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Spring – a time of flowers … and pollen allergies!

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Why Does Hay Fever Affect My Eyes?

Allergic eye reactions are caused by an organic compound in your body, known as histamine.

When you encounter something that you are allergic to, your immune system responds and tries to protect your body. One way your immune system responds is to release histamines into your bloodstream, and it’s those histamines that cause itchy, red and watery eyes.

Sometimes people who have hay fever and eye allergies also develop allergic conjunctivitis.

There are ways to help make eye allergies more tolerable.

What can I do to relieve hayfever affected eyes?

Contact your optometrist who can sit down with you and talk about a number of options that may help your eyes.

Treatment options may include:

  • Antihistamine eye drops that provide artificial tear drops which can help flush out any allergens that may have built up on the surface of your eyes
  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops can help relieve your symptoms
  • Take out your contact lenses until symptoms disappear
  • They may suggest talking to your pharmacist about taking antihistamines tablets.

If you don’t start to get relief from your symptoms, or if your optometrist is concerned, you may be referred for other options.

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Don’t assume it’s hayfever causing your problems

Spring is the most common time to experience hayfever, but sometimes your symptoms may indicate other potentially serious eye conditions.

If your symptoms become worse, or don’t go away with the help of antihistamines, it’s a good idea to consult your optometrist.

Uncomfortable and sore eyes can be a sign of an eye infection, or conjunctivitis

Irritated, achy and red eyes can be a sign of iritis, which in some cases can lead to serious complications including cataracts and glaucoma.