Are Your Allergies Affecting Your Contacts?
Estimates claim that 22 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. When allergies affect your eyes, we call this allergic conjunctivitis. Contact lenses can aggravate this condition. With the sudden onset of airborne allergens in the spring and early summer, your eyes work harder, producing more tears and mucus. Why? It’s your body’s way of flushing your eyes of irritants.
These natural reactions can cause deposits to form on your contacts. Therefore, leading to discomfort and potential eye health problems. The American Optometric Association reports that at least 75% of contact lens wearers experience allergen-caused eye pain and irritation. But, the good news is that there are steps you can take to get some relief this allergy season.
Use Rewetting Drops
Your eyes will probably feel itchy and dry. Carry artificial tears with you at all times, and use them often. It will flush the allergens out of your eyes. We recommend that you avoid the type of OTC drops that claim they “get the red out.” These are not very efficient at lubricating the eyes. Instead, stick with the artificial tears. Also, check your solutions. If you haven’t already, switch to a preservative-free brand. Consider switching to a more efficient cleaning system.
Clean Your Contacts
Be vigilant about cleaning your contacts daily. You may even want to clean them mid-day if your eyes are incredibly irritated. And, if you wear disposable contacts, you may want to change them out more frequently to keep them fresh.
Don’t Rub Your Eyes
Your eyes are going to itch during allergy season. But avoid the temptation. Rubbing your eyes, especially if you wear contacts, could make the situation worse. Instead, use a cool compress. Get a washcloth, run cold water over it, and lay it over your eyes. It will also serve to keep the swelling down.
Wear Your Glasses
It seems elementary, but wear your glasses more. Unless wearing your glasses is a workplace hazard, wear your glasses when your allergies affect your eyes. Your contact lenses can act like magnets for allergen particles. Making the switch to your spectacles will help you to be much more comfortable.
Enlist Professional Help
If nothing offers you relief, maybe it is time to see your doctor. He can prescribe medicines that may help. Also, schedule an eye exam. It is best to cover all bases to rule out any potential issues.
It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions. It is also essential to make sure you are wearing and cleaning your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s directions. Never overwear or misuse your lenses. Doing so can lead to severe consequences, including vision loss. Without a doubt, the most critical maintenance for contact lens wearers is regular comprehensive eye exams. Early detection of impending issues is crucial for the prevention of injury.