Getting ready for fall: Managing seasonal allergies while wearing contacts
By Dr. Giovanna Olivares, OD, FAAO; Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Director & Staff Writer
The changing of green leaves to a landscape of reds, oranges and yellows is a telltale sign that fall is here. Unfortunately, it can also mean the arrival of seasonal allergies. If you love the crisp autumn air but dread the itchy, watery eyes that come with it, you're not alone. In this blog post, we'll explore the impact of fall allergies on eye health and share valuable tips for managing them while wearing contact lenses. With the right strategies, you can enjoy the beauty of the season without compromising your visual clarity or comfort.
Understanding fall seasonal allergies
Many associate seasonal allergies with spring alone, but fall can pack a punch, too. Fall allergies, often triggered by ragweed pollen, mold spores, and dust mites, can wreak havoc on your eyes. The common symptoms include:
- Excessive watering
Allergy tips for contact lens wearers
Allergies are a nuisance all on their own, but wearing contacts can add a layer of difficulty. The itching can tempt you to touch your eyes, which can introduce germs, move your lens out of place and even scratch your eye. Here are some tips to follow to help keep your eyes safe and comfortable.
1. Minimize allergen exposure
- Keep windows closed. This can prevent pollen and mold spores from entering your living space from outside.
- Use air purifiers HEPA filters to help remove allergens from the air.
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands, avoiding rubbing your eyes, and changing clothes after spending time outdoors.
2. Practice proper lens hygiene (for reusable lenses)
- Using the instructions provided by your eye care professional, clean and disinfect your lenses regularly to help remove allergens and debris.
- Use preservative-free solutions to minimize the risk of irritation and sensitivity caused by certain chemicals.
3. Opt for the convenience and comfort of daily disposable lenses
- Fresh and clean lenses every day help to both minimize the accumulation of allergens and reduce the risk of irritation. Preservatives in contact lens solutions can be a source of irritation in some people. With daily disposables, you don't need to worry about cleaning and storing your lenses, eliminating the exposure to preservatives in the solutions. Simply discard them at the end of the day, ensuring a hassle-free and comfortable experience.
4. Allergy medications and eye drops
Consider using over-the-counter allergy medications and eye drops to alleviate symptoms. Consult with your healthcare provider for appropriate recommendations of medications and how to use them safely with your contact lenses.
5. Consult with an eye care professional
Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your seasonal allergy symptoms and explore suitable contact lens options.
Don't let fall allergies hinder your enjoyment of this beautiful season. By following these eye health tips, you could find some relief and take in the changing colors of autumn without needing to reach for the tissue box.
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