Top Tips to Survive Hay Fever Effects on Eyes

Top Tips to Survive Hay Fever Effects on Eyes

What is Hay Fever Caused By?

Several active substances can cause allergic conjunctivitis including animal fur, mould, dust mites, makeup and eye drops, however, pollen is the main one. 

Why does hay fever affect our eyes?

Along with symptoms like sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, most of hay fever sufferers also experience itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes and swollen eyelids.

The cause of those swollen and red eyes is an organic compound known as histamine, which plays a major role in allergic eye reactions. Histamine is produced as part of a local immune response to trigger inflammation, causing the blood vessels to dilate. When we’re exposed to a substance that we’re allergic to, our immune system attempts to protect the body and starts a chain reaction that causes cells to release histamine into the bloodstream. The histamine then acts on a person’s eyes, so they become itchy, red, puffy and watery.

Top tips to survive hay fever effects on eyes

  • Wear wraparound sunglasses: They can help reduce pollen contact with the eyes.
  • Shower at night: Wash your hair and change your clothes after spending time outdoors to remove any pollen from your skin and hair as it may stay on your pillow.
  • Dry washed clothes indoors during the peak pollen season.
  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is high: Different types of pollen can affect different people, although there can be a crossover.
  • Cut alcohol as it may increase allergy symptoms. Alcohol contains histamines.
  • Clean the house: Vacuum, dust and change your sheets and pillowcases regularly.
  • Close your windows
  • Buy an indoor air purifier
  • Create a ‘barrier’: Putting Vaseline on the inside of your nostril may avoid the pollen from attaching inside your nose.
  • Avoid the peak hour for pollen: Between 8–10 am and 5–7 pm is when it’s at its worst.
  • Get a good night’s sleep: This helps your body to recover.
  • Reduce stress
  • Get fit: Research shows it reduces the symptoms of hay fever.
  • Eat well: Omega 3 oils, leafy greens and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are great for eye health.
  • Remove your contacts: Consider wearing glasses instead as the surface of contact lenses can attract and accumulate airborne allergens. Or consider switching to daily disposable contacts that you discard after a single use to avoid the build-up of allergens and other debris on your lenses.
  • Use eye drops: There are many non-prescription eye drops available to relieve itchiness, redness and watery eyes caused by allergies.
  • A cold compress on your eyes: This will help soothe red inflamed eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes: This may seem to provide temporary relief but it causes the release of yet more histamine, and will only add to the inflammation that is already there.

How to treat affected eyes?

  • Antihistamine eye drops
  • Lubricating artificial tear drops
  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops
  • Oral antihistamines


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