Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) by Dr. Mark G. German, Contact Lens Specialist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals in Mequon, Wisconsin

By admin
February 7, 2011

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.

Call for an appointment at 262-241-1919.


Dr. Mark E. German is an Optometrist who practices in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.  He is part of Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals which is a full-service eye care practice with our Ophthalmologist (Dr. Martha Jay) our Optometrist (Dr. Mark German).  Look to them for the latest in medical and surgical eye care including blade-free iLASIK, small incision cataract surgery, premium ReSTOR and Toric cataract lens implants, dry eye treatment, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye care, contact lens fitting and general eye examinations.

Contacts Lens Options, Dr. Mark German's Blogs, Medical and Surgical Eye Care, Our Doctor's Blogs


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