Contact lenses and allergy
Spring and summer are probably the most enjoyable seasons of the year but those of us who suffer from allergies don't really share this point of view as that's when we start to feel the dreaded symptoms of our condition. Pollen produced by different kinds of plants gets just about everywhere and some patients may find it difficult to wear contact lenses because of the symptoms caused such as: eyes become itchy, red, swollen and irritated. Contacts may become very uncomfortable during these times if not impossible to wear.
Most of the springtime allergens are produced by trees; in the summer, allergies are mainly caused by grasses, flowers and various weeds. The issue is exacerbated by high humidity and temperatures exceeding 20°C. Fortunately there are a number of things allergy suffering contact lens users can do to improve their situation.
First of all you should follow the general advice provided to allergy patients by their allergologists. For instance, you should use an air purifier at home or special air filter that removes pollen from air-conditioning systems. It's also a good idea to keep your windows closed and stop wearing shoes inside the house (If you walked on grass when there will be many pollen species stuck to your shoes). You should also make sure that room humidity is lower than 50%. When going outside, don't forget to wear a pair of sunglasses as sun glare will bother you. Eye washes and cold eye compresses can also be of help when symptoms are apparent.
As far as contact lens care is concerned, patients with allergies should replace their lenses more often than the usual recommendation. Switching to daily disposable contact lenses is a very good solution here, as they are always free from allergens. When daily contacts are not an option however, patients should clean their lenses thoroughly right after taking them out. They should also use preservative-free lens care solutions, lots of artificial tears or eye drops recommended by their doctor and remember to wash their hands more often than normal.
If these pieces of advice are followed, the allergy season won't be quite so bad and summer will be a whole lot more fun.