Many people who wear contact lenses also suffer from allergies. This combination can make allergy season especially hard on contact lens wearers. Symptoms of allergies can include dry, itchy, puffy and red eyes. Contact lenses can make this worse because they can act like a trap for allergens like pollen and dust. Below are some tips for people who wear contact lenses and suffer from allergies.
- Wash your hands and face often with soap and water, especially after spending time outdoors where dust and pollen can collect on you.
- Wash bedding and clothing often to remove pollen, dust, and other allergy causing substances.
- During the spring pollen season, keep your windows and doors closed; vacuum often to keep the allergens from building up in your home.
- Wear your glasses more and your contacts less. Contact lenses can act like little traps for particles that cause allergies, which cause irritation, itching, redness, and puffiness. Glasses may also act as a protective barrier against these allergens.
- Clean and disinfect your contacts regularly, and do this more often during peak allergy season.
- Use artificial tears more often when wearing your contacts. This helps your eyes feel better and can help to flush the allergens out of your eyes.
- If you use disposable lenses, consider replacing the lenses more often than usual. Also consider switching to daily disposable contact lenses.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes. This will only make your symptoms worse. Try using a cold compress or cold washcloth and gently lay it over your eyes. This will calm itching and help with swelling as well.
If you have significant symptoms such as pain, redness, or irritation in your eyes, see your eye doctor. He or she can prescribe medications that may help control the symptoms of ocular allergies. Also, an eye exam can identify other more serious problems that might exist.
To make an appointment at the SBH Eye Clinic, please call 718-960-3730
Dr. Martin Mayers