Eyeglasses And Allergies: How To Get Hypoallergenic Eyewear
Symptoms of an allergy to a material in eyeglasses vary from person to person. Some people allergic to nickel or another substance experience skin discoloration and/or itchiness, while others break out in blister-like, red sores in the areas where eyeglasses touch the skin. In some cases, a spotty mask-shaped rash around the eyes may appear to signal an eyewear allergy. Oftentimes, people who can’t wear any metal jewelry other than high quality silver or gold are the same ones who experience skin reactions to nickel or other metals used in some eyeglasses.
If metal and/or other eyewear materials give you contact dermatitis — which basically just means skin irritation — then look for eyeglasses specifically labelled as “hypoallergenic.” Zenni has a selection of fashionable, hypoallergenic frames like the New Arrivals featured below: (Just click on the images for more information and to access the Zenni online catalog system to see even more styles and colors!)
Typically, stainless steel and pure titanium glasses frames don’t pose a problem with metal allergy sufferers. Plastic frames are also not a problem in many cases, although some people with metal allergies may notice a skin reaction from hinges, nose pads or other materials that touch the skin.
If you have a plastic frame and get an allergic reaction from its metal screws, hinges or clips, coating them with clear nail polish may provide the relief you need to still be able to wear the glasses. You will have to be sure to keep the polish applied before it wears off. Be careful when experimenting with wearing a plastic frame as some of them are constructed with mixed materials such as metal on part of the temple arms. Frames marked “hypoallergenic” can usually mean you’ll not experience a reaction and have to use clear nail polish.
Sticking to frames marked “hypoallergenic” is usually the best way to avoid any allergic reaction from eyewear. For example, confusion sometimes occurs when purchasing titatium eyeglasses because of the different types and names used. Pure titanium eyewear rarely causes problems with allergies, but titanium alloy frames might as they contain a mixture of other metals. Titanium alloy is also marketed as “memory titanium” and this should be avoided by glasses wearers with a sensitivity to metals.
Really, the best bet is to seek out that “hypoallergenic” label when purchasing eyeglasses, like on these Zenni New Arrivals:
If you think you have a metal allergy, speak to your doctor and eye doctor who can refer you to a specialist to receive testing. It’s important to know what exact metal or other substance is causing your skin reaction so that you can be sure to avoid contact with it.