It is uncommon to have an allergic reaction to eyeglasses, and when it happens it can be difficult to find help and support from your eye doctor. However, if you know you have allergies to specific types of materials, then you should find out what your glasses are made out of before you order them. This can be difficult because many manufacturers do not list all of the materials in the glasses.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to your glasses, you need to track your symptoms and isolate it to your glasses. One of the major signs is that the skin is irritated only where your eyeglasses are, or where they touch your skin. You may develop a masklike rash around your eyes, or you may just have spots where your glasses actually touch the skin. The symptoms are different for everyone.
Some people have an allergic reaction to the eyeglass frames. One common allergy is a nickel allergy. This causes a rash in the area that comes in contact with the glasses. If you have an allergy to nickel you should try to purchase plastic frames or frames made of titanium. Titanium glasses are the best choice for people with allergies, but if it does not work for you then try the plastic glasses. Stainless steel glasses also work for people with a nickel allergy. Some people do have a difficult time with plastic glasses as well. The cheap eyeglasses are often made from nickel, especially the ones that you purchase at a drugstore. You may consider going in for allergy testing if you are having a difficult time finding a frame that works for you.
Another common problem involves the nose pads. These are usually made out of silicone. The main indicator of a specific nose pad allergy would be that the rash is focused around your nose where the pads touch your face. These can be replaced with vinyl nose pads, and any eyeglasses shop can special order the correct pads for your glasses. Another option is to look for frames that do not use nose pads. However, if you have an allergy to the metal, this might not be the best option for you to consider.
Some people may have reactions to the chemical coatings that are on the lenses of the glasses. A sign of this would be constant eye irritation, and no reaction on your ears or along your temples. If this is the case, you may consider ordering glasses without the additional coatings added to them. This would mean avoiding the scratch resistant and glare blocker coatings. You may also try to find someone that will make glasses for you from actual glass.
Another option for dealing with allergies to eyeglasses is to consider using contact lenses for the majority of each day. Contacts will allow you to avoid using the frames at all. However, this is not a practical suggestion for everyone. Trial and error will help you find the right frames. As you find frames that irritate your skin, keep track of the make and model and try to find the material contained in the frames. This will help in your search for new glasses in the future.