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Contact Lenses & Eye Allergies

man in sunglasses surround by flowers, - Eye Doctor - Austin & Round Rock, TXYour Optometrist Can Help

Approximately one-quarter of the general population suffers from allergies of some type. If you have allergies to mold, pollen, dust mites or pet dander, you probably know how irritating it can be to wear contact lenses when your symptoms flare up. Seasonal allergies can also be extremely bothersome, leading to itchy, swollen, red and pink eyes. In fact, one of the most common reasons that people visit the optometrist for an emergency appointment is for relief from eye allergies. And contact lens wearers frequently ask, “Should I stop wearing my contacts and return to wearing glasses because of allergies?”

No – you don’t need to say a final goodbye to your lenses! When wearing contacts becomes uncomfortable due to allergies, it’s time to contact your eye doctor. You will benefit from a thorough eye exam and knowledgeable recommendations on the best type of contacts to wear, as well as learn helpful tips to soothe your eyes.

How to Reduce Eye Allergy Symptoms

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Your hands pick up everything – including allergens, and soapy suds are the most reliable way to make sure you don’t transfer what’s on your fingers into your sensitive eyes. Handwashing is also the best way to keep harmful bacteria out of your eyes, which can lead to infections, such as pink eye.
  • Wash all linens, towels, and pillowcases in hot water and detergent.
  • Don’t rub your eyes. Every time you touch your eyes, you are spreading allergens and irritants.
  • It’s a good idea to refrain from wearing eye makeup during allergy season.
  • Keep your contacts and contact lenses case to yourself – never share them with someone else.
  • Ask your eye doctor at The Eye Center about allergy medications and prescription or over-the-counter eye drops to relieve your symptoms. Rewetting drops are often helpful because they rinse away any irritants that settle on your contacts during the day. Be aware – although oral antihistamines may help alleviate your general sneezy and runny-nose symptoms, they can also exacerbate eye symptoms by reducing tear quantity, which can lead to dry eye syndrome.

Eye Allergies & Daily Disposable Contact Lenses (Dailies)

If the above tips don’t do the trick for you, we recommend that you consult with our optometrists about switching the type of contacts you wear. Many people find that daily disposables offer relief from the irritating symptoms of both eye allergies and dry eye and contact lenses. Also, using dailies eliminates the nightly chore of disinfecting and rinsing your contact lenses, which can contribute to allergy symptoms when not done properly.

Dailies are discarded nightly, so there’s no time for allergens and unhealthy debris to build up, on the lens surface. Every morning, you simply insert a fresh, new pair of lenses. We offer a range of daily disposable contact lenses in our eye care practice. For more information and to receive eye emergency care for allergy symptoms, schedule an eye exam with our optometrists today.