Why Do My Hard Contacts Hurt? Insights into RGP Contact Comfort

by Jul 2, 2024

Why Do My Hard Contacts Hurt?

Hard contact lenses, also known as rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, are a popular choice for individuals seeking clear vision correction and long-term durability. However, users may experience discomfort or pain when wearing hard contacts, which can stem from several underlying factors related to lens fit, ocular health, tear film dynamics, or lens care practices. Determining why your hard contacts are hurting can allow adjustments to be made to improve your comfort and vision with the contacts.


Lens Fit and Comfort

One common reason for discomfort with hard contact lenses is poor lens fit or improper adjustment, leading to friction, pressure points, or inadequate tear exchange beneath the lens. Ill-fitting lenses can cause abrasions, irritation, or corneal distortion, resulting in eye pain, dryness, redness, or foreign body sensation that signal the need for a comprehensive eye examination and lens evaluation to ensure proper fit and comfort with RGP lenses.


Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by insufficient tear production or poor tear film quality, can contribute to discomfort when wearing hard contact lenses. Inadequate lubrication, decreased tear stability, or reduced tear volume can lead to friction between the lens and ocular surface, resulting in dryness, irritation, and discomfort that necessitate addressing underlying dry eye symptoms through tear supplementation, lifestyle modifications, or ocular surface treatments to enhance contact lens comfort and visual acuity.


Ocular Surface Irritation

Ocular surface irritation caused by environmental factors, allergens, pollutants, or ocular irritants can manifest as discomfort when wearing hard contacts. Foreign body sensation, itching, burning, or redness may indicate ocular surface inflammation, allergic reactions, or sensitivity to lens care solutions, prompting individuals to assess their environmental exposures, identify potential triggers, or modify lens care routines to alleviate ocular irritation and enhance comfort with RGP lenses.


Lens Deposits and Build-Up

Accumulation of debris, proteins, or lipid deposits on hard contact lenses can interfere with oxygen permeability, tear film stability, or lens surface wettability, leading to discomfort, blurred vision, or lens intolerance. Poor lens hygiene, inadequate cleaning practices, or extended lens wear can exacerbate deposit build-up, compromising visual performance, ocular health, or comfort with RGP lenses and necessitating improved cleaning protocols or lens replacement to mitigate deposit-related discomfort.


Lens Handling and Care

Improper lens handling, inadequate cleaning techniques, or suboptimal disinfection practices can contribute to discomfort when wearing hard contact lenses. Contaminated lenses, residual cleaning agents, or improper storage methods can introduce irritants, pathogens, or allergens onto the ocular surface, causing discomfort, infection, or allergic reactions that warrant strict adherence to recommended lens care guidelines, proper hygiene habits, and regular lens replacement intervals to ensure safe and comfortable contact lens wear.


Ocular Health Concerns

Underlying ocular health conditions such as corneal irregularities, keratoconus, corneal dystrophies, or ocular surface disorders can impact comfort with hard contact lenses. Abnormal corneal shape, compromised corneal integrity, or pre-existing ocular conditions may necessitate customized lens designs, specialty lenses, or adjunctive therapies to address ocular health concerns, optimize lens comfort, and improve visual outcomes for individuals with complex corneal profiles or ocular pathologies.


Seeking Professional Advice

For individuals experiencing persistent discomfort or pain when wearing hard contact lenses, consulting an eye care professional is essential for accurate diagnosis, personalized treatment recommendations, and comprehensive management of underlying factors contributing to ocular discomfort. Eye doctors can assess lens fit, evaluate ocular health, address dry eye symptoms, recommend appropriate lens care regimens, or modify contact lens options to enhance wearing comfort, alleviate discomfort, and optimize visual performance with hard contact lenses tailored to individual needs and ocular health requirements.


Our eye doctor at Ingram Comprehensive Eye Care, P.A. in Columbia,SC excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and management of various eye diseases.  Call our optometrists at (803) 782-7080 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about why do your hard contacts hurt or are uncomfortable.  Our optometrist provides the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Columbia, South Carolina and surrounding vicinities of Saint Andrews, Seven Oaks, Dentsville, Forest Acres, Woodfield, and Blythewood

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