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Why Are My Contacts Blurry?

Do your contact lenses ever seem blurry, causing you discomfort and frustration? If you struggle with this, rest assured you're not alone. Understanding the underlying causes and how to fix this problem can help.

This article explores seven common reasons for blurry contacts and offers practical solutions to help you regain clear, comfortable vision.

1. Outdated Prescription

Your eyesight can change over time, making your current lenses less effective. Book an eye exam with your optometrist to determine whether you need a new prescription. Regular check-ups, typically once a year, can ensure that your contacts always provide optimal vision.

2. Your Contacts Need Cleaning

Protein deposits, dirt, and debris can accumulate on contact lenses, blur vision, and cause eye infections.

To keep your vision clear:

  1. Clean your contacts thoroughly using the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor or the lens manufacturer. Store your lenses every night in a clean case filled with fresh solution.

  2. For disposable lenses, replace them as scheduled.

  3. If cleaning is a consistent issue, consider switching to daily disposables.

3. Your Contacts Are Dry

Dry contact lenses can occur due to environmental factors, extended wear, or infrequent blinking, especially when staring at screens for long periods. This condition typically leads to discomfort, eyestrain, and a deficit in vision clarity.

When using digital devices, we often don't blink as much as we should. The following method can help. Practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. This helps reduce eye strain and encourages blinking.

If dryness persists, consult your ophthalmologist about switching to a more moisture-retaining lens material. Stay hydrated and use a humidifier to maintain eye moisture.

4. Your Contact Lenses Aren't the Correct Fit

Ill-fitting contacts can move around in your eye, causing fluctuations in vision accuracy and discomfort. An incorrect fit can also prevent your eyes from getting enough oxygen.

Address this issue by visiting your eye doctor to ensure your contacts fit correctly. They can measure your eyes and recommend lenses that fit perfectly, guaranteeing clearer vision and comfort. Alternatively, they can recommend trying a different brand or contact type that matches your eye shape and needs better.

5. Your Contacts Have Shifted or Weren't Inserted Correctly

Sometimes, blurry vision can indicate that your contact lenses shift out of place or aren’t appropriately inserted. This feeling often happens if the lens is inserted inside out.

To fix this:

  1. Start by washing your hands thoroughly to avoid introducing dirt or debris.

  2. Remove the blurry contact, clean it well, and reinsert it, ensuring it is centered on your cornea and not inside out.

  3. If the problem continues, ask your optometrist to show you how to insert your lenses for better placement and clearer vision.

6. Your Eyes Are Adjusting to a New Prescription

If you have recently started wearing new contacts, your eyes may need time to adjust, which can cause temporary blurriness. This adjustment period varies from person to person.

You only have to give your eyes a few days to adapt to the new prescription. If you're still experiencing blurriness after about a week, consult your eye doctor to ensure the prescription is accurate and the lenses fit correctly.

7. Underlying Condition May Be Responsible

Sometimes, blurry vision with contacts – but not with a pair of glasses – can suggest an underlying eye condition like astigmatism, dry eye syndrome, or other medical issues. 

In these cases, a comprehensive eye exam is necessary to rule out any potential eye health concerns. Your doctor can diagnose and treat vision issues and recommend specialized lenses or additional treatments.

Blurry contact lenses may stem from various causes, from simple hygiene issues to more complex eye conditions.

If blurriness remains despite these measures, consult your eye care professional for personalized advice and treatment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix blurry contacts?

  1. Clean your lenses properly and regularly to remove any debris.

  2. Stay hydrated to prevent dry eyes and take breaks from screen time using the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds).

  3. Replace your contacts as scheduled to avoid the buildup of deposits.

  4. Use lubricating eye drops, approved for contact lens use, to keep your eyes moist.

  5. Always ensure your hands are clean when handling contacts. If the problem persists, consider switching to daily disposable lenses for better hygiene and comfort.

Why do my contact lenses get cloudy?

Contact lenses get blurry and cloudy for several reasons, affecting your vision and comfort. Natural oils and proteins from your tears can build up on the lens surface over time, creating a hazy film. Environmental factors such as dust, pollen, or other airborne particles can also settle on your lenses, causing cloudiness. Using incompatible eye products, like certain eye drops or makeup, may affect your contacts, leading to a cloudy appearance. Lastly, cloudy lenses may result from improper cleaning or storage practices that let bacteria and debris accumulate.

Are my contacts blurry because I have an astigmatism?

Astigmatisms can cause blurry vision with regular contact lenses because these lenses don't correct for the irregular corneal shape associated with astigmatism. Ask your eye doctor about toric lenses specifically designed for astigmatism. These lenses have a different design to compensate for the irregularly shaped cornea.

Why are my contacts blurry when I look at the screen?

Extended screen time can lead to digital eye strain, making your contacts blurry. This often happens because you blink less frequently when focusing on screens. Also, the blue light from devices can cause eye fatigue. Finally, your eyes may dry out more quickly in air-conditioned environments, which is common in offices. Alleviate these issues and maintain clear vision while using digital devices by taking regular breaks, ensuring proper lighting, and using lubricating eye drops.

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