The weather is turning warmer here in New Jersey and with it come a lot of exciting things – longer days, baseball games and beach trips. For me and many others, it also brings with it the dreaded allergy season. So I was surprised to hear that the 2011 allergy season was expected to be 27 days longer in northernmost parts of North America according to a recent study.
That means 27 more days of sneezing, congestion and especially itchy eyes for the one in five people in the United States that suffer from allergies of the eye. This makes it particularly challenging for some contact lens wearers because allergens and other irritants can build up on contact lenses over time, leading to discomfort and symptoms such as itching, tearing and redness. The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA) has a free brochure on eye health and allergies, supported by 1∙Day Acuvue Moist Brand Contact Lenses, that provides some helpful tips and information for allergy sufferers.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology also offers the following tips to help fight back this allergy season:
- Keep your windows closed at night
- Monitor pollen levels from the National Allergy Bureau and try to stay indoors when levels are high
- Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry
- Be sure to take any medication prescribed by your allergist regularly, in the recommended dosage
As for contact lens wearers, according to the AFFA's brochure putting a clean, fresh lens into the eye each day minimizes the potential for the buildup of irritants – like allergens -- that occur with repeated use of the same pair of lenses.
This year’s allergy season may be longer, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Good luck to all of my fellow allergy sufferers!