Eyeglasses are intended to improve a person’s vision, but what happens when your frames start to do more harm than good? Over the years, Dr. Vivienne Velasco of iFocus Vision Center has had conversations with many patients – adults and children – about allergic reactions to eyeglasses and how to solve the problem with hypoallergenic frames.

Symptoms of Eyewear Allergies

Often, patients who experience symptoms related to eyewear allergies will contact their dermatologists, thinking they may have contracted some sort of rash. The condition is known as Contact Dermatitis, and occurs when an allergen “triggers an immune reaction in your skin,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Allergies can take the form of rashes, irritated skin, and even sores in areas of the face that have contact with glasses – the nose, eyes, and sides of the head near the ears. Plastic or metal frames and silicone nose pads can all contribute to these allergies, and not all allergy sufferers display the same symptoms, explains Dr. Velasco, so it’s important to take note of exactly what is occurring so you can have a conversation with your optometrist.

Hypoallergenic Frames Offer a Solution to Allergies

Chemicals in plastic have long been linked to allergies, and nickel allergies are commonly the cause of rashes and irritation for eyeglass wearers. To combat this, Dr. Velasco has helped numerous patients find a solution in the form of hypoallergenic frames.

“These frames are made of titanium, stainless steel, or TR-90, which is a very bendable, hypoallergenic material,” she says. “Titanium frames, in particular, are much lighter than regular metal frames and are also known to be less breakable.”

Eyewear Brands That Won’t Cause an Allergic Reaction

There’s no additional cost associated with hypoallergenic frames, and many are produced by today’s top brands.

Dr. Velasco carries a number of these brands at iFocus Vision Center, including Swing by Teka Eyewear and OVVO Optical, which prides itself on making some of the most durable frames in the industry.

“Swing frames, for example, are incredibly lightweight and made of a hypoallergenic and antibacterial TR-90 material, which is also treated with an organic dye,” she says.

Have a question about hypoallergenic frames? Contact Dr. Velasco and iFocus Vision Center onlineor call 702-473-5660.