Lenses for allergy sufferers
More and more people are struggling with seasonal allergies. They manifest themselves not only in persistent cold and sneezing, but also in swelling and congestion of the eyes, itching, burning and tearing, and general discomfort that makes life difficult.
What should contact lens wearers do when eye allergies do not spare?
Should they give up this type of vision correction in favour of glasses when the symptoms of allergies become worse? Or are there types of lenses that can be used even by people with sensitive eyes, allergic to pollen?
In spring, when nature wakes up to life, there are many allergens in the air in the form of pollen from flowering trees, bushes and flowers. For many of us, this means an unpleasant sensation that makes everyday life difficult and significantly reduces comfort. Allergic symptoms in the eyes often cause various ailments and even cause conjunctivitis.
We spend much more time outdoors this time of year: we walk more often and much more willingly do sports. Running, cycling or rollerblading with lenses is much more comfortable and, above all, safer.
However, the fact that we are allergic does not necessarily mean that our comfort is reduced by giving up contact lenses and returning to wearing traditional glasses. Various types of lenses are available on the market, including those suitable for allergy sufferers with very sensitive eyes.
Many experts say that contact lenses can help us to deal with the factors that make us feel sensitive. Because lenses can effectively protect the eyes of allergy sufferers by acting as a barrier against allergens.
Other professionals are of the opinion that lenses should be temporarily discontinued if allergic reactions become more severe. Others believe that this is only necessary if eye allergies consequently cause irritation and inflammation, such as conjunctivitis.
However, ophthalmologists and optometrists certainly agree on the type of lenses that people with seasonal allergic symptoms should use. Instead of reusable lenses, they recommend different types of daily disposable lenses to allergy wearers, depending on their visual impairment.
The advantage of disposable lenses over reusable lenses is that they provide the highest level of hygiene while not requiring care. By putting on a new, clean and fresh pair of daily disposable lenses every day, we minimize the accumulation of allergens on their surface and the contact of sensitizing substances with our eyes.
In addition, daily disposable lenses do not need to be cared for or stored in a disinfectant that could further irritate the eyes. When deciding to replace daily disposable lenses with daily disposable ones, it is worth choosing silicone and hydrogel products. These are well hydrated to prevent dry eyes and keep the tear film at an optimal level. In addition, they have high oxygen permeability, which in turn is important for the condition and healthy appearance of our eyes.
Seasonal allergies are not an absolute contraindication to wearing contact lenses. Thanks to regular check-ups with specialists (allergologist and ophthalmologist) and the observance of hygiene rules, most patients can wear lenses even during the peak allergic season. It is also worth following practical advice, which can be helpful when faced with allergy symptoms.
Here are some of them:
- Don’t triangle your eyes, even when they itching and burning – this can only make the unpleasant symptoms worse.
- Use frequently saline or moisturizing drops as artificial tears. These will rinse the allergens from your eyes and relieve you.
- Take care of your hygiene. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap as often as possible. This will reduce the access of allergens to your eyes.
- Never fall asleep in contact lenses, always take them off overnight.
- During the peak allergic season, keep your lenses to a minimum. Try to wear them only for part of the day when you need them, e.g. during sports or social gatherings.
- Always remove makeup before bedtime using hypoallergenic cosmetics.
- Wear sunglasses.
- If necessary, use allergy medication. Always apply them according to your doctor’s instructions (usually 10-15 minutes before you wear lenses).
Only severe allergic symptoms require that contact lenses are not worn in favour of traditional glasses. An allergy in itself is not a contraindication to the use of lenses, however, it is important that the lenses are chosen properly. It is worthwhile to consult an ophthalmologist or optometrist who will recommend lenses that are suitable for your vision impairment and that will allow you to remain comfortable even if you experience symptoms of seasonal allergy.