3 Things You May Experience While Adjusting to Contact Lenses

June 21, 2024

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Normal or Not? 6 Things You May Experience While Adjusting to Contact Lenses

For nearly 135 million people worldwide, contact lenses provide precise, comfortable vision correction.

Removable lens options provide both teenagers and adults natural-looking, low-maintenance control over their vision.

Each year, contact lenses improve, making them more practical and economical for more people.

Whether you’re switching to contact lenses for the improved corrective prescription or just purchasing a pair to wear during sports matches, new lenses can be a big change.

Just like any other eyewear change, contacts require an adjustment period.

But, if you’ve never had contacts before, how do you know if your eyes are adjusting properly?

Before you leave your eye care practitioner’s office, he or she will give you instructions for use and care of your new contacts. It can take between 10 to 12 days to fully adjust to your lenses. Once you begin using the lenses on your own, watch for these # side effects during the adjustment period.

Adjusting to contact lenses

Got New Contact Lenses? Here are the common side effects

Because wearing contact lenses means placing a foreign object on the surface of your eye, it can take some getting used to. You may experience mild eye issues, like those listed below.

1. Blurred Vision

Some blurriness is common for new contact lens wearers. The distortion usually results from dryness. To counteract the moisture loss, talk to your eye care practitioner about medicated eye drops or pick up over-the-counter drops from your favourite pharmacist.

Do not drive or bike while experiencing blurry vision. If you have to travel, remove your contacts and use glasses instead to reduce the risk of irritation (e.g. air conditioning on a plane).

2. Discomfort

You may find yourself blinking more often or your eyes tearing up more than usual while adjusting to new lenses. These symptoms should dissipate within the first few uses.

After several applications, you’ll be able to assess what feels “normal.” If you feel discomfort after inserting your contact lenses, remove them and re-wet them before trying again. This alleviates most mild discomfort.

Switching to contact lenses be daunting at first, as many people expect a lengthy adjustment period when they move from glasses to contacts.

The adjustment period for new contacts varies from person to person. It also depends on the type of prescription and contact lenses prescribed. You’ll find that most soft contact lenses only take a few days for your eyes to adjust to.

Whether they’re made from hydrogel or silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses allow for a smooth and seamless transition.

If you already wear contacts adjusting to a new type of contact may also take some time.

You may find that you experience a crisper and clearer vision by swapping to a new type of lens.

There are a huge selection of new contact lenses on the market. Don’t be afraid to try these as they could offer you a more comfortable wear.

3. Handling new lenses

When you try new contact lenses, you may find that they are more flexible than lenses you’ve tried before. Alternatively, you may find the lenses are stiffer and tend to hold their shape more.

Inserting or removing your new lenses can take a few tries. Cleaning your new lenses can seem different too. But within a few days of use, you’ll quickly adjust to the feel of your new lenses.

Does it take longer to get used to rigid gas permeable contact lenses than soft contact lenses?

Yes, most rigid gas permeable contact lenses can take a few weeks to get used to.

Some might never find these contact lenses to be comfortable, hence the growing popularity of soft contact lenses.

The adjustment period for rigid gas permeable contacts is usually around two weeks. We recommend that you ease into these contacts slowly.

How long does it take to get used to contacts for astigmatism?

Wearing contact lenses for astigmatism is no different from wearing normal contact lenses. The only difference is that they are positioned differently.

Some contact lens wearers may encounter the problem of the lenses rotating out of focus. Wearing toric lenses from a reputable brand decreases the chances of this happening.

Having a consultation with an eye doctor can help you choose a brand of contact lenses best suited to your eyes.

How long does it take to get used to multifocal contacts?

Multifocal contact lenses offer lens wear for distance (or far) and close up objects.

Multifocal lenses are great, however, they usually take a little longer to get used to. Whilst adapting to these lenses, the wearer may see glare at night or experience blurry vision. A four-to-six week wearing period is the time it may take for adjustment.

Contact Lens Troubleshooting

Most contact issues are not serious, but there is still the potential for long-term eye problems. If you’re not following the directions for your contacts, try to start using them as directed. You will probably feel much better and your contacts won’t be so hazy.

When you see your eye doctor, you can ask them: “Why are my contacts blurry?”

They should be able to help you figure out the underlying cause of your clouded vision.

If you’ve been keeping a symptom journal, bring it with you. It may help the doctor get a better understanding of your eye condition.

optometrist-damon-ezekiel

In addition to owning and managing Ezekiel Eyes, Damon is a contact lens consultant to various research organisations. He regularly lectures and conducts workshops in contact lens practice throughout Australia, Asia and the United States. Damon graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Optometry in 1989. He is now married with two children and enjoys running, hockey, swimming, piano, travelling and trekking.

Damon’s professional associations include:
President of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists
Practising Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society
Fellow of the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia
Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
Member of Optometry Australia
Member of the Orthokeratology Society of Australia
Member of Alcon Australia advisory panel