6 Tips to Handle Hay Fever and Eye Allergies
It’s that time of the year again, when the weather starts to improve, but we can feel like we have a constant cold as our eyes can overreact to coming into contact with pollen, triggering an allergic response. This results in you experiencing the annoying symptoms of hay fever and eye allergies.
Generally we can find ourselves in a cycle of reacting to these annoying symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, which in turn make the eyes more red and irritated. Watering is the eye’s way of trying to flush out the irritant, but frustratingly these excess tears can make our vision blurry.
Inflammation and irritation can make the eye lids and surrounding skin puffy and swollen. Oral antihistamines can help with this, and thankfully these symptoms are always temporary.
Here are 6 tips to handle hay fever and eye allergies:
1. Stay indoors if possible
We'll get the most obvious one out of the way first. Yes, the weather is starting to warm up and it becomes irresistable to not go out and enjoy the weather. However, pollen levels are highest during mid-morning and early evening, so if you can avoid being outside during these times, you’re less likely to experience symptoms. Pollen levels are also significantly reduced after rain.
If you're still indoors and the springtime pollen is causing havoc for your hay fever and eye allergies, consider booking a remote consultation with our optometrists to assess your symptoms further.
2. Avoid wearing contact lenses
Consider wearing your spectacles when pollen counts are high, as these particles can accumulate within the matrix of the contact lens material, causing significantly more irritation.
3. Reduce alcohol intake
Interestingly, alcohol can increase the symptoms of hay fever, so you may want to limit your intake if you suffer from symptoms.
4. Wash your clothes more regularly
Change your clothes when you get home from being outside to avoid the pollen particles getting near your eyes. Also dry your laundry inside to avoid pollen build up on your clothes as they dry.
5. Cucumber slices
Bathing your eyes in cold water or using cold compresses can also allay symptoms by reducing the inflammation. You see it all in the time in the media, but cucumbers can actually help with eye allergies for various reasons! Cucumbers have a cooling effect on the skin and thus hydrate the surrounding tissue, reducing puffiness.
6. Use a nasal spray
Antihistamine nasal sprays can be very effective in treating symptoms, but should be taken before the start of hay fever season for the best results.
To serve as a footnote, it's also a good idea to check out the local pollen forecast if it's available in your country. For the UK, the up to date pollen forecast is available on the Met Office website. Be sure to also attend your regular eye examinations. Feel free to book a remote consultation with one of Eyebou's optometrists if you wish to discuss your symptoms further.
This article was written by Mai Monavar, Eyebou's lead optometrist.