Handling Your Contacts During Spring Allergies

By Heather Legg

One of the most distressing symptoms of spring allergies is the itchy, eatery eyes. I know my husband feels like gouging his out during allergy season. It can be the worst part for many allergy sufferers. When you wear contact lenses, it’s even worse.

Many allergy suffering contact wearers actually have to give up their lenses and go back to glasses during allergy season. So is there anything to do to make it possible to wear your contacts during heavy pollen season or at any time when your allergies may be causing eye discomfort?

Some suggestions may be:

• Change your contacts when prescribed. Some contacts can be worn for a month, but it seems that many contact lens wearers don’t change them that often. Many go up to double that time without changing them out for new ones. If the contacts are tossed and new ones used when they are supposed to be, the build up is less and the allergies may be less irritating.
• Another option is to switch is to daily lenses, the ones that are worn only one day. These can be a healthier option as there is very little ocular build up. Even when lenses are cleaned like they are supposed to be, build up of pollen, dust or other irritants can still occur which aggravates eye irritation, especially during allergy season.
• Don’t touch or rub your eyes; though it may feel good, it will make it worse.
• Wash your hands regularly, every time you come inside, with soap and water. That way, if you do touch your eyes, they won’t add anymore irritants.
• Wash bed linens, pillow cases and towels on a regular basis to remove any irritants and allergies.
• Most of us know, but it doesn’t hurt to remind to never share makeup (mascara, eyeshadow or creams) or applicators. Also never share contact lenses.
• If possible, use less makeup when allergies are bad. Rubbing eyes can tend to rub make up into them, thus making allergies worse.
• If it gets too bad, even with daily disposable lenses, switch to glasses. Most contact lens wearers have a pair or two of glasses around, and though it may not be your first choice, it may make your days a bit better, at least during allergy season.
• If you must wear your contacts, change into your glasses when you’re at home to give your eyes a break.

With some effort, you can get through the season and even if you have to take a break from your contacts, spring allergy season won’t last forever.

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