Hay fever is annoying and obstructive for anyone, regardless of whether or not you happen to wear glasses or contact lenses – streaming eyes, shortness of breath and sneezing can be a nightmare. Here is some advice and information about protecting your eyes during the worst part of Hay fever season, which tends to be during the months of March to May, although it can stretch out further into summer.
The 20% of people who suffer from hay fever get triggered by pollen, a fine powder emitted by flowers and plants. When these particles reach your nose, throat, eyes or nose, there can be an immune response. The result can be inflammation, itchiness, swelling, breathing, and eye trouble. The body tries to flush the pollen out, hence your streaming eyes. The redness and itchiness come mainly from touching your eyes, or continually dabbing it with a tissue. When the ‘conjunctiva’, the cellular layers shielding the eyes, get inflamed by the pollen, this becomes allergic conjunctivitis
While there is no absolute, complete cure for hay fever, it is possible to manage it so you can get on with most things fairly comfortably. Your immune system actually thinks it’s under attack, therefore releases something called ‘histamines’ to fend off what it thinks is an infection. Antihistamine nose spray or tablets, consequently, are a lifesaver; once you start a course of it you shouldn’t stop until hay fever season, or at least the worst of it, is over. It is also possible to get the antihistamine in eyedrop form.
Contact lenses, (popular ones for Hayferver are: acuvue oasys and acuvue oasys for astigmatism) from pure contacts, are best removed during the time when you’re suffering worst from the symptoms of hay fever. The lens can, unfortunately, attract airborne allergens like pollen, so they may end up doing more harm than good. Glasses are useful as a short-term measure. You could, however, think about using disposable daily contacts; this might be a happy compromise if you crave the freedom that contacts afford. This will reduce the likelihood of your lenses getting clogged up with allergens.
Wraparound sunglasses could be handy, in that they totally block out everything from the atmosphere when you’re outside. Yes, they can look a bit odd but it’s better than suffering with hay fever symptoms. You should shower and change clothes more often than usual, so that pollen doesn’t have a chance to affix itself to your skin, hair, and clothes. Avoid alcohol; it exacerbates the symptoms of hay fever; keep your eyes glued to the pollen forecast, available at the Met Office website. Stay indoors as much as possible – remember, it’s usually just during those worst months of late Spring, early Summer.