Estimates claim that 22 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis, this condition can be aggravated by contact lenses. With the sudden onset of airborne allergens in the spring and early summer, your eyes work harder producing more tears and mucus. This is a direct response to flush 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. This is also not the time to skip steps. You may even want to clean them mid-day if you are really suffering. 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. This will also serve to keep the swelling down.
Wear Your Glasses
It seems elementary, but you would be surprised how many people just refuse to wear their glasses when their eyes bother them. Unless wearing your glasses is a workplace hazard, wear your glasses when your allergies are affecting 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.
Lastly, let us remind you that it is of utmost importance that you follow your doctor’s instructions. We can help your allergies affecting your contacts. Also, make sure you are wearing and cleaning them according to manufacturer’s directions. Never overwear or misuse your lenses. Doing so can lead to serious consequences, including vision loss. Without a doubt, the most important maintenance for contact lens wearers is regular comprehensive eye exams. Early detection of impending issues is crucial for prevention of injury.