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    Surviving allergy season as a contact lens wearer

    Lifestyle, treatment, and education play major roles in patient care


    Like you, I have patients who are resistant due to cost or because their exact power is not available in a daily disposable lens. I advise these patients to at least buy a 90-pack for each eye to wear during allergy season.

    When properly educated, many are willing to sacrifice the extra money or some clarity to be more comfortable. I also find that those who thought they were too expensive typically return the next year asking to wear daily disposables year round.

    Allergy season provides the perfect opportunity to convert your contact lens wearers into a daily disposable modality. But if patients must remain in a reusable contact lens, be careful to fit them in a lens with a surface treatment or material known for better build up resistance.

    Related: Contact lenses and dry eye: Cause or remedy?

    Peroxide-based cleaners

    For anyone with allergies whose prescription is out of range for daily disposables, I am adamant that a peroxide-based cleaner be used year round—not just during allergy season.

    PeroxiClear (Bausch + Lomb) and Clear Care Plus (Alcon) are my first choices. I have found that patients can typically feel and see a significant difference when they are compliant with a thorough cleaning regime.

    Related: Low-cost contact lens site looks to improve compliance, drive exams


    A patient’s lifestyle habits influence his allergen exposure—beginning with his wearing habits. I always ask my allergy patients to count how many hours they are wearing their contact lenses per day, then I limit it by at least three hours from their normal wear time. If they are in a reusable contact lens, I ask them to discard it at least 25 percent earlier than they usually do.

    This means that during allergy season, patients throw out their monthly lenses at three weeks instead of one month. Patients may or may not comply with this request, but at least they will think twice regarding overextending their reusable lenses.

    Crystal M. Brimer, OD, FAAO
    Dr. Brimer is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Southern College of Optometry. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and ...


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