Joel Hunter, MD Refractive Surgeon, Hunter Vision Updated 08/11/17 7:44 AM
A simple question with a simple answer. Yes. You can wear contacts while on oral contraceptive pills (AKA: “the pill,” AKA: birth control, AKA: OCPs). The only exception to this is in cases where you can’t wear contacts while on the pill. Luckily, you don’t have to wonder if you are in the relatively small group of people who can’t use contacts and OCPs at the same time. If your contacts don’t feel annoying and sandy while taking the pill, you’re in the clear.
The only area of intersection between side effects from birth control and side effects of contacts is dry eyes. If your eyes are too dry to wear contacts, then you’ll be the first to know. That’s it. There aren’t other rare and specific ophthalmological diagnoses involved in this issue like glaucoma or retina problems. It’s just whether or not you get dry eyes when taking OCPs. And if you do, then it comes down to if you have symptoms of contact lens intolerance. If your contacts bother you, then you can self-diagnose and modify either your brand of contacts or how often you wear them.
The reason this is a common question and a relatively uncommon problem is birth control used to have less targeted hormone levels and contacts were made with a worse material. Now, with improvements in both, it's much less common to have a problem. In fact, the issue is so minor; it wouldn’t be worth this article if the question weren't so common. So if you wonder or worry about this issue like many others, may it bring you peace of mind to know you’re not missing something. If your contacts don’t bother you, then you probably don’t have to bother worrying if they’re okay to wear.