Different seasons bring new challenges for contact lens wearers.
In the spring, for example, allergens in the air can stick to your contact lenses and cause a slew of miserable symptoms, like red, itchy, and watery eyes.
At Lens.com, we care about your eye health and lens-wearing experience, so we’ve rounded up some tips to help protect your eyes during the spring season.
1. Use Eye Drops
In the spring, trees and grasses release pollens into the air, which can trigger allergies. Allergies can then cause your eyes to become red, itchy, or watery.
Keep your eyes moist with artificial tears. These over-the-counter eye drops lubricate the outer surface of your eyes, preventing them from drying out. You can apply artificial tears as often as needed, sometimes as much as once every two hours.
Note that artificial tears are usually made to be compatible with contact lenses. Nonetheless, check the product’s instructions before using it with your contact lenses.
2. Wear Eyeglasses
Allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander can stick to the surface of contact lenses. As a result, you may experience symptoms like itching and watering, making reading, driving, or looking at screens challenging.
To avoid an allergy attack, give your eyes a break by switching to eyeglasses when possible, ideally when outdoors.
3. Keep Your Hands Clean
As a contact lens wearer, you likely already know the importance of washing your hands before handling your contact lenses or touching your eyes.
But this becomes even more paramount during spring.
Allergens can adhere to your hands and transfer to your eyes when you touch your face. Washing your hands regularly helps prevent that.
4. Clean Your Contact Lenses
Clean and disinfect your contact lenses properly to keep them free of allergens.
Many contact lens wearers use a general multipurpose contact lens solution, but some people are allergic to the preservatives found in some solutions and thus use preservative-free options.
Consider a preservative-free solution to avoid possible allergic reactions.
Moreover, only wear contact lenses to bed if they are approved for overnight wear, and replace them as scheduled.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water helps your body produce a healthy volume of tears more effectively. This may help prevent dry eyes, which can be worsened by allergies (and increased outdoor activity) during spring.
6. Use a Cold Compress on Your Eyes
If you wear contact lenses, refrain from rubbing your eyes.
Rubbing your eyes while wearing contact lenses can damage your cornea (the clear surface of your eye) and further lead to vision problems.
Relieve red or swollen eyes with a cold compress instead. The cold will reduce blood flow to the eye area, calming down inflammation associated with eye allergies.
7. Switch to Daily Disposable Contact Lenses
If you have allergies or sensitive eyes, talk to your eye care professional about switching to daily disposable contact lenses.
Also known as dailies, daily disposable contact lenses are designed to be worn for one day only. Simply throw them away at the end of the day and wear a fresh pair of dailies in the morning.
When you change your contact lens daily, you eliminate any allergens, dirt, and debris that adhere to the lens.
8. Consult Your Eye Doctor
If all else fails, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
Your eye doctor will assess your symptoms to understand what’s going on. They may prescribe eye drops to treat your symptoms or determine that you’re not experiencing allergies but something else entirely.
Note that you should get your eyes checked regularly to maintain healthy vision.
The spring season can be especially rough for contact lens wearers with allergies or sensitive eyes, but it doesn’t have to be.
Follow these tips to care for your eyes and protect your vision this season.