Contact Lenses and Spring Allergies in Miami, FL
Miami is a beautiful place to live, with plenty of sun and stunning beaches for miles. However, especially during the spring season, Miami (and South Florida as a whole) can be a tough place for people with allergies. Florida has a more diverse array of flora than virtually any other part of the country. It also doesn’t get the winters you would find in the North, East, or Midwest, which means that the bloom season isn’t quite as synchronized. These factors conspire to lead to more pollen in the air, from various types of flowers, at different times of the year. If you suffer from allergies, you could be in for a rough few months.
Contact lenses and allergies typically don’t mix well. For one thing, your allergies might leave you with itchy eyes, which can be exacerbated by wearing lenses. For another, many allergens are attracted to the contact lenses in your eye, especially soft lenses. Needless to say, if your lenses are absorbing the substances you are allergic while you are wearing them, you may face excessive levels of irritation, discomfort, and even pain.
How can you resolve these issues? Here are a few tips to help you overcome Southern Florida’s spring allergy season:
- Find out what causes your allergies: Springtime is peak allergy season everywhere, including here in Miami. However, the fact is that pollen seasons for different plants fall at all different times of year in South Florida, with many of them just overlapping in the springtime. We don’t get the reprieve that most other parts of the country experience in the fall and winter. As such, it’s essential to get tested and learn which pollens are causing your allergic reactions. Finding out what you are allergic to will tell you at what time of the year your peak allergy season occurs—and will make it easier to plan accordingly with allergy shots, allergy medications, and alternative eye care strategies.
- Talk to your eye doctor about alternative lenses: Soft lenses are the worst for absorbing allergens, and for keeping your eye hydrated. Rigid gas permeable lenses, hybrid soft-hard, or scleral lenses might be better for protecting your eyes and reducing symptoms during allergy season.
- Be more vigilant about eye/contact lens care: It’s always important to be smart and attentive about caring for your lenses and your eyes in general. During allergy season, though, you must be extra careful. Don’t rub your eyes: you’ll only make the issue worse. Rubbing releases more IgE antibodies which only makes itching worse. If you are using disposable lenses, replace them more often. If you aren’t, clean your lenses more often. Preservative free peroxide solution, like Clear Care may help keep lenses cleaner and less irritable for sensitive eyes. If you’re experiencing a lot of irritation, keep a bottle of preservative free artificial tears handy and use it to keep your eyes and lenses adequately hydrated. These habits won’t necessarily solve your problems with allergies, but they will improve your symptoms.
- Consider wearing glasses: If possible, you might want to trade your contacts for a pair of spectacles for a few weeks, at least during the worst of allergy season. Allergens aren’t attracted to glasses in the way they are to soft lenses, which means you won’t be struggling with the same level of eye irritation.
- Use prescription eye drops. After visiting your local eye doctor and getting a proper diagnosis of allergic conjunctivitis, it may be helpful to get a prescription for eye drops to help decrease the allergic response. Such drops are available behind the counter at all pharmacies and can immediately help improve allergy signs and symptoms and prevent further reactions when used over time. The drops should be used before and/or after contact lens wear.
Visit Miami Contact Lens Institute Today
At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we know how challenging spring allergy season can be for people who wear contact lenses. If you need help finding relief from the endless itchiness and irritation, just give us a call. We can schedule you for a consultation and chat with you about your options, including alternative contact lenses.