Do You have Ultra-Sensitive Eyes? (A Poll For Contact Wearers)

I, for one, do. I’ve tried several solutions, all to no avail. Opti-Free, Renu, Clean & Clear (the kind with the special lens cases). I’ve even tried two separate brands: SofMed and Acuvue2. All of these solutions and contacts leave me with the exact same feeling after a few hours. First, I can really feel the lenses on the surface of my eyes, which is a significant, significant irritant. As a consequence of being the sensation of the lenses on my eyes, it seems to simulate the feeling of heavy eyelids, thus making me feel drowsy. Both of these feelings appear after about 1 hour of having my contacts in, and only intensify as time progresses. The Clean & Clear solution is marginally better than the the other two I’ve tried, but not by much. It gets so bad after about 4 hours that I can’t even concentrate on what anyone around me is saying. Instead, I’m using all my willpower to keep my hands by my sides instead of ripping my eyes out of their sockets, which would surely be an improvement over the sever discomfort that my contacts engender.

My resolution to this problem is to either: a) Wear my contacts for short bursts of time, b) wear glasses, c) wear neither contacts nor glasses. My vision is right in the range where it makes this a double-edged sword for me. It’s somewhere in the range of 20/50-20/60. If I don’t need to be able to read from a distance, like is required for activities like driving or taking notes, then I can function just fine in society without wearing corrective lenses. However, this makes it difficult to read signs from a distance when I’m out and about, to read smaller text on TV, etc.

I’m hoping to get some feedback from Dopers here. Do/did you suffer from sever contact discomfort? What options have you pursued to successfully combat this?

I wear Night & Day brand contact lenses, designed to be worn 24/7 for 30 days straight. The one day per month that I use lens fluid, I use Opti-Free brand. Most days I’m not even aware of the lenses at all. In fact, my eyes feel better when I’m wearing them. When I’m between pairs and wearing glasses, my eyes are noticeably more sensitive to exhaust and smoke and so forth, because they lack the “protection” of the lens.

I did have to try several different brands before I settled on Night & Day, and I got the impression that different people’s eyes react differently to different brands. You may just have to try a few different brands before finding one that’s easy on your eyes.

I also use the Night & Day, but I take them out most nights because I don’t like the buildup up on them that can accrue when I wear them 24/7.

I am extremely sensitive to stimulus, including things touching my eyes, and have successfully worn contacts for 20+ years. Are you sure they’re not inside out? When they’re right side out, the curvature is more pronounced than inside out, which appears flatter. Other than that, I’d second trying different types and different solutions. But most of all I’d suggest that you just have to get used to them. I think many people don’t try them long enough. Humans can get used to all sorts of surprising things given enough time.

I went from hard to soft (I have a severe astigmatism) and after “working” with the soft lenses for a while - wearing them for a long time even if they were irritating - I got used to them. I think Alice The Goon is right…you need to wear them long enough to get used to them.

They were awesome when I finally got used to them. I wore them for like 18 hours at my brother’s wedding (the reason I got them) and didn’t have a problem at all. But, I stopped wearing them as much because I couldn’t get used to them when at the computer (my job) and didn’t feel like putting them in every day. Then when I would put them in, it was back to being irritating.

I “solved” the problem by going back to glasses, unfortunately. But I think I look cuter in glasses anyway.

I do have somewhat sensitive eyes. I can only wear a certain brand (Oasys), and only for about half a day at a time; my eyes just get tired and irritated. It’s partly to do with how old the lenses are; when I have a fresh pair I can go most of the day, but every day after that the time gets shorter. I’m going to try one-day lenses pretty soon to see if that helps (I currently use 2-week lenses) but they’re plain Acuvues and I’m very nervous about trying them. A few years ago I had a bizarre allergic (?) reaction to Acuvue 2 lenses and couldn’t wear contacts at all for a while.

I mostly just wear glasses, even though I’m not cuter in them.

I’m thinking you meant Clear Care which is the hydrogen peroxide based cleaning solution. I also use that. I have a reaction to thimerosal, which is a preservative. Most of the other cleaners have thimerosal in them. Check the labels.

When I get a reaction to thimerosal, the back of my eyelids feel scratchy and bumpy and after a while, my contact starts to float up in my eye because the bumps on my eyelid pulls on it. I went to the eye doctor and he could tell that I have these bumps on the inside of my eyelid.

It only takes a small amount of thimerosal on my lens and the lens is ruined because it absorbs it. I also clean my lens before I take them out of the casing for the first time because although they say it has only saline in it, I notice that if I clean it first, it helps.

If that’s the feeling you’re having, try to avoid thimerosal and see what happens.

Yes, I did mean Clear Care; my mistake. Thanks for catching it. Sounds like I’m just going to have to buckle down and wear them repeatedly until my eyes stop perceiving them as a foreign object.

I’ve been struggling with the same problem and have mostly worn glasses for the past year or so (I do look cute in them, but sometimes I want to look fancy or not so serious, darn it!)

I’m working on it with the help of a very nice ophthalmologist who gave me an eye care regimen that seems to have made my eyes a little happier. It goes like this:

Put a warm washcloth on your closed eyes for about a minute in the morning and evening (I find it’s nicest if the washcloth is hot enough for a little steam action), then gently massage your eyelashes with baby shampoo. Aside from the baby shampoo do not let any soaps, lotions, or makeup removers come into contact with your eyes. I’m also supposed to take omega-3 supplements, but they taste yucky!

I’ve been doing this for a couple months and am now able to wear daily contacts once in a while (with occasional rewetting drops).

Personally I’m not sure that just wearing them more will really help. IMO you should talk with your eye doctor about the problem. You only have one set of eyes, and as I found out in a rather horrible way when I had that reaction, they’re more delicate than we would like them to be.

Yes! I now keep contacts for only special occasions. If I wear them too much, I see to develop Iritis, if which bad enough makes you want to cut your own head off. Though, as Sampiro has noted previously, eyepatches can make you look hot. I’m very tall and blonde, and I tell myself I have some Daryl Hannah from Kill Bill going on. (though I know i really don’t :stuck_out_tongue: )

I wouldn’t say my eyes are super-sensitive, although wearing contacts has made them more sensitive and allergy-prone over time, even when I’m not wearing them. Does anybody else have less discomfort chopping onions when wearing contacts versus not wearing contacts? I almost can’t chop onions if I’m wearing my glasses.

I’ve found that occasionally switching contact solutions helps.

I have dry, allergic eyes - I regularly try the newest contacts on the market, but they don’t work for me. After about an hour, I just want to get the damned things out of my eyes RIGHT F’N NOW, and my eyes are all red and irritated. I keep hoping, but the contacts keep not working. Maybe someday.

Seconded - I can’t chop onions while wearing glasses! Somehow the CLs seem to protect the eyes, It’s been the same with both gas permeable and soft lenses.

On the OP - no, I’m lucky I haven’t had problems with any of the various lenses/solutions I’ve used over the last 32 years :eek: