Contact Lens Wearers Seek Relief from Spring Allergies

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 General News
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 24 For millions of Americans, the arrival of Spring brings with it ocular allergy symptoms such as itching, tearing, and redness. Ocular allergies affect 1 in every 5 individuals and are among the most common reasons that people consult various health care professionals for advice on possible treatment and management. It is estimated that 50 percent of individuals with seasonal and indoor allergies also experience some degree of eye allergies.(1,2)

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While eye allergy symptoms are a year-round problem for many, about 67 percent of allergy sufferers, say that Spring is the time of year when eye allergy symptoms are worst, according to a recent survey conducted by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the leading patient advocacy organization for people with asthma and allergies. For respondents who wear contact lenses, Spring is particularly frustrating as nearly half (45%) say that their eye-related allergy problems often prevent them from wearing their contacts, and one in ten (12%) admits to having to stopped wearing their contacts because of allergies.

The majority of respondents report that they wear their lenses two weeks, one month or longer. In a recent study presented at the 87th annual meeting of The American Academy of Optometry, researchers reported that only about one-third (36%) of wearers of contact lenses prescribed for monthly replacement said that they replaced their lenses as prescribed. Over half (55%) replaced them within five weeks, 23 percent at eight weeks or more, and 14 percent at ten weeks or more.(3)

"As contact lenses age, they accumulate deposits that may impact the ocular surface," explains Paul Karpecki, O.D., F.A.A.O., Clinical Director, Koffler Vision Group, Lexington, Kentucky. "Factor in the research that shows these patients are not being compliant with their wearing and replacement schedule, and it's no surprise that many are experiencing ocular discomfort and distress. Certain care systems contain preservatives which may further exacerbate discomfort for some allergy sufferers."

According to Dr. Karpecki, the use of one-day lenses can help minimize the discomfort of the contact lens-allergy combination. One study found that 67 percent of ocular allergy sufferers who switched to one-day lenses reported improved comfort while only 18 percent of those who simply replaced their conventional two-week daily wear soft contact lenses reported improvement.(4)

"Studies have shown that one-day contacts, such as 1--day acuvue® MOIST® Brand Contact Lenses can be a healthy and more comfortable option for any lens wearer, including those with eye allergies," he explains. "By putting in a clean, fresh lens every day, one-day contacts minimize the potential for accumulation of allergens and irritants that can often accumulate with repeated use of the same pair of lenses."

To help allergy sufferers better understand and manage their condition, AAFA offers a free educational brochure titled "Eye Health and Allergies." The brochure, which also includes smart allergy season strategies for contact lens wearers, can be viewed or downloaded at The brochure, along with a free trial-pair certificate* for 1--day acuvue® MOIST®( )Brand, is also available at

ACUVUE®( )Brand Contact Lenses are indicated for vision correction. As with any contact lens, eye problems, including corneal ulcers, can develop. Some wearers may experience mild irritation, itching or discomfort. Lenses should not be prescribed if patients have any eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. Consult the package insert for complete information. Complete information is also available from VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., by calling 1-800-843-2020 or by visiting

Clinical research has shown when worn on a daily disposable basis, 1--DAY ACUVUE®( )Brand Contact Lenses and other daily disposable etafilcon A contact lenses such as 1--DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® Brand Contact Lenses may provide improved comfort for many patients suffering from mild discomfort and/or itching associated with allergies during contact lens wear compared to lenses replaced at intervals of greater than 2 weeks.

*Professional exam and fitting fees not included. Valid only while supplies last.

(1) Katelaris CH, Bielory L. Evidence-based study design in ocular allergy trials. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;8(5):484-488.

(2)( )Bassett C. Ocular Allergies. Asthma & Allergy Advocate. Summer 2007. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Web site. Accessed November 3, 2008.

(3) Hickson-Curran, Sheila, Chou, Patricia, Gardere, Jill, "Longer Prescribed Replacement Intervals leads to More Stretching of Frequent Replacement Contact Lenses", presented at American Academy of Optometry Meeting, November 2009

(4)( ")Hayes, VY, Schnider, CM and Veys, J. "An evaluation of 1-day disposable contact lens wear in a population of allergy sufferers," CL & Ant Eye, 26 (2003) 85-93

ACUVUE® and 1--DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

About AAFA:

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading national nonprofit organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information, conducts educational programs, fights for patients' rights, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. Log on to for more information.

SOURCE VISTAKON(R), Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

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