What are the symptoms of hay fever?
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- Blocked or runny nose
- Itchiness in the back of the throat, nose and ears
For some people, the protein found in pollen can cause their eyes to become irritated and inflamed, as well as the nose, throat and sinuses. This can become quite uncomfortable and even debilitating – preventing you from enjoying warm, sunny days when the pollen count is at its highest.
As a result of these symptoms, hay fever can be quite problematic for contact lens wearers. If your eyes become itchy, red and watery, your vision through the contact lenses can appear ‘smeary’ and less sharp – not to mention uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Treating hay fever
- Nasal spray
- Eye drops
If you’re a contact lens wearer
- Try contact lens friendly eye drops to calm down itchiness
- Wear your glasses if your eyes feel uncomfortable
- Ask your optometrist about daily disposable lenses
Things you can do yourself
- Keep an eye on daily pollen counts so you can take necessary precautions
- Avoid going outside on days with high pollen counts wherever possible
- Shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside
- Avoid hanging your clothes to dry outdoors
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen getting into your eyes
Be allergy aware
Because it’s so common around the summer time, it’s easy to assume your symptoms may be related to hay fever. However, many people don’t realise that symptoms typically associated with allergies could also indicate other potentially serious eye conditions.
So if your symptoms become worse, or don’t go away with the help of antihistamines, it’s a good idea to come and see us.
- 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
*Free exam for AA Members applies to standard eye examinations only, normally valued at $60. Excludes contact lens examination and visual field checks. Limited to one per AA Member every two years. Available to current AA Members upon presentation of AA Membership card.