Discover what could lead to contact lens burn and how to protect your child's eyes. From allergies to hygiene, explore common causes and prevention tips.
Is your child wearing myopia-control contact lenses? Did your child ever complain of burning eyes when wearing them? In this guide, we'll delve into the common causes and provide practical tips on prevention. So, let's jump right in and help your child's eyes stay happy and healthy.
Why do contacts burn?
Eye allergies: One culprit might be eye allergies. Dust, pollen, and pet dander, common triggers for allergies, can accumulate on and under contact lenses, leading to irritation and discomfort. Redness, itchiness, and watery eyes often accompany this burning sensation.
Contact lens-related issues: Protein deposits and debris accumulate on contact lenses over time, even with proper cleaning. These deposits reduce the oxygen permeability of lenses, leading to eye irritation and a burning sensation. Thorough cleaning and regular protein removal are crucial to preventing this buildup.
Further, damaged or overused contact lenses can cause corneal abrasions. Scratching the eyes while inserting or removing lenses or wearing them beyond the recommended time each day can lead to increased damage and a higher risk of corneal abrasions.
Skin oil: Skin oil, known as sebum, is essential for skin health but can burn the eyes due to its acidity. If sebum gets into your child's eyes, it can lead to discomfort. Proper cleaning and handling can minimize the risk of sebum-related irritation.
Cleaning solution-related issues: The solution itself might be the problem. Your child could be sensitive to the preservatives or other ingredients in the contact lens solution. Even if you've been using the same solution for a while, a delayed sensitivity reaction can occur, causing a burning sensation. Further, if you are using a hydrogen peroxide system, residual hydrogen peroxide that is not neutralized may be the cause.
Inflammation or Infection: Burning eyes may signal an infection. Keratitis, corneal ulcers, and contact lens-induced acute red eye are common infections associated with wearing contacts. If your child complains of persistent discomfort, it's essential to rule out any potential infections or inflammations.
Dry Eyes: Dry eyes can contribute to discomfort with contact lenses. If your child experiences burning, along with redness and a scratchy feeling, it might be due to insufficient tear production. Dryness can lead to excessive watery "reflex" tears, exacerbating the discomfort.
How do you prevent contacts from burning eyes?
1. Hand and face hygiene: Proper handwashing is crucial before handling contact lenses. Gently cleaning your child's face and removing skin oil may be helpful.
2. Proper fitting: Contact lenses should fit perfectly for both comfort and safety. If your child experiences burning upon insertion, it might be a fitting issue. Avoid pushing through discomfort, as prolonged issues can lead to contact lens intolerance.
3. Thorough cleaning: Proper cleaning and regular protein removal are essential to maintain lens clarity and comfort. For those using a hydrogen peroxide system, ensure sufficient neutralization time.
4. Eye inflammation or infection: If your child experiences inflammation or infection, temporarily switch to glasses to allow the eyes to recover. Avoid exacerbating the issue by continuing to wear contact lenses.
What to do if your child experiences burning eyes?
If your child complains of burning sensations while wearing contact lenses, consider the following steps:1
- Remove the lenses immediately. Apply plenty of saline or artificial tears.
- Check and identify the possible cause and address the issue.
- Give the eyes a five-minute break if you will be trying again.
- If the burning persists upon reinsertion, inspect the lenses for damage and consider switching to eyeglasses until the lenses are replaced.
- Contact your eye doctor to schedule a clinic visit and identify the root cause.
By recognizing the factors leading to contact lens burn, from allergies to lens care, you can ensure your child's eyes stay bright and reduce the likelihood of eye irritation. By following preventive measures and taking prompt action, you can create a comfortable and safe lens-wearing experience for your child. So, let your child's eyes shine without the unwanted burn, and may your child's vision always be crystal clear!
The American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Why Do My Eyes Burn After Inserting My Contacts?“ Accessed November, 2023. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/why-are-my-eyes-burning-after-putting-in-contacts