Am I allergic to contact lenses?
Pollen, house dust, dog hair - many of us suffer from allergies, some stronger, some weaker.
For many people, spring and summer in particular are difficult times. This is the time when trees and plants send their pollen into the air. But if you don't have a known allergy and you still have symptoms, you may be asking yourself: am I allergic to my contact lenses?
Allergies are immunological hypersensitivities to foreign substances. If the body comes into contact with one of the allergenic substances, it reacts by activating its immune system. The antibodies produced will protect your body and trigger its counter-attack, which will result in symptoms such as watery eyes, a runny nose, or itchy skin.
How do you know which substance triggers the allergy?
If the eyes are constantly itching, the nose is running, and the skin is red, or if there is a constant sensation of a foreign body in the eye, it is essential to consult a family doctor or a dermatologist.
They can perform a quick and easy allergy test to determine which allergy you have. In the meantime, you should remove your contact lenses and wear glasses while waiting for the result.
If your allergies are too severe, it is best for you to use glasses permanently during the allergy season to provide relief during this period.
Today's contact lenses use modern substances that are particularly gentle on the eyes and particularly well tolerated by the body. This is why allergies are rarely caused by contact lenses. However, if you are in any doubt about whether you are allergic to lenses, you will find a list of symptoms below that would indicate a contact lens allergy:
Burning, itchy, and watery eyes.
Sensation of a foreign body ("grain of sand" in the eye)
If you are allergic, you should know that this intolerance is not of immunological origin, but rather results from changes in the eye and the circumstances of wearing contact lenses. For example, the tear film in the eye can be altered by wearing contact lenses, especially with beginner wearers. In this case, you need to keep a "watchful eye":
If the eye is dry to the touch and starts to itch, the eyes should be rehydrated with appropriate products.
However, it should not be forgotten that computer work, medication, pregnancy, or other triggers that alter the hormonal balance and, of course, allergies (such as house dust allergy) can also cause these symptoms.
The best way to find the cause is to ask yourself these specific questions:
Have I always had this unpleasant feeling when I wear contact lenses?
If not, what has changed in my life since then?
Incorrect use of contact lenses - for example, wearing them for too long - or failure to clean them regularly and replace them at regular intervals, can cause these symptoms. Most symptoms can therefore be easily eliminated:
A cleaning routine
Take breaks when working on screens
Can I be allergic to cleaning products?
Another possible cause is the care and cleaning product used for the care and cleaning of contact lenses.
Although many products today use substances that are well tolerated by the skin, it is not impossible that certain components, for example the preservative, irritate the eye and therefore cause intolerance. The solution is to try other skin care and cleaning products.
Combination solutions, in particular, often contain preservatives that can irritate the eye. The next time you buy a product, you should try other products, if possible without preservatives. If the symptoms improve, the culprit has been found.
However, if the problems persist, a consultation with an ophthalmologist or optician - already recommended at the outset - is unavoidable.