Contact lenses are not always an easy solution for every person with vision problems. Some people may have a certain eye condition making contact lens wear a difficult proposition. It does not always have to prevent wearing contact lenses. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized contacts for their specific vision problems.
Reasons for Difficulty in Wearing Contact Lenses
Fitting and wearing contact lenses can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:
- Dry eyes
- Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
Astigmatism: Astigmatism is when the cornea of the eye has an oval shape instead of a perfectly round shape. Astigmatism causes blurred vision if using basic spherical contacts since they do not account for the oval curvature. Special toric or astigmatic contact lenses have the oval curves needed for this situation.
Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, that leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is in your eye. Besides discomfort, one’s vision will fog and blur if dry spots form on the contact lenses throughout the day. The frequent use of contact lens rewetting drops may help. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more comfortable and the vision more stable. Medicated eye drops can also be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes when inflammation is the cause.
GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. This is often caused by pollen or other allergens; however, protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.
Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner in the center and allows the cornea to bulge forward. The condition cause an unusually high amount of astigmatism. In severe cases the cornea progresses from an oval shape to a cone shape. Often, the best solution is to use a hard gas permeable contact lens to smooth the cornea into a less distorted shape.
Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older. Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses can sometimes help remedy presbyopia. Monovision contact lenses are often a better option for presbyopia. In this situation, one contact lenses is designed for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.