problems. Red, tired eyes, etc. Turned out I had developed dry eyes. I now take Restasis, but wearing contacts is still a bit bothersome. I can handle about four hours max. Have you been tested for dry eyes?

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    • Posted

      Dry eyes was certainly a contributing factor at first as I was also having issues with my old contacts. My ophthalmologist cleared the tear ducts with tweezers and since then I've been able to manage the situation with a hot eye mask and over the counter drops, managed to get wear back up in my old contacts, it's just the new ones causing the problem now.

      Hope you can get your wear up above 4 hours again, it's a real bugger when you've had years of trouble free wear to suddenly start having problems isn't it.

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    • Posted

      Your ophthalmologist used tweezers to clear the tear ducts? I've never heard of that before. Where do you live? Hot eye masks haven't worked for me though I wish it did. I ended up with a ruptured blood vessel once so I just stopped. One thing that also helps is taking fish oil supplements (take with food) and staying hydrated. When I stop taking fish oil supplements there's a significant difference with my eyes feeling dry.

      I definitely miss wearing contact lenses. Glasses get fogged up, rained on, and easily smudged. And you're peripheral vision is not as wide as when wearing contacts. Plus I look so pretty without glasses (as pretty as someone can look at the age of 64 haha).

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    • Posted

      I live in Scotland. It was pretty brutal but he did put anesthetic drops in first! There was certainly plenty of gunk blocking them up, it felt it bit like popping spots with each one but the difference afterwards was amazing! I did try fish oil for several months last year but for me it didn't seem to make any difference.

      I know what you mean about glasses. I've also got bad astigmatism so vision just isn't as good for me either, especially at night. Must be great to just be able to see without glasses or contacts!

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  • Posted

    maybe you have developed dye eyes, it is very common in contact lense users, thats why i stopped wearing them. Unfortunately back to glasses for me now.

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    • Posted

      Hi Diane, I do suffer from dry eyes, particularly sensitive to warm indoor environments. Luckily I've been able to manage it, initially having the tear ducts cleared and now using hot eye mask and eye drops. I managed to get the wear back up in my old contacts, just the replacements causing the issue now.

      Have you tried a hot eye mask? You've got to stick it out for a bit but really seems to work for me. Unfortunately I don't get great vision with glasses so trying to struggle on with the contacts.

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  • Posted

    I've developed this condition when I can't look at bright light at the beginning of the day. As the day moves on it gets better slightly. I guess wearing contacts does wear out your... eye's outer layer or however it is called.

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  • Posted

    Did you opthalmologist turn your eyelid inside out to examine your lids? It sounds like you could have giant papillary conjunctivitis. It usually comes from overuse of contact lenses and/or preservatives in lens solutions. The treatment for this is usually steroid drops, liquifilm tears, hot compress on eyes twice daily and no contact use for about 6 months. Also all eye drops and lens solutions should be preservative free.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, yes my ophthalmologist has turned my eyelids inside out, although not at a time when the redness in my eye is at its worst, by the time I've got an appointment I've normally stopping trying the new lenses and my eyes have settled a bit. I have been looking into GPC a bit and some things are certainly familiar however I'm not getting any mucus and my eye lids don't appear to be affected. I do certainly feel there is some allergic reaction to certain lenses, even if on paper the lenses are the same as ones that are ok. I've read that lens materials are inert so cannot trigger reactions but not sure about coatings. I've also considered solutions new lenses come in but assume after several cleaning routines with a peroxide system there should be no trace.

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    • Posted

      I never had any mucus until I put the hot compress on my eyes for 10 minutes it heats it up and then you wipe it away. Try eyelergy eye drops and preservative free liquifilm tears or visuXL but not at the same time. Also try hot compress on your eyes twice daily. See if it helps. I have problems with most contact lenses, but I just found the most comfortable ones recently and I can't even feel them in my eyes. They are called acuvue oasis 1 day with hydraluxe. I found them from vision direct, they are the cheapest contact lens website I found and really quick delivery. Ask your optician about trying them when your eyes recover.

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