Contact Lens Intolerance

Contact Lens Intolerance

You might find contact lenses more convenient than glasses for temporary vision correction. However, wearing contact lenses can lead to a condition known as contact lens intolerance (CLI). CLI is a broad term describing the inability to wear contact lenses comfortably. Some individuals experience CLI symptoms occasionally, while others suffer from them daily, leading to an inability to wear contacts altogether. Symptoms of CLI can vary from mild to severe and may include dryness, redness, irritation, and inflammation.

This blog post aims to provide insight into contact lens intolerance and the available treatment options. But before that, let’s discuss the dos and don’ts of wearing contact lenses.

Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Contacts

To make the most of your contact lenses, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. While they’re not strict rules, following them can greatly enhance your comfort while wearing lenses. Here are some dos and don’ts:



  • Hand Washing: Prioritize washing your hands with soap and running water before touching your eyes or lenses. This prevents transferring particles or germs, which could lead to irritation.
  • Take Breaks: Give your eyes a break by taking one day off per week from wearing contact lenses and using your glasses instead. Additionally, limit the number of hours per day you wear your lenses.
  • Regular Eye Exams: Schedule regular eye exams with your Toronto optometrists. Seek immediate attention if you experience any emergencies related to your contact lenses.
    Now, let’s discuss what you should avoid:


    • Swimming or Saunas: Avoid wearing contacts while swimming or in a sauna, as water can introduce harmful microorganisms to your eyes.

    • Changing Lens Care Products: Do not change your lens care products without consulting your eye doctor first. Different products may not be compatible with your lenses or eyes.

    • Extended Wear: Never wear your lenses longer than their intended use. This can lead to discomfort and potential eye health issues.

Treating Contact Lens Intolerance

For most patients, contact lens intolerance is a temporary issue. However, we prioritize your comfort and clarity of vision. If you experience frequent or severe discomfort, we recommend discussing this with one of our eye care professionals. In the meantime, here are some steps you can take to alleviate your discomfort:

1. Switch to Glasses: If your contact lenses are causing irritation, wearing your backup glasses can provide relief until your eyes settle down.

2. Consider Vision Correction Surgery: If other methods don’t provide long-term relief, refractive surgery may be an option. We offer consultations for various surgical options at 360 Eyecare. ReLEx SMILE, for example, is a cutting-edge Laser Vision Correction method that minimizes the risk of corneal weakness or dry eye post-surgery.

3. Use Lubricating Eye Drops: Dryness is a common cause of contact lens intolerance. Try using over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricating eye drops specifically for contact lenses to alleviate symptoms.

4. Evaluate Your Lens Care Routine: The products you use to care for your lenses can contribute to intolerance. Ensure you’re using solutions without preservatives, as these can cause hypersensitivity. If you’ve recently switched solutions and started experiencing issues, that could be the cause.

Lens Care Routine

5. Review Your Lens Wear Habits: Sleeping in your lenses, wearing them for too long, or not cleaning them properly can lead to intolerance. Always follow your doctor’s instructions for lens wear and care.

We aim to make your vision journey as comfortable and effective as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

How we can help at 360 Eyecare

Many people who wear contact lenses simply resign themselves to the inconveniences they bring. But there’s good news: relief is within reach! Picture waking up and beginning your day without the irritation and challenges that come with wearing contacts.

If that idea resonates with you, give us a call at  416-698-3937 and  416-901-2725 or click to arrange a consultation with 360 Eyecaree in Beaches or Rosedale in Toronto. Discover if vision correction surgery could be the solution you’ve been seeking.

Visit us, and our friendly, knowledgeable eye doctors  will greet you with a warm smile.


In conclusion, contact lens intolerance is a common condition that affects many individuals who wear contact lenses. However, it should not be ignored, as it can cause significant discomfort and even lead to vision problems. By following the dos and don’ts of wearing contacts and seeking professional help when necessary, you can alleviate your symptoms and enjoy clear vision. At 360 Eyecare, we are committed to helping you achieve optimal eye health and vision. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.


Q: Can I continue wearing contact lenses if I have contact lens intolerance?

It is advisable to consult with an eye care professional to determine the best course of action. In some cases, it may be possible to continue wearing lenses with proper management and care.

Q: Are there any long-term effects of contact lens intolerance?

Prolonged use of contact lenses despite intolerance can lead to complications such as corneal ulcers, infections, and corneal neovascularization. It is important to address intolerance promptly to avoid these risks.

Q: How can I prevent contact lens intolerance?

To prevent contact lens intolerance, it is essential to follow proper lens care instructions, avoid wearing lenses for extended periods, and schedule regular eye exams to monitor eye health.

Q: When should I see an eye care professional about contact lens intolerance?

If you experience persistent discomfort or symptoms of intolerance, it is recommended to see an eye care professional for an evaluation. They can determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.