Allergy season: 6 tips for people who wear contacts

Seasonal allergies can make spring an unpleasant time of year for many people. What’s more, those who wear contacts have to contend with the discomfort of allergens in the air sticking to their lenses. 

This can lead to itchy, swollen and watery eyes. If you wear contact lenses, here are some tips to help you during allergy season.

  1. Keep your eyes moist. For relief from dry eyes caused by allergies, you can use eye drops or artificial tears. These products, many of which are designed for use with contacts, help keep your eyes lubricated. They also help flush out any allergens that may be in your eyes or stuck to your lenses.
  2. Clean your contacts every day. While you should be doing this throughout the year, cleaning your contacts daily during allergy season will help keep them free of allergens. Talk to your optometrist about switching from an all-purpose lens cleaner to a peroxide-based disinfectant, which is particularly effective at removing debris.
  3. Wear your glasses more often. During allergy season, it’s a good idea to give your eyes frequent breaks by switching to your glasses. Even going just 24 hours without wearing contact lenses can allow itchiness and inflammation in your eyes to subside.
  4. Avoid rubbing your eyes. It might feel good in the moment, but rubbing your eyes can actually worsen your allergy symptoms. This is because the motion helps spread allergens and increases inflammation. If you get the urge to scratch, instead place a cool, damp compress over your eyes for relief.
  5. Switch to daily disposable contacts. Many people find that wearing these lenses helps alleviate dry eye and allergy symptoms. In theory, putting in a fresh pair every day can help reduce the risk of allergens building up on your lenses. Ask your optometrist if daily disposable contacts are a good choice for you.
  6. Consult your eye doctor. If you’ve tried everything on this list and still experience discomfort due to allergies, an optometrist may be able to help. First, they’ll perform tests to rule out other causes of your symptoms besides allergies. Then, they’ll be able to recommend treatments to address your specific issues.

Visit an optometrist in Edmonton

If you’re due for an eye exam or thinking about switching to a new type of contact lens, consult an eye care professional at Optometrists’ Clinic. To schedule an appointment at one of our centres in the Edmonton area, contact us today.

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