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Eye Related Symptoms Bring More Than Tears to Allergy Sufferers, New Survey Reveals
Date:5/28/2009

Free "Eye Health & Allergies" brochure available from Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Many allergy sufferers say symptoms such as itchy, dry, red and watery eyes leave them frustrated and irritable, tired, and distracted, according to a new survey conducted by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). About 40 percent of women allergy sufferers surveyed say their red and puffy eyes make them look tired and unattractive.

Among those who wear contact lenses, other problems arise. When their allergies act up, half (50%) say they switch to glasses, while 45 percent report that they wear their contacts less often. For some, not being able to wear their contacts affects how they feel about themselves and impacts their performance at work, school, and when playing sports.

"Having to stop wearing their contacts or wear them less frequently creates a wide range of emotions among allergy sufferers," says Mike Tringale, Director of External Affairs, AAFA, the leading patient advocacy organization for people with asthma and allergies. "Contact lens wearers say they feel less attractive when wearing their glasses (37%), unhappy (35%), less confident without their contacts (29%), and less able to perform activities as well as when they are wearing their contact lenses (26%)."

More than 800 people responded to the online survey about eyes and allergies, conducted by AAFA, and supported by 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R) Brand Contact Lenses. One-third (33%) identified themselves as contact lens wearers, while 12 percent admit to having dropped out of contacts because of allergies.

The majority of contact lens wearing respondents report that they replace their lenses monthly (45%) or every one to two weeks (38%). Paul Karpecki, O.D., F.A.A.O., Clinical Director, Kofler Vision Group, Lexington, Kentucky says he is not surprised to learn that two out of three (66%) say they find it very uncomfortable to wear their contacts while suffering from eye allergy symptoms.

"Allergy sufferers who wear contact lenses that you use for two weeks or more may experience discomfort and symptoms such as ocular itching, tearing, and redness because allergens and other irritants can build up on contact lenses over time, he says. "This can lead to discomfort and interference with job performance, school, and sports activities."

For allergy sufferers who want to remain in contacts, Dr. Karpecki recommends single-use contact lenses - daily disposable lenses that you throw away at the end of the day.

"Studies have shown that single use contacts, such as 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R) can be a healthy and more comfortable option for any lens wearer with eye allergies," he explains. "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."

Other major findings from the survey show:

  • Spring was identified by 67% of respondents as the most troublesome time of year for eye-related allergies. Over half (51%) say they experience eye allergy symptoms all year long. One-quarter of all respondents (26%) report Fall as the worst time for eye allergies
  • Half of women surveyed (52%) report that their eyes are so itchy as a result of their allergies that it causes them to rub their eyes and rub off makeup
  • About four in ten (39%) of allergy sufferers say they have consulted with an allergy specialist about their eye-related allergy symptoms. They also report consulting with their Family Practitioner (28%), Optometrist (28%), or Ophthalmologist (28%)

To help allergy sufferers better understand and manage the condition, AAFA offers a free educational brochure titled Eye Health & Allergies. The brochure, which also includes a free* trial certificate for by 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R), can be viewed or downloaded at www.aafa.org/eyeallergies or www.acuvue.com/seasons.

Clinical research has shown when worn on a daily disposable basis, 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) and other daily disposable etafilcon A contact lenses such as 1-DAY ACUVUE(R) MOIST(R) 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.

ACUVUE(R) Brand Contact Lenses are indicated for vision correction. As with any contact lens, eye problems, including corneal ulcers, can develop. Some wearers may experience mild irritation, itching or discomfort. Lenses should not be prescribed if patients have any eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. Consult the package insert for complete information. Complete information is also available from VISTAKON(R), Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., by calling 1-800-843-2020 or by visiting www.acuvue.com.

*Professional exam and fitting fees not included. Valid only while supplies last

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

Dr. Karpecki is a paid consultant for VISTAKON(R)


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SOURCE VISTAKON, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
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