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Why Are My Contacts Blurry?

Phoebe Jade

Written By:

Phoebe Jade

Updated: 18 April 2024 •  
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Ever experienced blurry vision while wearing contacts? It can be frustrating and make it extremely difficult to focus on simple tasks. But don’t worry, blurry contacts is usually an easy problem to fix.
Here are some common causes of blurry contacts and how you can solve them.

1. Dirty lenses could be the culprit

Dirty lenses is one of the top causes for blurry vision. When lenses aren’t cleaned regularly, the natural oils and proteins from our eyes, dust, and even bacteria can build up on them. This then affects the clarity of your lenses and by extension, your vision.
To avoid this, it’s as simple as cleaning your contact lenses every day. Before touching your contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water, then dry them with a lint-free towel.
a woman cleaning her contact lenses by rinsing and rubbing them

The “rub and rinse” method is your best bet for getting clean contacts.

No matter what cleansing solution you use, the “rub and rinse” method works best — gently rub your lenses, then rinse them with fresh solution before soaking them. Never use expired or reused solution, and pour only new, sterile solution from its original container into the lens case.

2. You might have dry eyes

Contacts make it much easier to see clearly, but they may not be the best option for you if you suffer from dry eyes. Overly dry eyes won’t be able to support the lenses as they don’t produce enough tears to lubricate their surfaces. This means the contacts wouldn’t sit right on your eyes, and in turn, won’t be able to refract light and correct your vision properly.
If you wish to continue wearing contacts, consult your eye doctor about alternative contacts and how often you should apply eye drops during the day.
Long-term wear of contact lenses should also be avoided as it can lead to dry eyes if you don’t have it already. Contacts decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your cornea, which needs oxygen to stay nourished and healthy.
To combat this issue, take regular breaks from wearing your contact lenses by using eyeglasses several times a week instead. Additionally, be sure to remove your contacts before bed so your eyes may receive sufficient oxygen during sleep.

3. You’re wearing an old prescription

Perhaps you’ve been careful with your pair, cleaning and storing them properly and replacing them as soon as the time is due. But for some reason, your contact lenses still give you discomfort, come off easily, or are blurry. This may be because your prescription is outdated.
If you can’t remember when your last eye exam was, or your answer is more than one year ago, that’s a sign that your prescription might need an update.
man updating his old eye prescription

Regular eye exams are essential for eye health.

Regular eye exams help keep your vision at its peak sharpness by keeping your prescription up to date and detecting any underlying conditions that might affect your vision. Once you’ve gotten your eyes checked, your optometrist can get you fitted with lenses that are comfortable and help you see clearly once again.

4. It could be allergies

While you might think that allergies only apply to environmental or food-related triggers, allergies to contact lenses and solutions are actually pretty common as well. Blurry contacts can be caused by an allergy to proteins in the lens itself, the preservatives in the solution, latex-based ingredients, or a low pH balance.
Fortunately, there is a solution: by visiting your eye doctor and expressing your allergy concerns, they can recommend special solutions or contacts that won’t aggravate your eyes. Also, switching your cleaning routine by using hypoallergenic products can reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

5. Prolonged wearing of contact lenses

Wearing contacts for longer than the recommended life cycle — for example, one-week contact lenses for a month — will cause blurry vision, and affect your eye health. Protein and deposits naturally accumulate on the lens surface when contacts are left in the eyes longer than recommended. This then puts you at greater risk of infection, dry eye, and inflammation.
It goes without saying, but you must also adhere to manufacturers’ guidelines on the wear cycle. If you can’t help but keep your contacts in longer than the recommended time, limit exposure to irritants by putting fresh pairs in as soon as possible, or consider glasses as an alternative.
avoid wearing contact lenses for prolonged hours

Regardless of whether they’re daily disposables, bi-weekly, or monthly contacts, they mustn’t be worn beyond their recommended duration.

Besides that, lenses must be thoroughly rinsed with fresh, sterile cleaning solution each night before bed to remove any potential irritants accumulated throughout the day.

Your new prescription might be the reason

“Why are my contacts blurry when I just got them?”, you ask.
Adjusting to a new prescription for contacts can take some time and may cause blurry vision at first. The key to avoiding this is to let yourself adjust by slowly building up the amount of time you wear your new lenses daily.
Start by wearing them for an hour or two a day, then work your way up to a few more hours each day until you feel comfortable enough with the prescription to wear them all day. Of course, you should also check in with your optometrist if the blurry vision persists and/or contacts continue to be uncomfortable.

Other reasons for blurry vision

Sometimes, blurry vision can also be a symptom of eye conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, or eye injuries.
Migraines and sometimes pregnancy can also cause your vision to blur. Whatever the case, it is important that you see an eye doctor as soon as possible to diagnose the issue and get proper treatment.

Why is my contact lens only blurry in one eye?

It might be due to an incorrect fit. Different brands may have different sizes and shapes that work better with certain eyes, so trying a few varieties is your best bet if this happens to you.
irregular lenses shape causes astigmatism and blurry vision

Astigmatism occurs when lenses are abnormally shaped, affecting how clearly you can see objects at a distance and close up. Source: Healthline

Alternatively, astigmatism could be the cause. Blurred near and distance vision is a symptom of this eye condition. In this case, custom-made contact lenses can help, and your optometrist or ophthalmologist can usually get you fitted for a pair once they’ve got your prescription.
For a quick, temporary fix, you can use eye drops or blink your contacts back into place.

Clear ways to fix a blurry problem

Clearly, there are many causes for blurry vision when wearing contact lenses, but there are easy, actionable solutions for each one of them too.
One thing’s for sure: you can always rely on your eye doctor to help you figure out what’s wrong if you experience any persistent changes in your vision while wearing contacts. Otherwise, with a bit of care and good hygiene habits, you can continue to enjoy the freedom and convenience of wearing contacts comfortably and safely.

Phoebe Jade

Written by:

Phoebe Jade

Phoebe is a registered nurse, licensed teacher and writer who's passionate about creating content that educates and inspires.