Contact lens allergy gpc:
Doctor diagnosed you or told you that you had gpc or giant papillary conjunctivitis this is often caused by contact lenses but can also be caused by other things things like prosthetic eyes or any sort of other chronic foreign body on the eye maybe a suture from a surgical procedure that was left on the eye this can also lead to something like a gpc now a giant papillary conjunctivitis is essentially just a swelling of part of your eyelid most normally the upper eyelid now for basically anybody out there you can develop a just normal papillary conjunctivitis that’s not giant most commonly.
We see this due to things like allergies possible bacterial infections of the eye or in general just inflammation of the eyelid itself but most often in the eye clinic we see a gpc form due to contact lens wear and you might think well why is this happening to contact lenses am i allergic to the contact lens itself usually not most of the people who get a gpc are people who wear contact lenses a lot these are individuals who wear them 16 plus hours throughout the day could be somebody who over wears their lenses especially if they’re wearing a two week or a monthly lens and they’re wearing them for a lot longer than they should be or if you’re somebody who sleeps in a contact lens or somebody who doesn’t clean your contact lenses appropriately what happens is that your contact lenses they sit on the eye for a long period of time and the proteins in your tears they attract to the surface of that contact lens and you build up a biofilm on the surface of those lenses and your body starts to not only develop an allergic reaction to those proteins.
But basically to the chronic presence of that contact lens sitting on the eye and in addition to these proteins on the contact lens a poor fitting contact lens on the eye can also be part of the reason why this could be aggravating the upper eyelid and that’s exactly why an exposed suture from an eye surgery or maybe a prosthetic eye can also cause these sort of gpcs now a gpc looks different than just your typical allergic response on the eyelid these gpcs are giant they are large and they look kind of gross or can have a kind of what’s called a cobblestone appearance now your doctor will recognize this and diagnose this condition oftentimes by flipping or everting the upper eyelid it’s not a painful procedure you maybe see kids or remember kids on the playground who would flip their islands inside out it’s essentially the same procedure we just ask the patient to look down we use something like a cotton tipped applicator or a q-tip and we push that on the upper tarsal plate and we flip the eyelid inside out this is often a best practice for all eye doctors to do this on patients who do wear contact lenses especially people who wear monthlies or bi-weekly contacts people who wear daily contact lenses because they’re replacing the new lens every single day.
They aren’t caring for those same proteins to the next day and they’re less likely to have these sort of aggravations or problems with gpcs either way if you ever get diagnosed with a gpc the best practices that most doctors will recommend is one staying out of your contacts give them a break usually you have to take a break from contact lenses and just switch to glasses for maybe a couple of weeks sometimes a little bit longer closer to a month or more depending on how severe it is and how quickly the inflammatory reaction comes down in addition your doctor could prescribe a topical steroid eye drop or ointment that will help control the inflammation and bring it down quite a bit ultimately a couple tips for you that your doctor will probably recommend anyway is that if you are having a gpc or have a history of them and you are still wearing a monthly or bi-weekly lens and if you could switch to a single use daily contact lens that is probably going to be a better option again less chance of a gpc or your doctor unfortunately could say you know what we have to completely quit contact lenses all together stick with glasses or consider something like refractive surgery such as lasik or prk oftentimes.
In my experience people who have gpcs often need to remain out of contact lenses or use additional treatments for at least two to four weeks i’ve even had some patients to have to stay out of contact lenses for up to three months for this to really calm down but oftentimes those are individuals who abuse their contact lenses they’re wearing the same like bi-weekly contact for like three months sleeping in them and their cornea is warped and have all other complications. i’ve had several patients have good results with just switching from my multi-purpose solution to more of the hydrogen peroxide solution because there’s no preservatives in a hydrogen peroxide solution and you could be someone who’s just hypersensitive to preservatives in the other solution so maybe giving that a try otherwise i hope you found this educational and helpful.