Caring for your contact lenses during allergy season brings up some unique challenges. Pollen and other allergens make eyes particularly sensitive during this time of the year. That means you need to be diligent about caring for your contacts and your eyes to keep them healthy long-term.
What happens to your eyes during allergy season?
Environmental allergies can wreak a lot of havoc on your eyes. You may experience chronic dry eye. Or maybe pollen gets your tear ducts working harder than ever. You may also experience redness, sensitivity, itchiness, or inflammation. Wearing contacts lenses during allergy season can become irritating if you don’t take the proper care.
Itchy, watery eyes are a classic symptom of seasonal allergies. When irritants like pollen, dust, and mold get trapped in your eye, your immune system responds strongly. This is not always pleasant, especially if you wear contacts.
How does allergy season affect your contact lenses?
When it comes to wearing contact lenses during allergy season, things can get tricky. This is because allergens get trapped more easily in your eye, and they are harder to get out. When they get trapped behind your contact lens, they can cause even more irritation than you might otherwise expect. Many people notice that their eyes are dryer or itchier than usual. Soft lenses are especially spongelike and prone to drawing allergens.
What special steps should you take for your contact lenses during allergy season?
Thankfully, wearing contacts during allergy season does not mean you have to suffer. There are several ways you can reduce the effects of seasonal allergies. These largely involve cleaning both your eyes and lenses frequently.
The best way to ease the effects of allergies is to change how you clean. Use eye drops on your eyes when they are irritated and regularly flush your contact lenses with saline solution too. You can also switch out your solution for a hydrogen peroxide-based one, which many people find more soothing than saline solution.
It is also a good idea to gently rub your contact lenses between your fingers when you clean them at night. That way, you can make sure you loosen any particulates.
More importantly, when your eyes become irritated, resist the urge to scratch or rub them. This can not only damage your contacts but even injure your eyes. It also causes eyes to become even more inflamed, so it is not a useful method of getting relief. Instead, flush your eyes with eye drops or apply a cold compress.
If you are still having trouble finding relief, it is a good idea to switch to glasses for the allergy season. Your eyes are likely to get less irritated, and you won’t need to spend as much time keeping them clean. However, if you are determined to wear contact lenses during allergy season, these tips and tricks will help you keep them clean while protecting your eyes from the environment.