Contact lens intolerance, or CLI, is defined as an inability to wear contact lenses without pain. It can be a temporary condition from irritated or allergy-inflamed eyes, or a more permanent problem, causing the contact lens wearer to give up on them completely.
A vast swath of our population suffers from allergies, and the pollen and dander that causes inflammation in their eyes can cause significant issues with your lenses. For those with contact lens intolerance, it becomes worse during allergy season – increasing the pain and discomfort in contact lenses.
Identifying allergy-related contact lens intolerance isn’t hard. Itching, burning, and redness, especially during allergy season, are all hallmark signs of allergy-related contact lens intolerance.
If you have allergies, then consider that contact lenses might not be an option for you. Contact lens intolerance caused by allergies can make wearing contacts uncomfortable or even impossible. Here are a few suggestions that may help:
Try really cleaning lenses: Eye irritation during allergy season is often from a build-up of allergens on your contact lenses. All of those eye irritating particles love to hang out on your contact lenses. Rigorously cleaning your contact lenses, often multiple times a day (especially when outdoors) can provide temporary relief.
Try different lenses: It’s common for allergies to cause eye irritation, but they do not always lead to CLI. It may depend on what type of contact lens material you’re trying, how often you wear them, and anything else going on with your health. Different brands of lenses may allow more oxygen to pass through and around the lens resulting in less irritation.
Try antihistamine drops: Anti-allergy eye drops can reduce irritation from allergies but be sure to check to make sure the brand you’re using is compatible with your contact lenses. Remember that it may take a few minutes for the eye drops to take effect, so remove your contacts and give your eyes a break (wear your glasses!) until you’re not feeling any more irritation.
Try daily contacts. During pollen season, wear daily contact lenses. They can quickly be taken off and disposed of before they accumulate enough pollen and other allergens to cause problems.
Similar to how many individuals suffer from seasonal allergies during parts of the year, millions also face seasonal contact lens intolerance during these same times. Those facing seasonal contact lens intolerance may find their contact lenses are comfortable most of the year; however when allergy season starts their contact lenses become unbearable resulting in mild-to-moderate contact lens intolerance.
The best solution to seeing your way clearly, even during allergy season, is to eliminate contact lens intolerance completely with SMILE laser vision correction.
With over four million SMILE procedures performed worldwide, SMILE is quickly becoming the new standard in laser vision correction. The entire treatment is completed in under 30 seconds, and most patients return to work the next day. The agonizing symptoms of allergy-related contact lens intolerance are immediately gone, and there is no wait time for resuming your daily activities. Read more on what our patients say about their SMILE procedure!