Common Contact Lens Complications and How to Avoid Them

Approximately 45 million adults in the U.S. wear contact lenses. Contact lenses are an effective way to correct many vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

Contact lenses are a popular option for vision correction, and if used correctly, can be very safe. However, they do have risks. Read on to see some of the common risks with wearing contact lenses and what you can do to avoid them.

Germs and Infections

One of the most common contact lens complications is infection. Keratitis, a type of eye infection that is more commonly seen in contact lens users, occurs when the cornea becomes inflamed because of viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. In severe cases, keratitis can cause blindness or the need for a corneal transplant.

How to avoid: Hygiene is key for avoiding infection with contact lens use. Wash your hands before touching your contact lenses. Always follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for cleaning your lenses and replace your contacts on-schedule (those weekly contacts are good for only a week, never two). Never wear your lenses longer than recommended.


Your contact lenses may exacerbate your allergy symptoms. Allergens in the air may become trapped on your lenses, bringing them into prolonged contact with your eyes. The result is itching, irritation, and watery, swollen eyes.

How to avoid: If you suffer from allergies, allergy season can be miserable with contact lenses. Temporarily switching to glasses may bring some relief. When you do wear contacts, clean them well and often to remove allergens from the lenses. Many patients find relief from painful allergy symptoms by switching to daily disposable lenses.

Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the eye. Scratching can occur when inserting or removing contact lenses.

How to avoid: Corneal abrasions need time to heal. While your eye heals, avoid using glasses or contacts. Be very careful when placing or removing contacts to reduce the likelihood of.

Dry Eyes

Dry, itchy eyes are common when using contact lenses. Dry eyes can make wearing contacts uncomfortable.

How to avoid: Many patients find that artificial tears make a big difference in treating dry eyes. Find a lens-friendly option and use it regularly. In-office treatments for dry eye are also available. We also have the MiBoFlo and TearScience diagnostic and therapeutic systems available.

Sick of Contact Complications? Try LASIK Instead

Contact complications are rare when contacts are appropriately used, but many of these complications can be avoided entirely by not using contact lenses. LASIK surgery can correct many refractive errors, often improving vision enough that glasses or contacts are no longer needed. Dr. Will’s advanced technology and techniques often provide vision correction that is better than can be achieved using glasses or contacts.

If you’re tired of contact complications and want to see clearly without the hassle, come into Will Vision and Laser Centers to explore your options. Call (877) 542-3937 to schedule your visit to one of our Pacific Northwest offices. We are conveniently located in Salem, OR and Vancouver, WA.