Irritation in only one eye when wearing contacts - itchy, drooping. Been going on for months.

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Hi, I've been a contact lens wearer for many years and have good hygene with them, taking them out and washing/soaking every night. I've never had a problem, until now. Around the beginning of June, I had some irritation that just wouldn't get better in one of my eyes. It felt like there was something in my eye and I had to rinse out my contact, but that just didnt work. The irritation starts off as the feeling that something is in my eye, then the top eyelid gets itchy, and then I notice some significant drooping/swelling of the top eyelid in that one eye. If I take out the lenses, I still have the irritation for about a half hour before it gets better. With glasses, I am completely fine, except it does sort of feel like something is in that eye, but only very faintly.

I wound up switching to glasses for a day or two and then tried contacts again, but that one eye still had an issue. I saw an eye doctor for an unrelated matter and he thought it was just allergies (Zadator drops did not seem to help). So I kept glasses and kept trying out the contacts but nothing was making it better. About 4-5 weeks later, I went to my normal eye doctor who was also not sure what it was. He checked for anything under my eyelid several times and didn't see anything there. He had me use my glasses only, switch to a new pair of contact lenses again, and use some wetting drops for a week. After that week, I tried contact lenses again and it all seemed to be better. Unfortunately, that only lasted a week. Here I am now again unable to wear contact lenses without serious irritation in just one eye.  Does anyone have any idea what this could be or what to do about it?

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  • Posted

    Hey guys,

    I have been noticing the same thing lately. My right eye after a long day gets irratated from my contact lense. It feels as if something is under nealth it. After i take it out it still feels like i have sand or an eye lash or something stuck in there..but i cant find anything. I have been using the same monthly contacts for year. After about 30 minutes the swelling of my eyelid goes down and there is only minimal irration. When i look at my eye in the mirror i can sort of see somthing on the top coloured part of my eye. Im not sure what to do. Its so odd its only just started happening.

    I'm only 23 year old but have been wearing glasses since i was 3.

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    • Posted

      Hello I would say it's GPC based of my experience. Contact lens wearer for 10yrs.

      My symptoms:

      -grainy feeling like sand in eye

      -red itchy


      -horrible discomfort

      Google it. I had never heard of it until I was diagnosed. And I thought I knew everything ha! Mine had started in the right eye. It felt as if my contact was torn and it was irritating the underneath (back) of my eyelid. I took it out went to my doctor because afterwards the back of my eyelid was so itchy and it felt like I had sand in my eye after I took it out. I was even getting a clearish discharge. So then he wrote down my symptoms checked the backs of my eyelids and he said that I had GPC. It's were you get some bumps in the back of your eyelid like a callous protecting your eyelid from the contact. Due to over wearing contacts past the recommend time and deposits of calcium and protein on the lens. As well as sleeping in them and not letting them soak for 6hrs plus, not sanitizing them properly etc. Anyways mind you I had been wearing contacts for over 10 years. So I couldn't believe it! But after a while your eyes can get sensitive to wearin contacts every day for that many years regardless. So I stopped wearing contacts for like three months to give my eyes a break. There's some medical drops he recommended but I didn't buy them. Just got an eye exam, bumps are gone mostly and I just started wearing contacts again two days ago. However my eyes (um both now wth!) just don't seem to be liking contacts at all anymore (sigh). Will be letting my doc know. I'll give it a few more days. FYI I heard that once you have GPC it is very hard to get rid of it. It's almost like your eyes have become allergic to contacts. So needless to say it seems like I will have to be wearing glasses most of the time which I hate. Use the Clean Care peroxide solution to sanitize them instead of the regular solution. That's supposed to clean them better; my doc said to avoid this problem. I hope my experience helps guys! It's the worst it made me sorta depressed in the beginning. Because I hate glasses!!! But wearing glasses vs contacts is healthier for your eyes. Good luck! If you have any questions lmk! 😊

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  • Posted

    Antihistamines solved this problem for me. 

    I suffered from the same issue described by others in this thread for a year:

    After wearing contacts (Acuvue Oasys bi-weeklies) for 15 years with no issues, all of a sudden I got bad irritation in one eye and couldn't bear to wear contacts at all. My optometrist said I had little bumps on the back of my eyelid as others on this tread have mentioned. He prescribed steroid based gel eyedrops which I used but they didn't solve the issue. I tried a dozen different bi-weekly and daily contacts. Some were better, some were worse, but none totally solved the irritation (the best of the ones I tried were Daily Aqua Comfort Plus). My optometrist basically told me that this sometimes happens to people after years of wearing contacts and usually it can’t be solved, so I just have to stop wearing contacts all together. I took month long breaks from wearing contacts and used artificial tears to try to clear up the irritation, but this didn't help at all.

    I don’t generally have allergies, so I don't take antihistamines. But, one day after suffering from this problem for about a year, I tried taking Reactine on a hunch that it might calm down irritation under my eyelid. At this point I hadn't worn contacts for months but I still felt a very mild irritation in the corner of that one eye even without a lens in there. I took one Reactine a day for a week and the irritation subsided. I took one more week off the contacts to make sure, then popped one in and found that I was cured! Now I'm back to wearing my Oasys bi-weeklies which I love, and I’m not taking the Reactine anymore. 

    It seems the antihistamines just calmed the irritation down enough that blinking didn't aggravate it anymore so it just healed itself for good. Hope this helps others having this problem. smile

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  • Posted

    I have the exact same discomfort, went to eye dr who said underneath of my eyelid was irritated, from years of wearing lenses. Kept contacts out for 2 weeks, wore glasses. Given steroid drops.

    Was doing okay for a couple of weeks and now problem is back, but sporadically.

    Next step is to go to daily lens which I will be making an appointment to do shortly! I am 58 and have worn lenses since I was in my early 20's.

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  • Posted

    Mine is quite the same. I've been wearing lenses (good for 6months) for 4 years now and I've never had a problem until now. My left eye experiences discomfort as I wear my lenses, though it's tolerable. First it feels that there's something in it and few moments later I experience redness around my iris (usually at the bottom, then it spreads if I don't take it off right away) but it's not watery, no swelling. The discomfort will fade a few minutes after I remove my lenses, but the redness stays for an hour or two. I tried changing my lenses and my solution but still it doesn't work. I also tried giving my eyes a break from lenses but no changes. I'm just 20 years old. Any thoughts?

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  • Posted

    Super glad I found this thread!!  I've been having the same issues for about three weeks now.  I've been to my eye doctor twice, and it's a bit of a mystery to her.  Initially, my upper eye lid was a bit swollen, and it seemed the prescription strength in my eye was affected, as well as my contact was sticking to the upper part of my right eye.  Concerning the vision strength, I thought perhaps I was just noticing that my right eye had slowly become more nearsighted.  She seemed to think it was an allergy related issue, as she ran all tests she could think of.  After taking an antihistamine and putting a cold compress on my eye for a few days, the swelling went down.  Also, a few days after the swelling left, my vision strength improved!  However, a week later the sticking of my contact returned as did the reduction of my right eye prescription.  Did anyone experience a disturbance in their prescription strength?  I'm going to go back to taking an antihistamine and start wearing glasses in hopes this will heal and I can return to wearing contacts.  Any thoughts will be appreciated!  Thanks smile

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