What to do for allergies in your eyes

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Pollen is a fine powder from plants.

Check the pollen forecast

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Media review due: 21 April

Sheet final reviewed: 21 December
Next review due: 21 December

Conditions


A pharmacist can assist with hay fever

Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.

What to do for allergies in your eyes

They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:

  1. itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
  2. a blocked nose

Find a pharmacy

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  1. your symptoms are getting worse
  2. your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy


Eye allergies: Get relief from itchy, watery eyes

By Gary Heiting, OD

Eye allergies — red, itchy, watery eyes that are bothered by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose among seasonal allergy sufferers — are extremely common.

In addition to having symptoms of sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, most of these allergy sufferers also experience itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes and swollen eyelids.

In some cases, eye allergies also can frolic a role in conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections.

If you ponder you own eye allergies, here are a few things you should know — including helpful tips on how to get relief from your red, itchy, watery eyes.


What causes eye allergies

Common allergens include pollen, animal dander and mold.

Eye allergies also can be caused by reactions to certain cosmetics or eye drops, including artificial tears used for treating dry eyes that contain preservatives.

Food allergies and allergic reactions to bee stings or other insect bites typically do not affect the eyes as severely as airborne allergens do.


Check if you own hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  1. pain around your temples and forehead
  2. earache
  3. sneezing and coughing
  4. loss of smell
  5. a runny or blocked nose
  6. itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  7. headache
  8. itchy, red or watery eyes
  9. feeling tired

If you own asthma, you might also:

  1. be short of breath
  2. have a tight feeling in your chest
  3. wheeze and cough

Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.


Treatments for hay fever from a GP

Your GP might prescribe steroids.

If steroids and other hay fever treatments do not work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.

This means you’ll be given little amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen.

This helpful of treatment generally starts in the winter about 3 months before the hay fever season begins.


How to treat hay fever yourself

There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.

But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.

Do

  1. hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
  2. vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  3. put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  4. stay indoors whenever possible
  5. wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  6. shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
  7. purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter

Don't

  1. do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
  2. do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
  3. do not cut grass or stroll on grass
  4. do not hold unused flowers in the home
  5. do not spend too much time exterior
  6. do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors

Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.


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What to do for allergies in your eyes