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Bespectacled allergy sufferers rejoice! Japan approves antihistamine-infused contact lenses

At least 20% of the world’s population is estimated to suffer from allergic conjunctivitis, also known as itchy eyes, caused by allergens such as pollen, dust and pet dander. Approximately 8 out of 10 regular contact lens wearers find allergic eye itchiness interferes with their vision while lenses make it difficult to scratch and relieve their itch.

In keeping with their “no more tears” reputation, Johnson & Johnson has received approval in Japan for their antihistamine-releasing contact lenses - the first and only vision-correcting contact lenses that also relieve allergic eye itch. The daily disposable lenses elute ketotifen, an H1 histamine receptor antagonist, which helps to reduce allergic inflammation thus providing a welcome option for contact wearers during the allergy season.

In Phase 3 studies the lenses were somewhat lac(rimal)-luster in reducing eye redness, however clinical trial participants experienced both a clinically and statistically significant reduction in average eye itchiness scores at both 15 minutes and 12 hours, as compared to those with non-medicated lenses, demonstrating both acute and long-term symptom relief for wearers.


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