Why Do Your Contacts Always Feel Dry After Just A Few Hours?

Your contact lenses should generally remain comfortable throughout the day. Having to reach for the eye drops every once in a while is pretty normal, but if you find that your eyes are always feeling dry just a few hours into wearing your contacts, it's important to get to the bottom of the issue. Here's a look at three possible explanations for this problem – and what you can do to fix them.

Poorly-Sized Contacts

Contacts that are too small for your eyes may not leave enough space between themselves and your eyes for lubrication. If you're young and still growing, it's possible that your eyes have grown since your last eye appointment, and that you now need larger contacts. It's also not unheard of for an eye doctor to make a human error and write down the wrong measurement – or for someone to key that measurement into the computer incorrectly. If your eyes are becoming too dry a few hours into wearing contacts, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. He or she can re-measure your eyes and ensure you have the right size lenses.


If you're allergic to mold spores, pet dander, pollen, or another airborne allergen, then this allergen may be getting trapped behind your lenses, leading to irritation and dryness. Keep in mind that people can develop allergies at any stage of their life, so just because you've never had allergies before does not mean they're not to blame this time. If you also find yourself sneezing often, waking up with congestion, or suffering from itchy skin, allergies are a likely explanation. Try taking an over-the-counter antihistamine. Clean out your air ducts and dust your home to remove indoor allergens. If the problem persists, make an appointment with an allergist, or talk with an optometrist. Clinics, such as the Focus West Optometry, might be able to help. 

Too Much Screen Time

When you stare at a screen, you tend to blink less. This allows your eyes to dry out. Contacts can perpetuate the issue, since they tend to dry out more quickly than your corneas. Try being more conscious of blinking regularly when you're starting at a screen. And, schedule breaks away from your screen every hour or so. Even getting up to grab a cup of coffee or have a brief chat with a coworker can break things up and leave your eyes less dry.

It is not a good idea to ignore eye dryness when you have contacts, since it can lead to corneal scratches and infections. Until you get to the bottom of what is causing your dryness, carry your lens case with you so you can switch to glasses whenever your eyes get too scratchy.