While it sounds like quite a mouthful, giant papillary conjunctivits (GPC) is a common eye condition. It's actually an allergy to contact lenses. It generally occurs in patients who have worn contact lenses for years. They come in concerned that their contacts are no longer comfortable and that they have a slight discharge from their eyes. "But I've worn contacts for years without problems" is their response when told of the diagnosis. It's precisely that long duration of wear that triggers the condition.
Patients with asthma, hay fever or animal allergies may be at greater risk of developing GPC. This condition is believed to be a reaction to protein deposits building up on the contact lenses. The name comes from what we see when we flip the upper eyelid: 1-2 mm bumps called "giant papillae".
The key to treatment is decreased lens wear time, frequent replacement of the contacts and diligent cleaning of the lenses each day. Disposable contacts help because they are discarded before the protein builds up. Sleeping in contacts has to stop. Besides the above, treatments may include allergy drops or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drops. Once the GPC clears up, the patient may want to consider LASIK vision correction to avoid a recurrence.
Are you having problems with your contact lenses? Or are you due for a thorough eye examination? We are here to help.
Dr. Mark German in an Optometrist practicing with Drs. Martha Jay and Josephine-Liezl Cueto at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon and Saukville, Wisconsin. This eye care team offers comprehensive eye care for all ages including contact lens fitting, LASIK vision correction, Cataract surgery, Glaucoma care, Age-related Macular degeneration care, Dry eye options, general eye care and much more.
To find out more about eye care and Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals, visit www.LakeShoreVision.com or call 262-241-1919.