Allergies & Contact Lenses

Allergies are an unwelcome menace when you wear contact lenses. Be it seasonal allergies, animal allergies, or even food allergies, when you feel that allergic reaction coming, your eyes are usually among the first parts of your body to respond. What's the best way to deal with allergies when you wear contact lenses? Make sure you are prepared. Here’s what you do to effectively deal with allergies when you wear contact lenses:

Plan to Protect

If you wear contact lenses and know you’ll be out in an area with lots of pollen or some place outdoors where your allergies may flare, wear sunglasses. Sunglasses, preferably stylish frames with large, over-sized lenses, will help protect your contact lenses from allergens floating in the air. Think about your sunglasses as your allergy “safety goggles” for the season. Don’t leave home without them.

Keep it Clean

You should plan to disinfect your contact lenses every night during allergy season. Better yet, use daily contacts so you can dispose of all those accumulated allergens every evening and start the next day with a fresh pair. Remember that allergens can accumulate on our pillow, in your hair and even on your face. Shower at bedtime, wash your pillowcases frequently, and keep it clean to give your eyes the best shot at happy eyes. Also, don’t rub your eyes with your hands! This is a bad practice because you may be pushing annoying allergens right into the place where they’ll hurt the most. If you must touch your eyes – make sure your hands are very clean!

Keep it Moist

Allergy-ridden eyes often mean dry eyes. There are great over-the-counter drops for allergy eyes, but some OTC eye drops won’t cut it. Ask your optometrist for a prescription for allergy eye medications that can help your eyes stay nice, moist and comfortable when allergies flare.

Keep your Glasses Handy

You don’t have to surrender your contact lenses during allergy season, but it’s wise to be prepared with your spare eyeglasses just in case you have an unexpected allergy attack. If your eyes turn red, start itching, or become too dry to wear your contact lenses, you’ll want to have your spare glasses along (and a contact lens case) so that you can take your lenses out and let your eyes recover.

Take your Medications

Oftentimes, allergy medications will offer relief even to your eyes, so don’t skip your regular allergy meds if they help you. If your eyes feel too dry, use re-wetting drops or limit the amount of time you wear your lenses each day to alleviate some of the pain.

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