Wearing daily disposable contacts can reduce eye allergy symptoms, say UK researchers.
Wearing daily disposable contact lenses significantly reduces a number of eye symptoms among allergy sufferers, according to a new study conducted in the UK.
Many eye doctors recommend daily disposable lenses to their contact lens-wearing patients as a possible solution to seasonal allergy problems. Daily disposables may be superior to other contacts for this application since they are discarded after each use, eliminating the accumulation of allergy-causing debris on the lenses from day to day.
Ten people with a confirmed allergic sensitivity to grass pollen were included in the study. Each participant’s eyes were examined and eye allergy symptoms were evaluated before and five minutes after exposure to a controlled amount of grass pollen equivalent to a “very high” pollen-count day.
All participants underwent three separate exposures to the pollen, separated by at least 72 hours: once without contact lenses, once with daily disposable contacts, and once with daily disposable lenses that included an enhanced lubricating agent, in random order. The test was conducted out of the pollen season to better control exposure.
Results of the study revealed that overall allergy symptoms were significantly reduced in duration with daily disposable contact lens wear, and eye redness was further reduced when the participants wore lenses that included an enhanced lubricating agent.
Symptoms of eye burning and stinging also were reduced in severity with lenses containing the lubricating agent.
The study authors concluded that daily disposable contact lenses offer an effective barrier against airborne irritants that cause allergy symptoms in susceptible individuals, and this effect is enhanced with modern lenses that include enhanced lubricating agents.
A report of the study will appear in a future issue of Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, the official journal of the British Contact Lens Association.
Ed. note: Since this study evaluated only daily disposable lenses, additional studies are needed to determine if daily disposables reduce allergy symptoms better than other soft contact lenses designed for two-week or monthly replacement.