After 10 years of wearing glasses for my near-sightedness, I decided to give contact lenses a shot. I teach martial arts, and have found that glasses really get in way...not to mention hurt when you get hit in the face. The challenge is that I have bad allergies which affect me year-round. I'm allergic to all Evergreen Trees..which pollinate during the winter (and live in Washington State, the Evergreen State)and the typical moldspores/dustmites. When I first started wearing the contacts, within hours my eyes would become very irritated and red, and I would have to take them out. I went back to the Eye Doctor here, and he said that my eyelids/mucous membranes were very inflamed. He told me to use Opcon-A eyedrops, becuase he thinks that the inflammation is from a histamine response in my eyes. The active ingrediants are Naphazoline HCL and Pheniramine maleate. My question is this...I already take Chlorpheneramine Maleate 12mg BID for my allergies...is this the same as the Pheniramine Maleate? And if so, 24mg is the maximum doseage...is it safe to use the drops? Are there any other good ways to reduce allergies in the eyes?
okay i disagree with your eye doctor. i guess everyone has an opinion, and mine is different than your eye doctor's.
NO ONE should use ophcon-a for more than just OCCASIONAL use in my opinion. 3-5 times *a YEAR* kind of thing. it actually CAUSES more redness and contact lens discomfort problems than it fixes. google "rebound hyperemia" and/or follow these links:
if you have severe allergy and ocular discomfort with contact lens wear, here's my suggestions:
1) stop using opcon-a. stop cold turkey. you will likely have red eyes for a week to 10 days or so while your eye "recovers".
2) go back to your eye doctor, or another one, and ask for an Rx-only antihistamine/mast cell stabilizer like ZADITOR, OPTIVAR, or PATANOL. those are my favorites in that order.
3) get refit in DAILY disposable contact lenses if they come in your rx. my favorite is the new CIBA DAILIES with "aqua release" (i am not employed by CIBA, by the way). regardless, use some form of daily disposable if at all possible b/c that way NO allergens can build up on the lenses. if you cannot get fit in daily disposable lenses b/c your rx is not available in them, then make sure the cleaning solution is a HYDROGEN PEROXIDE solution like AO-CEPT or CLEAR CARE. hydrogen peroxide is pretty much the only thing IMO that removes protein buildup and allergens. the other "multi-purpose" solutions just inactivate allergens, they dont remove them...which is fine for most people, but not fine for someone with a lot of allergy symptoms/problems.
good luck. this is certainly a fixable condition...
Thanks for the prompt reply. I read quite a bit at the sites you provided...quite interesting. I believe I will visit a different eye doc in the area about the mast cell stabilizer. I love the idea of being able to wear contacts, and hope to be able to continue with them. The eye doctor strongly recommended O2Optix lenses..do you have any experience with these?
o2 optix is in my opinion the single best soft disposable contact lens on the market right now (for the people it fits, of course, which is certainly not everyone). EXCELLENT health, good optical quality, good comfort, high number of parameters,overall a very good lens.
but as far as allergies go, its no betetr than any other disposable lens. only the dailies (daily disposable) would be an upgrade IMO.
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