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Eye Allergies Nothing to Sneeze at This Fall

2008-08-21 07:00:00

 'Eye Health and Allergies' Brochure from Asthma and Allergy Foundation of

     America Offers Advice for Eye Allergy Sufferers; Includes Seasonal

                    Strategies for Contact Lens Wearers

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 21 /EMWNews/ -- Come late summer, some 10

to 20 percent of Americans begin to suffer from ragweed allergy, or hay

fever. In addition to symptoms of sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, allergic

reactions involving the eyes are a major distraction for many allergy


    As ragweeds release billions of pollen grains into the air, symptoms of

eye allergies -- such as tearing, itchiness, swelling and burning, can make

it so uncomfortable for allergy sufferers that it impedes their

leisure-time and sports activities, interferes with school performance and

can affect productivity on-the-job.

    "Of Americans who are allergic to pollen-producing plants, 75 percent

are allergic to ragweed," says Mike Tringale, Director of External Affairs,

the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the leading patient

organization for people with asthma and allergies. "While there is no cure

for ragweed allergy, there are some things eye allergy sufferers can do to

minimize its impact on their day-to-day activities."

    To help eye allergy sufferers better understand and handle the

condition, AAFA is offering a free educational brochure, "Eye Health and

Allergies." The brochure can be viewed or downloaded at .

"This brochure offers useful information on how eye allergies occur, common

signs and symptoms, and practical advice on how to treat and prevent eye

allergies," says Tringale.

    The brochure, supported by 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R) Brand Contact

Lenses, includes vital allergy season advice for the nation's 40 million

contact lens wearers, a group for whom eye allergies can cause distinctive


    "Soft contact lenses are great pollen collectors, so symptoms may be

exacerbated during hay fever season for those allergy sufferers who wear

contact lenses," explains James Kershaw, O.D., an Optometrist from North

Olmsted, Ohio. "People with itchy eyes are also more likely to rub them,

which can lead to greater discomfort for the contact lens wearer."

    Fifty-four percent of those who wear contact lenses find it very

uncomfortable to wear their lenses when they have allergy symptoms,

according to a 2006 survey of 500 adult contact lens wearers with ocular

allergies. The vast majority cope by increasing their use of wetting drops,

wearing their lenses less often or removing their lenses during the day. A

significant minority (42 percent) say they stop wearing lenses and switch

to glasses.(1)

    But, says Dr. Kershaw, there is another option.

    "Single use, daily disposable contacts enable contact lens wearers to

continue use throughout the allergy season," he explains. "Studies have

shown that single use contacts - daily disposable lenses that you throw

away at the end of the day - can be a healthy and more comfortable option

for many people with eye allergies. 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."

    In a three-year study(2) comparing the clinical performance of daily

disposables (1-DAY ACUVUE(R) Brand Contact Lenses) with that of

conventional daily-wear lenses replaced at 1 or 3 months (n=126), frequent

replacement lenses replaced every 2 weeks (n=144) and daily disposable

wearers (n=68), single-use lens wearers reported fewer symptoms of redness,

cloudy vision, and grittiness; at the same time, they reported better

vision and overall satisfaction, and had fewer lens surface deposits,

complications, or unscheduled doctor's visits than conventional daily lens


    To help allergy sufferers who would like to start wearing or continue

wearing contact lenses, the brochure, along with a free trial-pair

certificate* for 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R) Brand Contact Lenses, is

available at .

    "When worn on a daily disposable basis, 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST may provide

improved comfort for many patients suffering from mild discomfort

associated with allergies during contact lens wear compared with those

wearing contact lenses replaced at intervals of greater than two weeks,"

says Dr. Kershaw.

    ACUVUE(R) 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

* Professional exam and fitting fees not included. Valid only while supplies last at a participating eye care professional. (1) Eye on Allergies consumer survey, conducted June 6 - 9, 2006, by MarketTool(R) on behalf of VISTAKON(R), Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (2) Solomon OD, Freeman MJ, et al. "A 3-year prospective study of the clinical performance of daily disposable contact lenses compared with frequent replacement and conventional daily wear contact lenses." CLAO J, 1996; 22:250-7. ACUVUE(R), 1-DAY ACUVUE(R), and 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R) are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

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