PURPOSE. To investigate whether the level of IgE is increased in the eyes of patients during general contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC) events, which involve enlarged papillae across the entire palpebral conjunctiva, or local CLPC events, in which papillae are confined to one or two parts of the area. METHODS. Worn contact lenses were collected and soaked in phosphate-buffered saline. The levels of eluted IgE and IgE retained on contact lenses were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS. IgE was detected in 6 of 12 cases of general CLPC, 8 of 21 cases of local CLPC, and none of 14 control contact lenses. The average level of eluted IgE was 0.54 ± 1.06 IU/contact lens, 0.28 ± 0.54 IU/contact lens, and 0.04 ± 0.06 IU/contact lens for general CLPC, local CLPC, and the control group, respectively. The incidences of positive IgE were significantly higher in patients with CLPC (general and local) than in control subjects, but no statistical difference was found between general and local CLPC. Generally higher amounts of retained IgE were detected on contact lenses that had increased levels of eluted IgE. Contact lenses that were collected before or after a CLPC event did not show increased levels of IgE. CONCLUSIONS. The level of IgE is increased in the eyes of some patients during an acute event of CLPC. The similar incidence of IgE-positive cases and levels of IgE from general and local CLPC contact lenses suggest that the conditions may share similar causal pathways.