A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Irritated eyes? Single-use contacts put relief in sight

Woman holding contact lens on her fingerDry, itchy eyes are no surprise after spending the day gardening or hiking.

If your peepers still feel unpleasant the next day, the culprit could be your long-wear contact lenses, said Marshfield Clinic optometrist Dr. Brad Christopherson.

Instead of skipping the sunshine and sports, try single-use contacts for much-needed relief, Christopherson said.

Avoid allergy symptoms

Pollen, dust and dirt collect on contact lenses when you spend time outside.

Storage solutions wash away some allergens overnight, but others stick around, causing itchy eyes, redness and discomfort the next day, even if you aren’t outside.

“If you have fresh lenses, they don’t have dust and dirt on them from the day before,” Christopherson said.

A fresh set of contacts every day also means you don’t have store your lenses – good news if you’re allergic or sensitive to the overnight storage solutions.

Stay active with disposable contacts

Besides keeping allergens out of your eyes, single-use contacts are a more hygienic option for athletes, especially if you’re exposed to dirt, sand and water.

“When you’re practicing water sports, water gets splashed in your eyes,” Christopherson said. “Your contacts are like sponges. They soak up whatever’s in the water.”

That includes bacteria, which puts you at higher risk for eye infections if you’re wearing the same contacts day after day.

Single-use contacts are thinner than long-wear lenses and let more moisture pass through. That makes it easier for your eyes to naturally wash away dirt that collects on your contacts as you wear them.

More uses for daily disposable contacts

Avoid packing contact lens storage solution when you go on a trip. Instead, bring along a few pairs of single-use contacts.

If you don’t wear contacts often, opting for daily disposable lenses might save you money, too.

Try single-use contacts for sports practices, allergy season and vacation. Use your long-wear lenses the rest of the year if they don’t bother your eyes, Christopherson said.

  1. May 5, 2016
    • Kirsten Shakal, Shine365 Editor May 5, 2016

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