There can be various reasons for contact lens blurry vision, and in most cases, it can be easily remedied. In some instances, however, it may indicate a medical problem. Why do contact lenses get blurry? And how do you fix a blurry contact?
Common causes of blurry vision when wearing contact lenses
Contact lenses should provide you with clear, comfortable vision. However, sometimes things can start to look a little blurry when you’re wearing your contacts. This may cause only a slight inconvenience with objects appearing out-of-focus and hazy. You may find yourself constantly blinking, squinting, and rubbing your eyes to get a clearer view. Some of the possible causes of blurry vision while wearing contacts include a change in your prescription, deposits (like dirt) on the lens surface, dry eyes, allergies, infections, or other eye health problems.
Getting the right prescription
When you initially have your eyes tested and get started with contact lenses, these will be based on your specific prescription. Eyesight typically changes over time, especially as presbyopia develops when you’re older, so you may need stronger vision correction at some point. What’s more, if you have astigmatism, blurry vision can occur — though this can be corrected with toric contact lenses. And if your lenses don’t fit properly, this might also cause eye strain and blurriness.
When you don’t have the correct prescription for your contact lenses, the light rays do not focus on the retina, leaving you with blurry vision. A new prescription can take care of this problem — though it may take a week or two to adjust to the new prescription, during which time you may experience some blurriness.
It’s easy to keep on top of this with regular visits to your optician. We’d recommend going every two years, or whenever your optician recommends it. If you are experiencing blurry vision with contact lenses the first thing to do is get in touch with your optician.
Dry eye is a condition in which the eyes are not properly moisturised. This can happen because there aren’t enough tears in the eyes, or they’re not of a good quality. It’s quite common in contact lens users and can lead to blurry vision along with other symptoms such as redness and stinging.1 When it’s mild, dry eye can often be tackled with contact lens rewetting drops. Your optician may give you prescription eye drops if your dry eye is particularly severe, in addition to specific contact lenses for dry eyes.
When you have allergies, like hay fever, your eyes tend to water excessively. This can prevent your contact lenses from sitting properly on the cornea, leading to blurry vision. If this does happen, you might need to take a break from using your lenses because the preservatives in some medications can damage contact lenses.2 Your optometrist may prescribe anti-allergy eye drops that need to be instilled at least 15 minutes before you put your lenses in, and during peak seasonal allergy periods, you may need to reduce contact lens wear time and use lubricating eye drops to keep symptoms like blurry vision in control.2
Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), can lead to symptoms such as blurred vision, watery eyes, redness, and pain.2 If you are experiencing any symptoms of infection, you should stop using your contacts and see your optometrist as soon as possible. In treating the infection, you may be required to stop using your lenses for some time — but once treated, your vision should return to normal without blurriness.
How does contact lens aftercare help minimise the risk of blurry vision?
The accumulation of debris and protein deposits on the lens surface is a common reason for cloudy or hazy vision with contact lenses. Not surprisingly, dirty contact lenses can make your vision seem blurry — so if you can see clearly through your glasses but have blurry vision with your contacts, deposit build-up could potentially be the reason. An aftercare routine is important to maintain your contact lenses and keep them clean — here are some of our top tips:
● Follow your optometrist’s instructions on proper cleaning and storage practices and always practice good hand hygiene when handling your lenses.
● Keep water away from your lenses (avoid showering with lenses in and remove them before swimming).
● Never use water to clean or store your lenses. Always use fresh contact lens solution to disinfect your contacts.
● It’s important to follow your wearing schedule, and to not wear your lenses for too long or sleep in them (unless you have extended wear contacts).
● People who use twice-monthly or monthly lenses need to be extra careful and clean their contacts carefully to avoid blurriness.
If you’re experiencing blurry vision while wearing your contact lenses, your first step should be to stop wearing them, and to visit your optometrist as soon as possible. They’ll be able to help you understand the cause and give you next steps. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about contact lenses and eye health, head over here for more information.
- Mayo Clinic. (no date). Dry Eyes. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371863 [Accessed 3 November 2019].
- Urgacz A, Mrukwa E, Gawlik R. Adverse events in allergy sufferers wearing contact lenses. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2015;32(3):204–209. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4495118/ [Accessed 3 November 2019].
- Mayo Clinic. (no date). Eye Floaters. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eye-floaters/symptoms-causes/syc-20372346 [Accessed 3 November 2019].