Eye Allergies and Contact Lenses


What you’re Itching to Know

We hope to give you some useful information as to why some contact lenses are better than others at relieving pollen allergy symptoms

What causes Allergy ?

An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system to a substance to which it would not normally respond. In short, this leads to release of inflammatory markers such as histamine and a cascade of physiological reactions which can take many forms and reach different levels of severity.

The signs and symptoms in the eye include:

  • Itching
  • Watering
  • Swelling of the eyelids and conjunctiva
  • Reduced tear film stability
  • Papillary changes in the palpebral conjunctiva
  • Reduced vision quality

It would seem reasonable that placing a contact lens on an eye that is inflamed by an allergic reaction does not seem to be the right thing to do. However, evidence suggests that daily contact lenses reduce pollen allergy symptoms and are more comfortable than the wearers’ reusable lenses. They are also an effective strategy for those contact lens weaerers who suffer form pollen allergies.

Making life better

A study conducted in 2011 by James Wolffsohn and Jean Emberlin shows that wearing contact lenses during periods when wearers are suffering seasonal allergy reaction actually improves signs and symptoms both in severity and duration.



  • Clean your contact lenses often – Cleaning will keep your contacts free of allergens.
  • Consider using a preservative-free solution, to help avoid possible allergic reactions.
  • Replace your disposable lenses more often. Always be sure to wear your lenses for the time period stipulated on the packaging: thus, if a daily lens, be sure to discard them every day, a bi-weekly after 2 weeks and monthly lens after 1 month.
  • Keep your eyes lubricated.  Allergens tend to cause dry eyes. Eye lubricants such as ReNu Rewetting Drops can soothe irritated eyes.
  • Use Cool Compresses over your eyes.When your eyes are red and swollen, resist the urge to rub them. Rubbing will make the inflammation worse by spreading around the allergens. A cool, damp compress will help relieve discomfort.
  • Contact your Eye Doctor. If your allergies increase substantially, it is advisable to contact your eye doctor who can prescribe an anti-histamine which can provide long lasting relief.