5 Reasons Why You May Have Red Eyes Wearing Contact Lenses

5 Reasons Why
You May Have Red Eyes Wearing Contact Lenses


Many people develop a love-hate relationship with contact lenses, mainly due to the redness they develop during wear. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are the top 5 reasons that you may be getting the unwanted Halloween look with your contact lenses.

  1. Like a desert.
    Dry eyes can be a problem for contact lens wearers, which is termed Contact Lens Induced Dry Eyes (CLIDE). Try these handy tips to manage dry eyes:

    • Get your hands on some drops to overcome contact lens related irritations, such as Alcon’s Opti-free Pro moisturising drops and use them frequently throughout the day. Help your eyes out at night to recover from lens wear by using Opti-free Pro lubricating drops after contact lens wear.
    • Be strict with your regimen. Daily cleaning, disposal and storage instructions need to be followed strictly to minimise reasons that may cause dryness.
  2. It’s all in the fit.
    Like a pair of tight gym shorts, poorly fitted contact lenses are a bad idea. Although it’s unlikely you’ll feel any discomfort, your eyes will be screaming for help in other ways if your contact lenses are not fitting well. Tight or loose fitting lenses cause redness, dryness and swelling of the cornea, to name just a few. So get down to your optometrist every year and get that annual contact lens check to make sure the fit is perfect every time.

  3. You snooze, you lose!
    Sleeping with your contact lenses is almost guaranteed to give you red eyes. Believe it or not, studies₁ have shown that even a small afternoon nap can increase the risk of your eyes developing microbial keratitis – an infection of the cornea that can lead to impairing your vision……permanently (unless your lenses are specifically indicated for sleeping)!
  4. AAATCHU….
    If you’re prone to allergies in general, it could point to the reason why your eyes are not agreeing to contact lenses. Try these tips to rocking contact lenses without the dreaded red eye look:

    • Find a contact lens solution that is gentle on the eyes but effective with removing deposit build up as well as killing bacteria, like Alcon’s Opti-Free PureMoist.
    • For an extra touch of “eye- love”, how about switching to daily contact lenses. No solutions, no storage, no worries!
  5. Lifeline
    There are many things that are worthy of life extensions, like that week-old cake in the fridge, but contact lenses are not one of them. The reason? With time, lenses get worn out and coated with germs (eww!), both of which cause red eyes. Stick to the recommended timeline of wear and don’t extend the life of the lenses. If it’s a monthly lens, bin the lenses after a month and likewise for daily lenses that should be disposed of at the end of each day. Equally important are the number of hours that you wear lenses each day.

We often forget that contact lenses are a medical device and we need to treat them as such to achieve the best outcome. Ensure you schedule a visit with your optometrist annually to check all the “nuts and bolts” of your device.

1. Sweeney DF, Jalbert I, Covey M, et al. Clinical characterization of corneal infiltrative events observed with soft contact lens wear. Cornea. 2003;22(5):435-442.