How to Get the Better of Hayfever/Ocular Allergies This Spring

Ah, springtime! This beautiful season brings warm weather, gorgeous flowers… and for some, itchy, red eyes! As much we love the spring, we often dread the unwelcome effects of hayfever that comes hand in hand with it too. However, hayfever doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors all season long. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce symptoms so that you can enjoy the outdoors in peace and comfort. If you’re dealing with sore eyes from hayfever, read on to discover our best tips for protecting your eyes from pollen.

What Is Hay Fever?

Hayfever is an allergic condition. It’s characterised by a runny nose, sneezing, an itchy throat, and watery, irritated eyes. These symptoms appear after exposure to an allergen such as pollen. When the body comes into contact with this substance, it triggers the immune system to respond with inflammation, swelling, and irritation. Hayfever is a fairly common condition, affecting approximately 1 in 5 individuals.

Dealing With Sore Eyes from Hay Fever

One of the worst symptoms of hayfever is sore eyes. When pollen gets into your eyes, it irritates the surface tissues and prompts the release of histamine. This is what leads to itchy, swollen, and red eyes. As tempting as it may be, we want to remind you to avoid rubbing your eyes as this will only increase irritation. If the body attempts to flush the pollen out, you may experience watery eyes. In more severe cases, hayfever may even cause blurred vision that can last for weeks, or even months.

Top Tips for Protecting Your Eyes from Hayfever

While there is no cure for hayfever, there are thankfully ways to protect your eyes and reduce discomfort.

To start with, we recommend shielding your eyes by wearing glasses or sunglasses.

You should avoid wearing contact lenses when possible, as they can actually trap the pollen against the surface of your eyes.

Although it might be tempting to leave doors and windows open to welcome in the fresh spring air, we advise against this if you are experiencing hayfever symptoms, particularly when pollen counts are high.

You should also take extra care to vacuum floors and clean clothes more regularly in order to clear pollen from frequently used surfaces.

Finally, if you’re already noticing the effects of hayfever and your eyes are sore and itchy, consider trying out eye drops. We have a selection available in practice that we can advise you on, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Need help managing irritating hayfever symptoms? Please get in touch with our opticians in Clifton. We’d be happy to recommend the best eyedrops for hayfever, or help you find another effective solution to alleviate your symptoms.