Allergy Sufferers Contend With Longer Allergy Season

Eye Allergies a Common Complaint; Leading Expert Offers Advice for Allergy Sufferers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2011 allergy season is expected to be 27 days longer in northernmost parts of North America,(1) adding almost a month of suffering to the typical pollen allergy season of February/March-October,(2) according to a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The longer allergy season could be particularly rough on eye allergy sufferers, notes a leading expert. "Ocular (eye) allergies affect one in every five individuals and it is estimated that 50 percent of individuals with seasonal and indoor allergies also experience some degree of ocular allergy,"(3,4) says Paul Karpecki, O.D., F.A.A.O., Clinical Director, Koffler Vision Group, Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Karpecki offers the following advice to allergy sufferers:

  • Find out what causes your allergy and try to avoid the trigger. "If pollen is what bothers you, try to stay indoors and minimize the amount of time you are in the wind, which blows allergens around."
  • Be cautious with allergy pills that claim to ease allergy symptoms. "Quite frequently, allergy medication can dry the eyes out. If you must take an allergy pill, try to take it at night so the drying effect is not as dramatic. Talk to your doctor about what medication(s) are best for you."
  • Allergy season is particularly challenging for some contact lens wearers because allergens and other irritants can build up on contacts over time, leading to discomfort and symptoms such as itching, tearing and redness. "Daily disposable lenses like 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® Brand Contact Lenses are a healthy and more comfortable option for any lens wearer. Putting a clean, fresh lens into the eye each day minimizes the potential for the buildup of irritants that occur with repeated use of the same pair of lenses."
  • Use preservative-free artificial tears. "People who suffer from eye allergy symptoms may also find that the preservatives in artificial tears also cause discomfort."
  • Consider allergy drops, which are prescribed by a doctor. "I tell my patients to put the drops in each eye in the morning before inserting contact lenses and then put a few drops in at night after they remove their lenses."
  • Take more frequent showers to wash away allergens and at night, turn off ceiling fans, as allergens and dust are easily picked up by a fan.
  • Take a cool washcloth and place it over the eyes to ease swelling and discomfort. "Relax for a bit with the washcloth over the eyes to relieve symptoms."

To help allergy sufferers better understand and manage their condition, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (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

Important information for contact lens wearers: ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses are available by prescription only for vision correction. An eye care professional will determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye doctor. Do not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. If one of these conditions occurs, contact your eye doctor immediately. For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye care professional and ask for a Patient Instruction Guide, call 1-800-843-2020 or visit

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) Ziska, Lewis et al. Recent Warming By Latitude Associated with Increased Length of Ragweed Pollen Season in Central North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 8 March 2011.

2) Tips to Remember: Outdoor Allergens. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Web site. Accessed March 16, 2011.

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

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

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

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