Top 6 Tips for Contact Lens Wearers With Allergies

Keep your eyes feeling fresh during allergy season

Many contact lens wearers with allergies seem to encounter discomfort during certain times of the year. This discomfort is due largely to allergens in the air that become adhered to contact lenses. The allergens seem to cause miserable symptoms such as itchy, watery and swollen eyes. Here are five tips to help you through the periods of discomfort.

Wear eyeglasses when possible.

Woman sneezing from allergies
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Allergens such as pollen and dust often adhere to the thin surfaces of contact lenses. Switching to eyeglasses at least part time will help you avoid an allergy attack.

Clean your contacts often.

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Cleaning will keep your contact lenses free of allergens. Consider using a preservative-free solution, to help avoid possible allergic reactions. Some people have allergies to the preservatives that are found in some disinfecting systems or artificial tears.  Although preservative-free artificial tears are a bit more expensive, the often work wonders on eye allergies. If you wear disposable lenses, consider replacing them more often. Many contact lens wearers use a general, multi-purpose contact lens solution. Ask your doctor about switching to a peroxide-based disinfecting system such as ClearCare or Aosept. The peroxide systems are slightly more complicated to use but they are very good about removing all debris completely from the surface of the lens.

Keep your eyes moist.

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Allergens tend to cause dry eyes. Keep irritated eyes moist with artificial tears. The artificial tears will also wash or at least dilute the irritants out of your eyes. Doctors recommend putting in artificial tears in very frequently, sometime as much as every two hours. The more frequent you instill the eye drops, more it will keep antigens that cause allergies from sticking to the contact lens surface.

Use cool compresses on your eyes.

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When your eyes are red and swollen, resist the urge to rub them. Rubbing will make the inflammation worse by spreading around the allergens. A cool, damp compress will help relieve discomfort. Even better, instill "chilled" artificial tears or contact lens re-wetting drops into your eyes while wearing contact lenses. Put the bottle right into the refrigerator to keep them cool. Anytime you can think about it, preferably at least four or more times per day, grab the bottle out of the fridge and put a drop into each eye.

See your eye doctor.

Eye doctor
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Your eye doctor will recommend medical products for your particular symptoms. There are several prescription and non-prescription eye drops on the market that help decrease allergic symptoms. Some products may even help prevent allergy attacks. You should also see your eye doctor to rule out possible problems that may not be allergy-related.

Switch to daily disposable contact lenses.

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 Ask your doctor about switching to daily disposable contact lenses. Daily disposable lenses seem to help alleviate dry eye symptoms and also do wonders for allergies. Daily disposable contact lenses are actually disposed of every day. Simply toss them in trash whether you wear them for an hour or ten hours. When you change a lens daily, you get rid of all the debris that adheres to the lens, in particular, allergens that can reactivate allergies.

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