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Why Is My Vision Blurry with Contacts?

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A point-of-view of a person with blurry vision reaching out his hand toward a laptop.

Contact lenses are a common form of vision correction, and are an incredible modern alternative to traditional eyeglasses. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always perfect. Sometimes, you can be wearing contacts, but you still may be dealing with blurry vision.

This can be due to several reasons. Usually, this is caused by a problem with your prescription or the contacts being outdated, dirty, or dry. In some situations, it can be caused by underlying medical conditions like dry eye syndrome or an eye infection.

Fortunately, you can speak with your optometrist during a comprehensive eye exam. They can examine your eyes and contact lenses to help you find the cause of your blurry vision.

Outdated Prescription

Your contact lenses have a prescription that’s designed to provide you with clear vision. They’re designed to correct many different kinds of refractive errors to help your eye function properly to build a proper image of your environment.

However, your eyes are constantly changing. As you get older, their shape or elasticity may adjust, which can mean an older pair of contacts may not provide you with the necessary fix for your refractive error. As a result, light doesn’t focus properly into your eye—causing the development of blurry vision.

In some situations, it could even be a simple mistake with the contacts. They could be made too strong or too weak. If you notice that you can’t see clearly through your contacts—or never have been able to—you should speak with your optometrist so they can examine the pair and see if there’s an error.

A close-up of a worn and dirty contact lens on a finger.

Dry or Dirty Contacts

When your contacts are functioning properly, they should be able to refract light properly to reach your retina. But this assumes that they’re perfectly clear and clean. 

If your contacts become dirty with oils, dirt, grease, or dust, they may not function as well as they should. These physical barriers can alter how light enters your eye and lead to blurry vision. 

It can even cause a barrier that stops oxygen from properly reaching your eye or the lens, leading to the development of dryness and discomfort. That can cause irritation, inflammation, and cause problems with your eyes. This also disrupts your tear film, which can potentially cause dry eye disease to begin developing.

Potential Bacterial Infections

You should be cleaning your contacts regularly and thoroughly, and storing them in a proper case. Contact lens cases and cleaning solutions can expire after the date printed on their container, so it’s essential to keep an eye on whether or not your materials are up-to-date.

When they expire, they no longer have a proper seal, and they can no longer ensure a sterile environment for the lenses. This can lead to the growth of bacteria and even fungi in the case and on the lenses. Once a compromised lens is put in your eye, it can lead to serious bacterial infections.

If your contacts, case, or cleaning solution are expired, you should avoid wearing the lenses until you’ve purchased and received a new pair from your optometrist.

You’ve Worn Them for Too Long

One common cause of blurry vision when wearing contacts is simple: you’ve worn them for too long at once. Contact lenses, even soft or gas-permeable ones, act as a physical barrier between your eyes and the air. This can lead to reduced oxygen flow to your eyes, and that can cause eye strain.

And the longer you wear contacts, the higher the chances are of dust, dirt, and debris accumulating on their surface. This can block light from entering or even cause it to scatter as it enters the eye. 

If you notice that you often have blurry vision when wearing your contacts for extended periods of time, you should take them out during the day where possible to give your eyes some relief.

An Improper Fit

Every person’s eyes are different. Whether this is the size, the shape, or the unique refractive error, contact lenses aren’t universal. To give yourself optimal vision, you need a pair of properly-fitting contact lenses.  

If you’re wearing a pair that isn’t quite a perfect fit, it can lead to light being refracted wrong into the eye. They can move around as you move your eyes, which makes this problem worse. And in some situations, if you’re experiencing astigmatism or a problem with the shape of your cornea, the lens simply may not be the right fit for your eye.

This makes it essential to visit your optometrist for a proper contact lens fitting so you can be sure you’re getting a pair that’s the right fit for you.

Potential Eye Problem

In some situations, if none of the above apply, you may be dealing with a potential eye condition. If your contact lenses are a proper fit, clean, and up-to-date, they should be working as intended. Experiencing blurry vision despite all this could be an indicator of a more serious eye condition.

If this is occurring to you, you should book an appointment with our team at Golden Hills Optometry in San Jose, California. Our team of highly trained optometrists can perform a comprehensive eye exam and help determine what may be causing your blurry vision. Book an appointment with us today, and let us help you!

Written by Total Vision

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