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Why Are My Contacts Blurry? How to Fix 5 Common Contact Lens Problems

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If you’re one of the 45 million Americans who wear contact lenses, you may be asking yourself: "Why are my contacts blurry?" There are some common issues that can affect the clarity of your vision while wearing contacts.

Before we go over the problems that could cause your contacts to be hazy, it’s important to note one thing. Hygiene is a major factor to consider when it comes to contact lenses. Even a small eye infection resulting from contact lens misuse could eventually lead to blindness if left untreated. By following the directions for your contacts, you can reduce the risk of eye problems.

Now, let’s cover five of the most common conditions that can make contact lenses blurry.

Female eye doctor examining a young girl’s eyes through a phoropter

1. A New Prescription

Our vision may naturally degrade as we get older, and as a result, our prescriptions change over time. But you should always make sure to tell your eye doctor about any differences you experience with your sight. Significant changes in vision may indicate an underlying health condition, such as diabetes.

If you're seeing halos around objects, that's not necessarily a cause for concern. Sometimes, your pupil dilates to a larger size than the optical area of your contact lens. However, if you’re seeing rainbow lights, that’s more serious. It could be a symptom of corneal edema, an eye disease that may require risky surgery in its later stages. At the first sign of blurry rainbows, take your contacts out and contact your doctor.

Keep a record of your symptoms to show your doctor. Tracking the times of day and conditions relating to your blurred vision can help the eye doctor determine what the problem might be.

2. Dry Contact or Dry Eye

How long are you leaving your contacts in for? Prolonged use of contact lenses can prevent proper tear formation to keep your eyes moist. While contacts might not cause this dryness, they can certainly worsen dry eye symptoms. Should you feel irritation or itchiness in your eyes, remove your contacts to give them a break.

If the problem persists, your eye doctor can find a solution for you. Artificial tears or a different kind of contact lens might be more comfortable and ease your dry eyes.

Man’s irritated red eye

There are so many options for contact lenses nowadays that you should be able to find ones that work for your lifestyle. If you're using long-term or target="_blank">daily disposable contacts, make sure you're following directions to the letter. Doing so will help reduce the risk of dry eye or other issues. Plus, it will give you the clear vision you’re looking for.

3. Movement or Rotation of Lenses

Sometimes, blurry vision has a simple cause. Your contact lenses can shift, causing blurring in your sight. If you have astigmatism, you can ask your eye doctor about improving the fit of your lenses.

When your eyes or contact lenses get too dry, your contacts can get stuck to your eye. This might also be the case if you sleep with your contacts on. If you wake up with hazy vision, you should remove your lenses immediately. Tilt your head back and see if the contact is stuck to your eyelid. Add some saline solution to your eye to loosen the lens and remove it.

If you frequently wake up to blurred vision, make sure you remove your contact lenses before you go to bed. Wear your glasses as much as possible and try another brand of contacts. You might find that different lenses won't move as much or cause blurriness.

Woman using saline drops in her eyes wondering “why are my contact blurry?”

4. Deposits on the Lenses

If you wear contacts for longer than you’re supposed to, you might end up with deposits on your lenses. Not only can these deposits blur your vision, but they can also cause infections. So it’s important to dispose of lenses that have been in your eyes for too long.

Daily disposables are not intended for use after one day. Just as weekly and monthly contacts are not meant for use after their time frames. The lenses can accumulate deposits that are harmful. They should be discarded immediately after their expiration dates.

Every year, there are around 1 million eye infections due to the misuse of contacts. If you're wondering why your contacts are blurry, the solution may be as simple as following the directions on the box.

If you take out your contacts and your vision is still cloudy, try wearing your glasses for a day. Your eyes may need some time to clear up. Don't worry, your natural tear production should clear out any remaining deposits on your eye.

5. Conjunctivitis or Corneal Abrasion

Are you waking up with your eyes fused shut? Are they leaking fluid that sort of looks like pus? Is your entire eye pink? You might have conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye.

You might have gotten this infection from handling your contacts with dirty hands. If you've got discharge and blurry vision, try holding a clean, warm washcloth over your eyes. Do this for a few minutes several times a day. If symptoms persist, you may need to contact your physician.

Corneal abrasions are common, occurring when something sharp gets between your contact lens and your eye. It can be anything from a grain of sand to a tiny piece of glass. The problem with corneal abrasions is that they can lead to corneal ulcers if not treated properly. This can lead to severe and permanent loss of vision.

If you have blurred vision coupled with pain or discomfort, remove your contacts immediately and make an appointment with your doctor.

senior man with one healthy eye one infected eye

Final Thoughts

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.

In general, contacts are great alternatives to glasses. If your contacts aren't working the way you want them to, ask your eye doctor to try out other brands. There is always a solution when contacts are blurring your sight.

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