After the last snow has melted down and trees show their first tender buds, spring is approaching.
The temperature rises, the bicycles are taken out of the shed and the leisure time is spent outdoors in the fresh air. But with the beautiful season begins also the pain of the allergy sufferers: Pollen in the air make their life in this time difficult. The nose runs, the eyes itch, tear, burn, are more sensitive to light and you simply don’t feel healthy.
Already in the first three months of the year, alders, hazels, birches, oaks and other trees can cause the first signs of allergies. In summer, grasses, numerous other trees and various cereals, such as wheat, blossom. The distribution of pollen depends on the flowering time of the plants, but also on different climatic conditions such as temperature and precipitation. An up-to-date overview of allergens in the air can be found here: www.pollenundallergie.ch or apps such as those from MeteoSwiss also offer updated pollen flight forecasts.
Can I wear contact lenses during hay fever?
Hay fever is particularly unpleasant for contact lens wearers because the lenses can now trigger a foreign body sensation and can no longer be worn as comfortably as usual. This raises the question of to what extent lenses should be avoided or which contact lenses are the right ones for allergies. You will be pleased to read that you do not have to do without contact lenses during the pollen flight or in case of allergies in general. Careful handling and regular checks will enable a large proportion of those patients affected to wear contact lenses even during the allergy season. The following tips will make it easier for you to wear contact lenses during the hay fever season:
This applies to your contact lenses as well as to your hands and hair. Your hair is a pollen catcher and spreads the pollen on your pillow overnight. So it is better to wash your hair every night before going to bed. Also the living rooms and the bedroom should be wiped wet. Open the windows only briefly and best after the rain or a thunderstorm. Otherwise keep the windows closed.
Daily disposable contact lenses
Daily disposable contact lenses are simply thrown away in the evening – and with them everything that has accumulated during the day. In addition, contact with disinfectants and preservatives in contact lens care solutions is no longer necessary. These solutions can cause allergic reactions themselves. The use of daily disposable contact lenses reduces the allergy symptoms. Reddening is avoided or reduced. The blurred vision improves and the feeling of having a foreign body in the eye decreases. Those who wear monthly lenses, 2-week lenses or annual lenses should pay attention to a thorough care. Here applies: Better to rub once more! Special surface cleaners are an effective means. Ideally use care products without preservatives.
Make your irritated eyes as comfortable as possible and wear sunglasses during the pollen season. On one hand, strained eyes are more sensitive to light and so you don’t expose them to additional stimulation. On the other hand the sunglasses are a practical pollen protection shield.
Complaints can sometimes simply be relieved with cooled post-wetting drops in single doses. They rinse pollen out of the eye while blinking and have a slightly decongesting effect. But beware of any product with preservatives! Organic eye drops with straw flower extract are a natural alternative to relieve the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. Strawflower extract has been proven to be effective against itching, redness, burning and swelling of the eyelids.
Antiallergic eye drops and contact lenses
Even if antiallergic eye drops, ideally as single doses, quickly provide relief for irritated eyes, expert advice should be obtained. Contact lenses can store the active ingredients or preservatives. The result: The desired dose at the target location is no longer correct. Or the lens still releases active ingredients when it is no longer necessary. Those who use medically effective drops should therefore remove the lenses for treatment, first apply the eye drops and then wait 15 to 20 minutes before reinserting the contact lenses. Ask your eye care provider which eye drops are best for you.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
Don’t rub your eyes, even if the itching is intense. Because rubbing irritates additionally and triggers the release of the messenger substances (histamine) in the body’s defence cells (mast cells).