Hay fever: How to Protect Your Eyes This Spring

It’s nice to finally look forward to some warmer weather again! Though for some people, the onset of spring also brings about the threat of hay fever. Common symptoms include red, itchy eyes and sneezing. It can cause anything from mild inconvenience to debilitating problems.

At the Contact Lens Practice, we often see patients who have to deal with the negative aspects of hay fever and eyes. As a result, we offer advice on how to minimise the difficulties that arise from pesky pollen allergies.

Watch the pollen count

The Met Office provides information on the pollen count across the country. They also offer guidance on the types of pollen that are particularly prevalent during each season. During the spring and going into summer, the tree pollen count will tail off and grass pollen will take over. You may find that you are only affected by certain types of pollen. If you know which ones they are, you don’t need to be as cautious once the season for the type you are sensitive to has passed.

Protect yourself

Put physical barriers in place to try to reduce your exposure. A touch of Vaseline beneath the nostrils can trap pollen. This prevents it from entering your system. You can also wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes. At the Contact Lens Practice, we offer a range of prescription sunglasses that will do the job.

Try different medications

There are lots of medications and hay fever eyedrops out there that can help you lead a normal life. You may have to try a few to find the one that works for you. Always take hay fever medication with guidance from your pharmacist or GP. For advice on hay fever eye drops, we highly recommend that you speak to one of our optometrists, especially if you are a contact lens wearer, to seek advice before purchasing over the counter eye drops which may have adverse effects on your eyes.

Limit your outdoor time

Sometimes, the best way to be comfortable might just be to avoid going out as much when the pollen count is high. Levels change throughout the day so you may only need to avoid times when they are likely to be highest. These are usually 8-10am and 5-7pm. Remember to close the windows in your house at these times as well.

Say no to booze

The symptoms of hay fever are caused by something called histamines. If you take regular hay fever medication, you are probably already familiar with the term ‘antihistamine’. It is a key ingredient in most preparations.

Alcohol contains histamines. If you drink, you are counteracting any good that your medication might be doing. Alcohol can also worsen the drowsy effects of many antihistamine medications. So, if you want to feel better, it’s best to lay off the alcohol during periods where the pollen count is high.

How can we help?

Getting regular support with our opticians in Birmingham can help you clarify your hay fever issues and access the help you need. You can contact the Contact Lens Practice online for advice or speak to us on the phone: 0121 643 3848.