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    Surviving allergy season as a contact lens wearer

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

     

    Prevention

    Here’s where things can become more complicated, but where you can really help patients take better control of their allergies. I ask patients to shower at night instead of in the morning. We would be shocked to see the allergens—and other disgusting things —we pick up on a normal basis during any given day.

    The last thing we want to do is deposit these things on our pillows at night and proceed to smear our faces in it—repeatedly. In fact, I advise them to go one step further and change their pillow cases every night. Sheets should be changed approximately every three nights during the height of allergy season.

    Be sure allergy patients wear sunglasses to shield their eyes while outside and try to avoid windy conditions. Use of artificial tears before and after time outdoors can also help. It may seem obvious, but if the car is green when it’s usually black—stay inside!

    Unfortunately, patients may have indoor allergies as well. These patients still flare up from seasonal allergies because they are compounded on top of their chronic allergies.

    Patients allergic to dust should wear a dust mask when cleaning—or better yet, hire someone.

    Related: Embracing new contact lens technology

    Promote awareness

    I always know when allergy season starts, because the patient complaints become more abundant and more consistent.

    Depending on your location, allergies can be a big problem for your patients. The more contact lens patients you have, the more allergic complaints you are likely to hear, but it can provide a chance to deliver a timely clinical as well as marketing message.

    Consider using Constant Contact or other online email marketing service to send a “Prepare for Allergy Season” flyer to all your patients. Also, have patient education materials available in the office.

    With the symptoms being intermittent, sometimes patients refrain from complaining or simply forget. Any time you can help patients with symptomatic relief—big or small—it influences their satisfaction and inspires loyalty. 

    Read more from Dr. Brimer

    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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