Fall Allergy Tips

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Allergy sufferers should be ready for a bad fall allergy season this year. Fall allergies are typically from high pollen counts. High pollen counts happen when there are warm temperatures and rainfall in the summer. High pollen counts coupled with dry weather afterwards set the stage for a tough allergy season ahead.

Eye allergies, also known as ocular allergies, occur when an allergen irritates the conjunctiva of a patient. The conjunctiva is a delicate membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Ocular allergies can cause eyes to hurt, water, become itchy, red, or swollen. While eye allergies can be unpleasant, it doesn’t pose a risk to a patient’s eyesight except for temporary blurriness. Some possible allergens that can cause eye allergies are: pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander. Pollen and mold spores are seasonal allergens while the other allergens can cause eye allergies year round.

Here are some tips that patients can use in order to survive fall allergy season:

  • If you have eye allergy symptoms, see an eye doctor
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses when you head outside in order to reduce the amount of allergens that can blow into your eyes.
  • Flush allergens out with eye drops recommended by your eye doctor
  • Vacuum and use a HEPA filter. That can prevent the buildup of allergens around the house.
  • Avoid going outdoors during high pollen count days.
  • Keep windows closed at night if possible in order to avoid getting pollen in the house.

What are some allergy tips that work for you during fall? Share them with us in our comments section.

The Difference Between Dry Eye and Allergies

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The two most commonly experienced eye related problems (not including needing glasses or contact lenses) are dry eyes and ocular allergies. Although some symptoms are similar, there are distinct differences between the two eye conditions. In fact, dry eye and ocular allergy can occur simultaneously. If you are a contact lens wearer, both dry eye and allergies can make wearing contact lenses more difficult.

Dry Eye

Tears are not made of just water. There are numerous components to tears, but think of them simply as having three layers – mucin, water and lipids. A dry eye situation occurs when either too little water/mucin is produced, or if too little lipid is produced. The lipid layer is the outer layer of the tears and its primary role is to prevent the tears from evaporating or spilling over the lid margins. The lipid layer is produced by glands on the edge of the lids called meibomian glands. The majority of dry eye is caused by a decrease in this lipid layer. Certain medical conditions can also cause dry eye. The most common symptoms include burning, a sandy, gritty feeling, redness and sometimes reflex tearing.

Allergies

While eye allergies can also cause redness and tearing, the main symptom is itching. An ocular allergy is caused by sensitivity to a substance that is not usually harmful. When the allergen interacts with cells called mast cells, a substance called histamine is released which causes itching, redness, and swelling. Most allergies are due to environmental factors like pollen, cat dander, dust mites, etc. There are also more serious ocular allergies that require medical intervention.

Treatment

Treatment is different for dry eye and ocular allergies. Dry eye treatment includes treating the meibomian glands, the underlying inflammation, and using tear lubricants. The treatment for ocular allergy includes using antihistamine/mast cell stabilizers (to prevent the release of histamine from the mast cells), artificial lubricants, cool compresses and avoidance of the allergen (if possible).

For contact lens wearers, your doctor may choose a contact lens with a material that is more resistant to drying out like CooperVision’s Proclear lenses. For allergy sufferers, wearing a 1 day disposable lens will give the best chance for successful lens wear. CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day and Proclear 1 Day Multifocal lenses provide the best option as they are resistant to drying out and get replaced each day.

Many people use over- the- counter products to self- treat dry eye and ocular allergy problems. It is estimated that the cost of doing that exceeds the cost of prescription products which are more effective. If you feel that you have dry eye or ocular allergies, see your eye doctor for a complete evaluation and recommendations for the best treatment options.

Contact Lens Tips For Spring

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

As the weather gets warmer, eye care concerns for contact lens patients can change. Here are some contact lens tips and trends for spring 2012:

  • Learn About Computer Vision Syndrome
  • Since the announcement and pending arrival of the iPad 3 this spring, eye care professionals are getting more concerned about the possibility of computer vision among patients who use smaller electronic devices. Computer vision syndrome is a term used to describe a a group of eye and vision related problems that stem from the extended use of a computer. The most common symptoms of computer vision are: eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eye, and neck and shoulder pain. Eye patients with computer vision may want to consider a contact lens that provides improved comfort for mild dryness or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear. CooperVision’s Proclear lenses are the only contact lenses that are approved by the FDA to do just that.

  • Beat Allergies
  • Allergy sufferers know that their allergies seem the worst in the springtime. One of the worst things about allergies is that they make contact lens wearers suffer from red, puffy, and itchy eyes. As we wrote in a previous post, daily disposables may be recommended to allergy sufferers over other contacts since they are discarded after each use; eliminating the accumulation of allergy-causing debris on the lenses from day to day. In fact, there have been clinical studies that show how daily disposable lenses can significantly reduce the number of eye symptoms among allergy sufferers. CooperVision Proclear One Day daily disposable lenses may be an option to consider.
  • Avoid Water
  • Make sure that you don’t wear your contact lenses while swimming in lakes, showering, or even washing your face. All of that water can lead to exposure to the Acanthamoeba , an organism that commonly lives in tap water and lakes and can lead to difficult to treat, painful, and even blinding infections," explains Thomas L. Steinemann, an ophthalmologist and professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH.

    Remember to stay tuned to the On Eye Blog for more information about your eyes and contact lenses.

Look Your Best This Allergy Season

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, March 5, 2012

Allergies don’t just leave people tired and irritable. They leave people feeling like they look their worst instead of their best. According to a survey conducted by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAPA), 40% of female allergy sufferers who were surveyed said that they felt that the red and puffy eyes as a result of their allergies made them look tired and unattractive. Even if female allergy sufferers tried to remedy that with makeup, 52% of the women reported that allergies made their eyes so itchy that it caused them to rub their eyes and rub off their makeup. In fact, 12% of patients surveyed said that they stopped wearing contact lenses altogether due to allergies. That may mean having to wear glasses to prom, your wedding, during key presentations at work, or while exercising all because of allergy season.

How Can Allergy Sufferers Look And Feel Their Best This Allergy Season?

Clinical research has shown that wearing daily disposable contact lenses significantly reduces a number of eye symptoms among allergy sufferers. This is great news for patients who want to continue to wear contact lenses to look and feel their best. Daily disposables may be recommended to allergy sufferers over other contacts since they are discarded after each use; eliminating the accumulation of allergy-causing debris on the lenses from day to day.

Time for a Makeover

If you are a female allergy sufferer, here are some tips to help you look your best during allergy season:

  • Try White Eyeliner: Rimming the inner eye with a pearlescent white pencil will help deflect the redness of the eye and make puffy eyes appear wider.
  • Curl Lashes: Curling your lashes will help sleep deprived allergy sufferers look wide awake and more alert.
  • Use Concealer Sparingly: Apply concealer with a light hand to avoid looking like a reverse raccoon but still deflecting dark shadows under the eyes
  • Wear Contacts That Are Allergy Friendly: Not all contacts are created equal, so make sure to try a daily disposable contact lens to prevent allergen buildup in the eyes. A good pick is CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day lenses which are the only contact lens with an FDA-cleared indication relating to improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience dryness or mild discomfort during lens wear.

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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