04/18/2016 02:02 EDT

Eye Allergies: 8 Tips For Relief When You Wear Contacts

Allergy season isn't fun for anyone, but for contact wearers it can be especially frustrating.

For most allergy sufferers, relief can come in a tiny capsule, but medical experts recommend steering clear of oral antihistamines if you wear contacts since they can further dry out your eyes.

Fortunately, you can still get eye allergy relief while wearing contact lenses. Below, we share eight tips for reducing itchiness and redness in your eyes. From switching to dailies to tossing your contact case, these tips are optometrist approved.

How do you deal with dry eyes during allergy season? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Switch To Daily Use Lenses
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    Daily disposable lenses are a great option for allergy sufferers as contaminants and irritants don't tend to build up on them. A 2003 study found that 67 per cent of contact wearers who switched to daily use lenses reported more comfort than monthly contact wearers.
  • Wash Hands Often
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    And especially before touching your eyes. Even mild soaps can irritate your eyes so the experts at CopperVision recommend rinsing your hands well before touching your contacts.
  • Replace Your Case
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    Contact lens cases should be replaced every 3 months to avoid contamination, say the experts at Clearly Contacts. If you don't normally follow this rule allergy season is the perfect time to start as your contacts pick up dust, dirt and pollen with every wear.
  • Keep Your Eyes Hydrated
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    While over the counter eye drops can be of great help during allergy season*, they only provide temporary relief. Keep a dropper nearby for emergencies, but also consider talking to your doctor about finding a better lens for your needs.
    *Note, drops should not be used while your contacts are in. Take out your lens before putting in the drop, then wait a few minutes before putting it back in.
  • Avoid Make Up
    Veronique Beranger via Getty Images
    Give irritated eyes a break by cutting back on eye makeup during allergy season. If this isn't an option for you, reduce irritation by putting in your contacts before you apply the make up. Also consider switching to an allergy-friendly make up brand.
  • Cool It On The Rubbing
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    Your first response to itchy eyes might be to rub away the irritation, but that is only going to make it worse. Instead, the experts at Emory Eye Centre recommend calming itchy eyes with a cold compress or splash cold water over your closed eyes to reduce the inflammation.
  • Switch Back To Glasses
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    It's not ideal, but if your allergies are really acting up, it might be best to go back to wearing glasses.
  • Consult An Optometrist
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    If your eyes are still irritated after trying these tricks consult an optometrist who can help you choose a different type of contact lens or cleaning solution that may reduce eye allergies

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