Can Contact Lenses Give You Pink Eye?

By Denise DeWitt HERWriter
 
Rate This

Pink eye, which is an inflammation of the membrane covering the white part of your eye, is usually caused by an infection. Wearing soft contact lenses can make you more likely to get pink eye.

While there are several types of pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, medical authorities recognize that soft contact lens wearers are more likely to get giant papillary conjunctivitis, or GPC. GPC is an abnormal immune response to something in the eye, such as a contact lens, or suture following eye surgery. It usually affects both eyes and is characterized by red bumps on the under sides of the eyelids. Other symptoms include itching, tearing, and a heavy discharge from the eyes. These symptoms typically make it too uncomfortable to wear your contact lenses.

How Pink Eye is Transmitted
Viral and bacterial pink eye can be spread by direct contact, such as when someone touches their infected eye then transfers the virus or bacteria to a door knob or other object. It can also be spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, and may be transferred on pillowcases or shared towels.

If you get pink eye, your eye doctor will most likely tell you to stop wearing your contact lenses until the infection is gone.

What About Cleaning My Contacts?
If you wear rigid lenses, the CDC recommends soaking them for at least 10 minutes in hydrogen peroxide to make sure the virus is destroyed.

Standard solutions for soft contact lenses will kill the most common virus associated with pink eye. But fragments of the virus may cause a recurrent infection, so replacing soft lenses is the best course of action.

The virus that causes pink eye can survive in a dormant state on counter tops, door knobs and other surfaces for up to a month. If you have pink eye, be sure to replace your contact lens case and solutions to make sure nothing is contaminated. It’s also important to disinfect the bathroom counters and other areas such as medicine cabinets where contact lens gear is stored.

When Can I Wear My Contacts Again?
If you have pink eye, do not wear your contact lenses until the condition is resolved.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I like colored contact lenses. It will give us a wonderful look. www.393lens.com

April 23, 2015 - 1:19am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Tags

Pink Eye

Get Email Updates

Pink Eye Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Improved

3551 Health

Changed

2181 Lives

Saved

2034 Lives
1 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you joined the IUD trend? What kind of birth control do you use? :
View Results