Suffer from Hay Fever?
Hay fever is often at its worst between late March and September. Tree pollen occurs first, from March until May, then Grass Pollen from May until July and Weed Pollen from June until September.
Some people react to just one type of pollen, although it is possible to be affected by more, leading to sufferers experiencing symptoms for most of the Spring and Summer.
Symptoms of Hay fever include:
- Runny eyes
- Itchy ears, nose, mouth, and throat
- Red, irritated eyes
- Facial pain
- Blocked sinuses
- Loss of sense of smell
For our patients, the annual battle of how it affects their vision is ongoing so, we thought we would try and give you some well tested solutions to the itchy and runny eye problem, as well as some ideas of how to help control symptoms.
Tips on how to control Hay Fever
Protecting your eyes from exposure
It’s true that wearing sunglasses really is a great way to prevent your eyes from really kicking off at the first sign of a plant in full bloom! Wraparound sunglasses can act as a barrier to prevent the sticky pollen or spores from entering your eyes.
Be mindful of the time
Pollen is released when the air is warming up and cooling down. Because of this, the worst times for hay fever suffers to be outside is between 8-10am and 5-7pm.
Wash your hair and change your clothing
Do this before going to bed. Pollen is sticky and loves to attach itself to your hair. When you lie down and rest your head on the pillow, you are also allowing pollen to rub off and into your eyes as you sleep at night. Many of us wake up with sore itchy eyes in the morning and this is one reason why.
Don’t walk through the house in your shoes
Sticky pollen loves to cling to your shoes! Give them a good wipe and keep them out of your main living room to keep problems at bay.
After spending time walking through flower beds, and rolling around on the grass, our furry friends then like to come in and have a nap on the carpet, or a cuddle on your lap – and just as pollen likes to stick to our hair, our four-legged friends can also bring it in on their fur. So, it’s worth considering a HPEA high–efficiency particulate air filter to trap the allergens before they reach your eyes. Some vacuum cleaners also have these filters fitted.
Products that can help with hay fever symptoms…
Here’s one we mentioned earlier…. wraparound sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from pollen.
This is the product that many reach for when their symptoms arrive, and they effectively block the action of the chemical histamine which causes the irritation. It can also be taken as a preventative but, as with every drug, they do have side effects and you should check the package instructions carefully.
The main side effect is often drowsiness, and you can find more information about these drugs here:
Anti-Allergy eye drops
We have a range of specialist anti-allergy drops and advice on offer.
Pollen is sticky and when it is swept into our eyes, we create tears to flush them out. Ironically this action also reduces the quality of our tears meaning that they still feel dry and sore.
Ocular lubricants reduce redness and provide natural relief for mild eye irritation and can also be used by contact lens wearers who suffer from hay fever. We also have a range of anti-allergy drops available to buy.
It’s worth mentioning that if eyes are particularly bad, we specialise in prescribing anti- allergy eye drops which can work wonders to relieve symptoms.
Using hypo-allergenic cosmetics can help to reduce extra irritation and the panda eye look! A lot of make up tends to have the habit of dissolving and making you look a lot worse as it adds to the irritation of itchy eyes. We are now stocking Eyes are the Story, a new range pf cosmetics that focus on eye wellbeing: make up without compromising eye health!
Saline nasal sprays and irrigation can help soothe inflammation in the nose and clear the nasal passage of any impurities and allergens.
Allergy balms or gels
Allergy gels or balms can be applied to the rim of your nostrils and help as a barrier by catching any pollen/allergens before they get into your nasal passages. It should be applied before leaving home and regularly during the day, especially if you blow your nose or sneeze.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid getting hay fever. We hope that, trying some of the suggestions above will help to lessen your exposure and better control your symptoms.