Fighting Seasonal Allergies in Contact Lens Wearers8:08 AM
It's that time of year once more: my sample drawer is stocked with allergy eye drops to relieve the most common spring time complaint that brings my patients into the office--itching from seasonal allergies. Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Are you a contact lens wearer? Well fighting your itching, redness, and swelling just got a lot harder. Contact lenses trap all of your allergen triggers right onto your eye like a little magnet. Then every time you blink, you spread that allergy soup on your contact lens all over your eye. Graphic enough description for you? Here's how we can help:
1) Don't sleep in your contact lenses
Get that allergy sponge out of your eye and give your eyes the night off. Allergy sufferers are some of the worst patients for overnight wear because your lens buildup is never getting removed. Not to mention, if you are using an allergy eye drop (even over the counter drops), you need to instill them when your contact lenses are out. For more information on the best drops please see:
Over the Counter
So take your lenses off, put in your medicine, and get a good night's rest.
2) Rub your Lenses!
When I ask people what contact lens solution they use, they often tell me "the no rub kind." Well, let me debunk that myth. Multi-purpose contact lens solutions like Opti-Free, Renu, and the generics work best when you rub your lens gently with solution in the palm of your hand. If you have purchased "no rub" solution, turn the box around and read the fine print. "No Rub" solutions require that you hold the lens under a stream of contact lens solution for 30 seconds. 30 seconds!! Are you doing this? If you are using these solutions properly, you will go through an entire bottle within 2 weeks!!
|No Rub--but you need to hold the lenses under a stream of solution for 30 seconds! Just read the back of the box for all the fine print about these statements!|
3) Change to Clearcare or Hydrogen Peroxide Solutions
NOTHING cleans your lenses better than Clearcare. I love this solution for allergies, dry eye, and just people who wear monthly lenses but feel like they are getting "dirty" by the last 2 weeks. Hydrogen peroxide solutions require that you let the lenses sit overnight for a minimum of 6 hours, but in the morning, your lens is going to feel much cleaner and fresher than any multi-purpose solution can achieve. And this is one solution that really is "no rub"!
3) Switch to Daily Disposable Contact Lenses
If you have severe seasonal allergies (or especially year round allergy issues), there is nothing that will improve your suffering more than changing to daily disposable contact lenses (well, other than wearing glasses instead of contact lenses). Daily lenses are such a great option because your eye gets to start with a fresh new lens every single day. All of the pollen, dust, cat hair -- whatever your allergen trigger is that collects on the surface of your contact lens all day long just gets thrown in the trash at the end of the day. Ahh, immediate relief.