As hayfever affects a staggering 20% of the Irish population, and is most common in children and teenagers, Specsavers opticians are offering expert advice on how best to care for eyes during the hayfever season.
Contact lens wearers
It can be a particular nuisance to contact lens and glasses wearers, who develop itchy, sore and red eyes as pollen counts rise, and Specsavers is urging parents and carers to take steps to help beat the symptoms.
Tree pollen often affects sufferers earlier than grass pollen allergens so the hay fever season reaches its peak between May and July – coinciding with the main school and university exam period. While often dismissed as a trivial problem, hayfever can disturb sleep, affect concentration and cause people to miss school or work. It has also been shown to have a real impact on children’s exam results. This can be an extra burden for young sufferers, making it even more important to be prepared.
Top tips for battling hayfever are:
- Prevention is better than a cure - find out what causes your reactions and try to keep contact with the allergen to a minimum.
- Time of day - the highest pollen counts occur between 10.30 and 15.30pm so try and stay indoors at that time.
- Wearing glasses - Wraparound glasses or sunglasses will help keep pollen out of the eyes.
- Do not rub - rubbing only aggravates the effects of the allergic reaction further.
- Eye drops - drops can help soothe hay fever. If you wear hard or gas permeable contact lenses you can use eye drops as normal. If you wear soft contact lenses, eye drops should not be used while the lenses are being worn, unless the drops are specifically formulated for this purpose.
- Forget the fringe - pollen gets trapped in the hair. Make sure your fringe is off your face to reduce the chances of pollen reaching the eye.
An eye allergy is a reaction to allergens, such as pollen, mould, or dust mites. These can get into the eye and create an inflammation in the tissue that lines the inner eyelid and the cornea.
Symtoms of eye allergies
Symptoms of eye allergies include redness, itchiness, burning eyes, tearing, swelling, and the feeling that something is in the eyes. Some eye allergy sufferers experience blurry vision or feel tired.
To find out more about the treatment of hayfever symptoms in eyes, please contact your local store and ask to speak to one of our team.