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Surgeon David Allamby FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth
 David Allamby

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Hay Fever: Preventing Itchy Eyes

Learn more about vision correction

24
Mar
2017

Spring days are nigh, and for many of us, with the increasing pollen count, Hay Fever is looming. The oncoming bouts of itchy eyes and a runny nose fill sufferers with dread, so what would be better than to prepare for, and possibly eliminate, these symptoms before pollen terrorises them for foreseeable sunny days?

how to treat hay fever

It is estimated that there are more than 10 million people with the allergy in England, and although typically grass pollen (one of the worst culprits of them all) becomes more of a problem around the summertime, you can never be too cautious or over prepared.

Treatment of hay fever:

Antihistamines will be the first port of call for any hay fever sufferer. They come in tablet form, as a nasal spray and as eye drops and significantly reduce the symptoms of hay fever. Antihistamines work by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it's under attack from an allergen. This stops the symptoms of the allergic reaction.

antihistamines to help treat hay fever

You can use antihistamines as:

  • an "as-required" treatment – you start to feel the effects of hay fever and take them when you first notice you're developing the symptoms.
  • a preventative treatment – for when you know there's going to be a high pollen count you take them before leaving the house in the morning.

Eye drops:

The most common symptoms of hay fever that affects eyes include redness, itchiness and watering. Eye drops can be picked up from your local pharmacist to tackle these annoying problems, they include antihistamines that reduce the inflammation and will relieve symptoms.

eye drops for treating hay fever

Eye drops are without a doubt one of the most effective hay fever remedies readily available on the market, and according to this article by Health Awareness, hay fever sufferers should act preventatively and use eye drops before allergies kick in. Most eye drops take 5 - 14 days to work at their best and most beneficial.

You should always check the patient information leaflet that comes with eye drops to learn the correct way to use them. They are widely used and have been shown to be extremely safe, although side effects can include stinging or a burning sensation in your eyes.

Pollen count:

Different pollens are released, and peak, at different times throughout the year. The Met Office breaks down the pollen seasons into three main sections:

  • Late March - Mid May: Tree Pollen
  • Mid May - July: Grass Pollen
  • End of June - September: Weed Pollen

Knowing which pollen causes your allergies and the time frame of it’s peak period helps sufferers prepare. Be ready to take drops ahead of the period, ensuring you can be most effective in protecting yourself. Usually, the pollen count is delivered along with the weather on news channels across the UK. You can also watch how pollen counts will change over forthcoming days using this map, provided by the Met Office.

If problems still persist and your eyes begin to hurt from itching, watering and redness we recommend seeing your GP or doctor who may prescribe lubricating drops to prevent dryness.

Sources:

NHS

Health Awareness

Met Office

 


By: David
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