Signs and Symptoms of Contact Lens Overwear

If you’re not used to wearing contact lenses just yet, you might shrug off the discomfort you’re feeling since it’s quite normal for first-time users. Another risk is if you’re not feeling any discomfort at all and you’re alone most of the time, making it harder for other people to spot signs of overwear. Either way, you need to know the signs and symptoms of contact lens overwear just to be on the safe side.

The consequences of overwearing contact lenses should never be taken lightly. Sure, most of them are completely treatable, but long-term neglect can ultimately lead to permanent blindness.

Just to give you an idea of how long you should wear most contact lenses, using high-quality daily contacts is generally safe for up to 16 hours. With subpar ones, you need to be more careful and only wear them while you’re working or simply going about your day. To really make sure you won’t ever have to deal with overwear, it’s best to just use a good pair of eyeglasses during casual days.

Signs of Contact Lens Overwear

Unlike symptoms, signs of contact lens overwear rely on what other people notice on your eyes or what you see when you look in the mirror. Once you hear remarks about one of these signs or notice it in front of a mirror, take off your contacts immediately or consult an eye doctor:

Too Much Moisture

You can definitely feel it when a strange fluid discharge spreads all over your eyes. The same idea goes for excessive tearing. However, other people can also quickly notice those signs.

Noticeable Redness

Your scleras (the white part of your eyes) don’t have to be totally red as if you have pink eye or conjunctivitis in order for other people to notice abnormal redness. If there are noticeable reddish areas surrounding your pupils, consider that as a sign of overwear and remove your contact lenses right away.

Speaking of conjunctivitis, it may sound like one of the effects of contact lens overwear. However, we’re not talking about the usual pink eye. Overwear may lead to allergies and an eye infection caused by lens allergy is called the GPC or giant papillary conjunctivitis. It’s technically not a case of pink eye because it can’t be transmitted to other people. However, the signs and symptoms of GPC are very similar to conjunctivitis, hence the comparison.

Swollen Eyelids

It doesn’t even have to be just the eyelids. Sometimes, the eyebags can be affected, too. You can actually feel it when your eyes are swollen because your field of vision is limited and your eyelids seem heavy or tired. But, again, that’s very noticeable, too.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Overwear

While the signs of contact lenses overwear are very obvious when you see them, the symptoms are based on what you feel and you should be honest about them when you consult a specialist because nobody knows it other than you. You should also take them seriously. Once you feel it, remove your contacts.


Let’s face it; this is a vague symptom. However, there are specific sensations you need to pay attention to. If you feel a burn or itch in your eye, then stop wearing your contact lenses at once. Another kind of discomfort is when you feel like there’s sand in your eye every time you blink.

Light Sensitivity

If you really can’t bear to look at bright things like computer monitors, touchscreen phones, and television screens while wearing your contact lenses, switch to eyeglasses immediately. Maybe you’re already wearing your contacts longer than necessary.

Vision Problem

Usually characterized by having a blurred vision all of a sudden even while wearing powerful contacts, it’s crucial to remove the lenses right away once you notice a problem on how you see things. That’s most likely caused by too much debris all over the surface of the lenses.

What to Do When You Overwear Your Contact Lenses

The obvious answer is to remove your contact lenses without missing a beat. However, always remember the following precautions:

  • Clean your hands thoroughly with water and soap to wash off any impurities that can infect your eyes.
  • Make sure to dry your hands with something that won’t leave any residue on your skin to avoid debris on your eyes.
  • Throw the contact lenses if they’re the daily disposable kind. Never use that type of lens more than once. Only clean and store bi-weekly and monthly lenses.
  • Disinfect bi-weekly or monthly lenses before storing them.
  • Store bi-weekly or monthly contacts in a container suitable for lenses. The container should be filled with fresh saline solution.
  • Use the right kind of drops or moisturizing solution for your eyes as a form of instant relief from pain or discomfort after you take off your contacts.
  • Consult a specialist just in case you’re wearing the wrong type of contact lenses for your eyes. Sometimes, it isn’t about overwearing lenses.

How to Prevent Overwearing Your Contact Lenses

Don’t forget these tips to completely avoid the possibility of contact lens overwear:

  • Read every information that comes with the packaging (label, instruction manual, etc.) to make sure you won’t miss the part about the maximum wear time of your contact lenses.
  • Unless you’re using extended-wear contact lenses, never sleep while wearing contacts.
  • Wear your eyeglasses from time to time no matter how much you prefer contact lenses.


Every contact lens user needs to be aware of the signs and symptoms of overwear. Signs refer to the noticeable factors while symptoms are the ones you actually feel, not necessarily apparent to other people. Too much moisture and redness, as well as swollen eyelids, are the most common signs of overwear while intense discomfort, light sensitivity, and vision problems are the major symptoms. You need to remove your contacts immediately once you experience a particular sign or symptom. Also, be more responsible to avoid risking your eye health.

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Where to Buy Contact Lenses

If you need a new set of contacts, you can find almost anything here at Contact Lenses 4 Us. We have a wide range of products like the Acuvue OasysDailies Aqua Comfort Plus, and Biomedics 1 Day Extra. You can order without a prescription, and we’re ready to ship it anywhere in the world.

Also check:

How to Remove Contact Lenses

Three Important Tips for Contact Lens Care

Is There Any Age Limit on Wearing Contact Lenses?

Signs and Symptoms of Contact Lens Overwear

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