Are My Contacts Uncomfortable Because Conjunctiva Are Too Tight After Surgery?

I'm a 54 year old female, 6 weeks post-op bilateral upper and lower blepharoplasty. I wear extremely thin daily wear contacts that were absolutely perfect before the surgery. I stayed out of them the recommended two weeks & have been wearing them now for four weeks. The left contact feels awful, like it's constantly trying to roll up. I saw my eye care doc and he said my eyes weren't dry but the conjunctiva is extremely tight in the left eye. Will this eventually get better?

Doctor Answers 4

Blepharoplasty can tip a borderline dry eye patient over the edge..

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Dry eye is not an uncommon side effect of blepharoplasty. Some patients that are borderline dry eye patients, may be tipped into an overt dry eye state. This often manifests itself with inability to wear contact lenses.

In addition, subtle changes to the conjunctiva could affect the fit of the contact lens. I would recommend seeing a cornea/contact lens ophthalmologist to get their opinion on the fit of the lens and the possible dry eye state.

All hope is not lost. Some patients will improve with time, and others may need some intervention to improve their ability to wear contact lenses again.

Good luck

Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Uncomfortable lenses are dry till proven otherwise

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obviously an exam is in order, but after surgery seemingly adequate tear production may be inadequate. so treat dryness by using drops during the day, ointment at night (with a moisture tent using saran wrap to keep the ointment moist), and take out the contact lenses.  give it 2 weeks and try again. best of luck.

rafael cabrera md


Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Intolerance of contact lenses may last for several months after eyelid surgery.

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I permit patients to place contact lenses after blepharoplasty after a week.  Most patients do fine but I have had patients who could not comfortably wear lenses for months after the operation, probably related to the inflammation that accompanies any operation.  I think time will solve your problem.  I doubt tightness of the conjunctiva is a real issue.

Preoperatively the wise eyelid surgeon might have warned you about this.

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For patients who have successfully worn contact lens into their 40, 50, and 60, eyelid surgery can be the event that causes them to abandon the use of contact lens.  It is not unusual to have dry eye after surgery.  This often improved by about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.  For some who wear high water content lens, the contact can make the eye more comfortable.  However, it is necessary to make enough tears for the lens to be comfortable.  It this tear production is insufficient (common) and the eyelids are compromised by eyelid surgery, dry eye and an inability to tolerate the contact lens can result.  I would recommend working with a contact lens specialist or cornea specialist to see if you can be make more comfortable.  This might allow you to tolerate the contact lens better.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.