Did you know that–according to the CDC–an estimated 45 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses? And yes, a majority of them experience spring and/or fall allergies along with added eye irritation.
According to optometrist David Jones for vision insurance company VSP.com, contact lenses “function like sponges. They keep allergens in the eye, but they also prevent using medications you might want to apply.”
Here are a few tips you can try to relieve eye irritation from contact lenses as a result of your spring and fall allergies.
Don’t Rub Them!
Rubbing your itchy eyes often makes symptoms worse. You probably know this already if this isn’t your first run-in with spring or fall allergies, or if it’s not your first time wearing contacts. Resist the temptation!
Use Artificial Tears
Avoid over-the-counter redness relievers and opt for artificial tears instead. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Eye drops that are marketed as red eye relievers are actually decongestants. While decongestants make your eyes look less red, they can make your dry eye symptoms worse over time.”
Artificial tears – or lubricating eye drops – actually work to provide moisture and protection to your eyes.
Clean. Your. Contacts.
This is self-explanatory, but according to the CDC, “between 40-90% of contact lens wearers do not properly follow the care instructions for their lenses.”
Keeping your contacts clean helps keep them free from allergens. If you use disposable lenses, try to replace them more often during allergy season.
Opt for Eyeglasses
Since pollen tends to stick to contact lenses, don’t give them the option. Plus, eyeglasses act as an added shield between your eyes and the looming pollen, which increases the layer of protection.
See Your Eye Doctor
Your doctor can rule out any serious conditions and can prescribe the appropriate medical products for your level of eye irritation. At the end of the day, he or she can provide one-on-one assistance that pays dividends in the long run.
Turn on Your Air Purifier
An underrated solution to pollen allergies for those with contact lenses – indoors, at least – is to remove pollen from the air in the first place. If it’s not in the air, it’s not in your eyes.
Clean air is healthy air, pure and simple. Air purification acts as a natural remedy to seasonal allergies, not only supporting eye health…but also overall wellness.
Each home has different needs. For a whole-home air purifier solution, find a trained Aprilaire Healthy Air Professional near you to talk about the pollen in your home. For a case-by-case air purification solution, look into a room air purifier designed to remove up to 99.97% of allergens – including pollen, pet dander, mold spores, germs and other airborne impurities.