Wearing contact lenses is ideal for helping people improve their vision but when it comes to certain seasons and allergies, many contact lens wearers may find themselves challenged by trying to make the two work. The good news is that with a few helpful tips, it is totally possible to continue wearing your contact lenses while keeping your allergy symptoms at bay.
Know Your Symptoms
If you already know how your eyes are going to react to your allergies, use this knowledge to your advantage. For example, if your eyes are prone to becoming dry and itchy, make sure to purchase eye drops that will keep the moisture in. The product you choose should also be tailored for people that wear contact lenses as well. Not only will the right artificial tear product keep your eyes properly hydrated, it also helps prevent allergens from becoming fixated to your contacts. It is also important to remember to remove your contacts prior to using the artificial tears. It is recommended to wait about 10 minutes after application before putting your contacts back in.
Use the Right Products
Contact lenses come with a variety of products that are necessary for keeping them clean and in the best shape. When it comes to dealing with allergies, however, this means not only keeping track of the types of products you use on your eyes and contacts, but making sure that they are properly formulated for your situation. This includes knowing the difference between using artificial tears to prevent the eyes from becoming dry, red and irritated and using rewetting drops to properly keep your contacts moist.
Allergy sufferers will be happy to know that there are various products formulated for contact lens wearers that also have allergies. Some are available over-the-counter, while others may require a prescription.
Keep Your Lenses Clean
What makes wearing contacts so unbearable for those with allergies is the fact that allergens have the ability to adhere to the contact lenses themselves, which contribute to irritating symptoms, such as swollen, itchy and watery eyes. Because of this, it is very important that contact lens wearers become even more diligent when it comes to cleaning their contacts, especially during allergy season.
Use a quality, preservative-free solution to clean your contacts. The cleaner they are, the less likely they’ll be to attract allergens that can irritate your eyes. This is definitely a must for people that use extended wear lenses. However, this does not mean that individuals that wear disposable contacts are off the hook. To prevent allergens from causing problems, people that use disposable contacts will want to toss out their lenses and replace them more often.
Additionally, if you happen to get something in your eyes or if your allergy attack is too much to bear, avoid using regular tap water to flush your eyes. What many people are not aware of is that this type of water can actually cause an infection. Instead, it is recommended to use multi-purpose solution to flush the eyes (remember to remove your contact lenses before doing this). It is also a must to properly clean and disinfect your contacts before putting them back in as well.
One of the worst things an allergy sufferer can do is rub their eyes. Such an action is even worse if the person is also wearing contacts. The act of rubbing not only makes the symptoms worse, it can damage the contact lenses. Learn how to avoid rubbing and instead opt for placing a cool compress over your eyes, which will reduce swelling and provide relief from itchiness and discomfort. If needed, remove your contact lenses before applying the compress and cleaning/disinfecting your contacts before reinserting them.
Talk to Your Eye Doctor
Not sure how to manage your allergy situation? Simplify the process by visiting your eye doctor and describing your allergy symptoms, as well as the common times of year that you happen to experience your attacks. Depending on the situation, your eye doctor can find out whether the allergies are because of an unrelated issue with your eyes or prescribe the proper product to reduce and even prevent your allergies from occurring in the first place.
Bring Out Your Glasses
When all else fails, one of the most surefire ways to avoid having to deal with wearing contact lenses during an allergy attack is to not wear them when your symptoms occur and opt for regular glasses during these times. Since allergens love to adhere to contacts, wearing glasses during allergy season will reduce the likelihood of ever having to deal with an attack on your eyes.