As we enter into Spring the depths of Winter begin to withdraw and we look forward to longer days and crisp sunny days with plenty of blue skies.
For some of us, however, Spring isn’t all rosy! Every year hay fever affects millions of people, which can leave one in five people with a runny nose, sneezing and watery, red irritated eyes.
The most common cause of hay fever is Pollen: a fine powder released by plants which can trigger an immune response. It is this response that causes our bodies to react with the aforementioned symptoms.
While there is no cure for hay fever, symptom relief treatment is available with over-the-counter medications from your local pharmacist. Anti-histamine nasal sprays/tablets are some of the best ways to relieve symptoms.
If you have particularly bad allergies, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and use eye drops if your eyes are irritated. If you use contact lenses it may be advisable to change to wearing glasses for the season, so that your eyes don’t feel as dry and irritated.
When Should I See My GP?
If you find that your symptoms aren’t improving with over-the-counter anti-histamines, it would be advisable to make an appointment with your GP. Sometimes, on your GP’s advise, a review and treatment by an eye specialist may be necessary.
Tips for Reducing Symptoms
- Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- Shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off
- Stay indoors whenever possible
- Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
- Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- Buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- Cut grass or walk on grass
- Spend too much time outside
- Keep fresh flowers in the house
- Smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- Dry clothes outside – they can catch pollen
- Let pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen indoors
If you’re suffering with significant eye irritation make an appointment with your local optometrist. If you would like to arrange an appointment with us at Cathedral Eye Clinic send us a message via Live Chat, fill in the form below, or you can call us on 028 9032 2020 and a member of our Patient Care Team will help arrange your booking.