Use eye drops with contact lenses

Certain eye drops can be used with contact lenses, including remoisturizing eye drops to make the eyes feel more comfortable.However, some eye drops should no Use with contact lenses may eventually cause eye irritation and redness.

This article looks at four types of eye drops and contours found on most drugstore shelves that are safe and can cause problems if you wear contact lenses. It also explains when to remove your contacts and call your eye doctor if something goes wrong.

Types of eye drops

Eye drops are not a one-size-fits-all solution. They are used for specific purposes and in some cases you need to avoid them if you wear contact lenses.

Remoisturizing eye drops

Contact lens eye drops are often referred to as rewetting eye drops. Remoisturizing drops lubricate your eyes and moisturise your contact lenses, making your eyes more comfortable while wearing your contact lenses.

These eye drops are labeled “for contact lenses” and are usually located next to contact lens cleaning solutions.

Eye care professionals generally encourage the frequent use of remoisturizing drops because it improves comfort and helps clear debris from under the contact lens.

dry eye drops

Dry eye drops come in a variety of formulations. Some are thicker than others and may actually blur your vision or “stick” to your contact lenses.

While some dry eye drops may work with contact lenses, they not only lubricate the eye but also promote healing on the surface of the eye.

If your eyes are healthy, it’s best to stick to eye drops that are specifically labeled “for use with contact lenses.” If unsure, call your eye doctor.

vasoconstrictor eye drops

“Get the red out” eye drops contain special ingredients called vasoconstrictor. These water droplets constrict the tiny blood vessels in the blood vessels conjunctiva (the transparent tissue covering the white part of the eye). While they are effective, vasoconstrictor eye drops can leave deposits on the surface of the lens, causing cloudiness.

Vasoconstrictor eye drops can also cause rebound redness if used to continually rewet the lens. Rebound redness occurs when the vasoconstriction wears off and the blood vessels in the eye suddenly dilate and become bloodshot. This, in turn, can lead to a dependence on eye drops, as you need more and more medication to relieve redness.

Additionally, overuse of vasoconstrictor drops can “mask” eye infections or other inflammatory conditions affecting the eye.

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If you need eye drops to treat congested eyes, it is best to remove the lenses and put them on after the redness is completely gone.

Medicated eye drops

Medicated eye drops are rarely used in contact lenses.So if you have an eye infection such as conjunctivitis (pink eyes), your best bet is to avoid wearing contact lenses while using the drops.

Likewise, if you’re using medication drops for an allergy or eye injury, it’s best to avoid lenses until your eyes have fully recovered.


The best eye drops for contact lenses are rewetting eye drops. Dry eye drops may be fine, but can sometimes be thick and cause blurring. Vasoconstrictor eye drops or medicated eye drops should only be used when your lenses come off, not as a replacement for rewetting eye drops.

When to take out contacts

Although many long-lasting contact lenses can be worn for up to 7 days, that doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes contact lenses need to be removed due to infection, eye injury, or other problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should remove your contact lenses if you:

  • irritability, red eyes
  • Increased pain in or around the eye
  • Sensitivity
  • sudden blurred vision
  • unusually watery eyes
  • eye discharge

Call your eye doctor if symptoms persist for more than a few hours or get worse.


You should remove your contact lenses if you have eye redness, eye pain, sudden blurring, unusual discharge, excessive tearing, or light sensitivity.


There are many different types of eye drops, but not all are suitable for contact lens users. As a general rule, only buy products labeled “for use in contact lenses.”

Remoisturizing eye drops are designed for contact lenses to make them more comfortable in the eyes. Dry eye drops are probably fine, although some formulas are thick and can end up smudging your lenses. Vasoconstrictor eye drops and medicated eye drops should only be used while your contacts are away, not as rewetting agents.

Remove contact lenses if they cause redness, pain, sudden blurring of discharge, light sensitivity, or excessive tearing.