What is hay fever (and how to relieve your red, itchy eyes in spring)?

What is hay fever (and how to relieve your red, itchy eyes in spring)?

Many of us welcome spring, yet others dread it. That’s because they know they’re in for months of red, sore and itchy eyes.

Around one in seven Australians suffer from hay fever. Are you one of them? The symptoms include, itchy eyes, irritated throat, sneezing, a blocked or runny nose. 

Hay fever is caused by a number of active substances including, pollen, animal fur, mould, dust mites and make-up. However pollen is the main culprit and as trees and flowers bloom in spring the exposure to pollen is increased.

Why does hay fever affect the eyes?

When you’re exposed to a substance that you’re allergic to, your immune system attempts to protect the body and starts a chain reaction often creating itchy, red, puffy and watery eyes.

How can I avoid spring hay fever?

Here are some tips.

  • Clean house. Vacuum, dust and change your sheets and pillowcases on a regular basis. A pet may contribute to your problem- try to keep them off the bed or sofa during the peak pollen count season.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. This helps your body to recover.
  • Cut down on beer, wine and spirits.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get fit. Research shows it reduces the symptoms of hay fever.
  • What’s the best way to treat my hayfever eyes?

Talk to your optometrist, who can discuss with you the following treatment options.

Antihistamine eye drops, lubricating artificial teardrops, anti-inflammatory eye drops used twice a day can help relieve your symptoms and oral antihistamines in tablets or capsule forms. It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes as this increases the reaction.

Visit your optometrist today to discover solutions to managing your allergies.