Q. My allergies always flare up this time of year and I find that my contact lenses become uncomfortable and hard to wear for the whole day. What is causing this and how can I fix this problem?
A. The eye and eyelid are a very common site for allergic reactions. About 50% of conjunctivitis (inflammation of the whites of the eye) is allergic in nature and it is this inflammatory response that is responsible for the common symptoms of eye allergies. Red, itchy, burning, tearing and swollen eyes are often the hallmark of allergic conjunctivitis and these symptoms are often seasonal. For contact lens wearers, eye allergies can cause a unique problem as irritating allergens tend to build up on the surface of the lens causing additional discomfort. Instead of discontinuing contact lens wear during allergy season, a simple solution is to switch into a daily disposable lens (thrown away at the end of each day). This avoids the surface build-up and allows the allergy sufferer to continue wearing contacts comfortably. In addition, these daily disposable lenses are much less time-consuming as well as more convenient and healthy for the eyes as opposed to a monthly-replacement lens.
Some allergic conjunctivitis cases require medicated eye drops to relieve seasonal symptoms. Optometrists are licensed to prescribe medications for patients, including anti-allergy eye drops. These drops prevent histamine release thus controlling the most common allergy symptoms of itchy, red eyes.
Dr. Pozzer always welcomes new patients and would be happy to trial a complimentary set of daily disposable lenses to see if they are right for you!
Dr. Kristyn Pozzer
Millcroft Shopping Centre
2080 Appleby Line, Unit E6
Burlington, Ontario, L7L6M6
Tel: (905) 319-1066