You might be alarmed when your contact lenses become cloudy. However, it's actually a common issue that plagues many contact lens wearers. Contact lenses can become cloudy for different reasons. Fortunately, there's typically a simple explanation as to why your contact lenses are becoming cloudy and the problem isn't difficult to fix.
Buildup of Protein Deposits
One of the most common reasons that contact lenses become blurry is because protein deposits build up on the surface of the lens. Tear production keeps your eyes clean so that your vision doesn't get blurry. However, wearing contact lenses affects your eyes' natural cleaning process. When this happens, oils and protein found in your tears, as well as debris that would typically be flushed from your eyes attaches itself to your contacts. Eventually, this creates a thin film over your contact lenses that blurs your vision. To avoid protein deposit buildup, make sure you clean your contact lenses on a regular basis. While some contact lenses don't require you to clean them daily, if you frequently have problems with cloudy vision, you should. This ensures that you don't accumulate more than one day's worth of protein-deposit buildup at a time.
If you have naturally dry eyes, it's possible that the tears in your eyes evaporate too quickly causing your contact lenses to become cloudy because outside contaminants, protein deposits, and oil from your tears aren't washed away. This often happens to people who work with computers because they tend to stare at the computer screen for long periods of time without blinking. To correct this issue, remind yourself to blink on a regular basis to rewet your contact lenses. You can also use over-the-counter contact lens rewetting drops to keep your contacts from drying out.
Contact Lens Deterioration
Your contacts aren't designed so that you can wear the same pair for an extremely long time. They need to be replaced according to the manufacturer's directions. Depending on the type of lenses you wear you could need to replace them daily, weekly, every two weeks, or once per month. If you haven't replaced your lenses in a while and they've become cloudy or uncomfortable, you should consider getting them replaced. If you aren't sure how often you should be replacing your lenses, ask your eye doctor.
Cloudy contacts lenses is a common issue, so there's no reason to panic when the problem arises. Instead, make sure your contacts are clean and wet. If they are and your contacts are still cloudy, contact an eye doctor like Jeffrey C. Fogt, OD to order a new pair.