With the hay fever season upon us, here are a few tips to help you manage the symptoms of red, itchy watery eyes. While there is no cure for hay fever, there are some small things you can do to help reduce the effect of hay fever on your eyes.
Below is our quick guide:
- Try avoid rubbing your eyes as this encourages more itching and redness.
- Bathe your eyes regularly in cold water by applying cold compresses to your closed eyelids with a wet, cold clean flannel. This can ease the inflammation.
- Minimise exposure to pollen by wearing sunglasses when you are outdoors – wraparound glasses offer more protection from dust and pollen and also protect your eyes from UV rays.
- Contact lens wearers may find wearing their glasses more comfortable or swapping to daily disposable lenses. This is because allergens can accumulate over time on the contact lens surface on re-usable lenses causing discomfort.
- Use anti-allergy eye drops to provide relief from itchy eyes. Some eye drops are incompatible with contact lens wear though so you must check the label on the bottle first. Opticrom is found to give effective relief from airborne allergies however you should only wear your contact lenses at least half an hour after using the drops, not before.
- Hycosan eye drops have a preservative-free formulation suitable for contact lens wear and although they are not specifically anti-allergy drops, they relieve some of the symptoms of irritation. Again, always read the label in case you are allergic to any of the active ingredients.
How we can help
If you are suffering from symptoms of hay fever, here are some practical ways we may be able to help you:
- Come and speak to one of our Dispensing Opticians to ask about suitable sunglasses. They will be able to guide you as to which style will give you the best protection against airborne pollen. Prices start at £39.99 upwards.
- For contact lens wearers, call us to ask about the feasibility of swapping to daily disposable contact lenses or to a different contact lens material.
- Pop in to buy some Hycosan preservative-free drops which reduce redness and provide relief for mild eye irritation.
- Book an eye examination. If you notice the symptoms of red, itchy eyes persist even when the pollen count is low, this may be due to dry eye syndrome. Hay fever causes variable symptoms as the pollen count goes up and down whereas the symptoms for dry eye, if not treated, are more constant. During a comprehensive eye examination our Optometrist can examine your eyes to ensure you are given a correct diagnosis to determine whether you have an ocular allergy or not and advise accordingly.
The Gordon Turner Optometrists Team