"Allergic" to Contacts
- "Allergic" to contact lenses
- Patients tell me this all the time...that they switched to/from some contact lens brand and they were "allergic" to it.
Highly unlikely. Very possible to be "allergic" to a chemical-based contact lens solution, and also certainly possible to have an inflammatory event associated with the design, fit or stiffness of a particular contact lens (silicone hydrogel lenses are notorious for causing "GPC" b/c of their stiffness or high modulus), but I would consider it to be exceedingly rare (impossible?) for someone to actually have a true medical "allergy" or adverse reaction to a contact lens MATERIAL.
I guess I probably can't say that its IMPOSSIBLE, but I know all about contact lenses and I have never, not one time heard any medical professional say anything about contact lens material allergy, nor have I ever read anything about it. When contact-lens-associated inflammatory events are mentioned in the journals, they are ALWAYS attributed to either contact lens SOLUTION allergy, or an inflammatory event like GPC that is from mechanical lid interaction or "rubbing". Thats not being "allergic" to the material. This may sound like splitting hairs, but there is a big difference in both the mechanism and treatment of a IG-E antigen based type-1 or type-4 hypersensitivity reaction (true medical allergy) vs a mechanical rubbing that causes an ocular inflammation.
Almost no one is "allergic" to a contact lens or contact lens material.