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Allergy Season and Contact Lenses: How to Manage

For contact lens wearers, allergy season is one of the worst times of the year. Approximately 75% of allergy-related symptoms affect the eyes, and for a person who frequently wears contact lenses, these symptoms can be difficult to deal with.

From red eyes to itchiness to even dry eyes, these symptoms create a less than optimal environment for your contact lenses to exist comfortably. You may find yourself tempted to ditch your contact lenses and don a pair of glasses; however, there are plenty of ways to avoid a majority of allergy-related symptoms. Here’s what to know about how to manage your symptoms.

How to Relieve Allergy-Related Symptoms

The first step in relieving your symptoms is identifying the cause of your allergies. Maybe you came into contact with a pet or went outside during a period of high pollen count. Avoiding these symptoms is as easy as removing the cause. You can limit your time around pets or reduce your time spent outdoors. However, not all allergens are so easily avoided, so you should start by managing your allergies by taking antihistamines and meeting with your doctor.

After identifying the causes, make sure to take basic precautions in your daily life. You should wash your hands whenever possible. Often, when we touch a surface, allergens remain on our hands and can cause a reaction when we rub our eyes or simply touch our faces. This brings allergens into direct contact with the airway passages and causes allergies. Be sure to wash clothing and other cloth materials frequently since this completely sanitizes them and removes any allergens that they may have collected. When drying these materials, place them in the dryer rather than outside because while outside, they may collect more allergens.

In addition to washing, you can also take prevention a step further and install HEPA filters within your air conditioning system. Regular vacuuming can greatly aid in preventing the build-up of allergens within your home. Although prevention is not a definite way to avoid allergies, it does help reduce your symptoms by limiting your exposure.

Contact Lenses and Allergies

If you wear contact lenses and struggle with allergies, it can be uncomfortable. The most important thing to remember is to not rub your eyes, since this causes irritation. The moist nature of your contact lenses naturally attracts allergens such as dust or pollen and, by rubbing your eyes, you can cause the allergens to enter even deeper.

Allergens can also build up on your contact lenses over time. If you’re planning to wear your lenses for a long time, be sure to practice proper lens care. This includes regular disinfecting and moisturizing. Sometimes, proper lens care might not be enough for individuals with severe allergic reactions. If this sounds like you, try using daily disposable lenses instead of long-term lenses. Although they may be slightly more costly, they can relieve your symptoms and reduce the amount of care needed.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about managing allergies with contact lenses, we invite you to meet with our team and discuss your options. Contact our Hamilton office by calling or filling out our online form to get started.

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