How To Relieve Hay Fever Symptoms

It's the time of year when hay fever returns - I can see you all reaching for the tissues. We're in full swing of pollen and runny noses and teary eyes. 

I’m one of the lucky ones that do not get affected. What is strange about hay fever for me personally is, how random hay fever is to everyone. Like me, some don’t even get a sniffle or a runny eye. Some get some mild symptoms, a bit of discomfort and a sneeze or two. Then some look red all over with sore eyes. So let's look at hay fever in more depth and how we can relieve the symptoms, particularly in the eyes.

So what is hay fever?

The allergic reaction we know as hay fever is also called, allergic rhinitis, this causes cold-like signs and symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. But unlike a cold, hay fever isn't caused by a virus. 

Hay fever is normally at its worst between late March and September, so basically, the time of the year when it's finally nice to go out and make the most of the sunshine. It's especially bad when it's warm, humid and windy.

Pollen is the male fertilizing agent of flowering plants, trees, grasses and weeds. What also must be considered a factor with this allergic reaction, is how different types of pollen will affect different people. Here are some of the different types of pollen that might affect you:

  • Tree pollen is common in early spring.

  • Grass pollen is common in late spring and summer.

  • Ragweed pollen is common in fall.

  • Dust mites, cockroaches and dander from pets can be bothersome year-round (perennial). Symptoms caused by dander might worsen in winter when houses are closed up.

  • Spores from indoor and outdoor fungi and moulds are considered both seasonal and perennial.

So how does it impact the eyes?

So how does hay fever affect our eyes? The answer is dry eyes. Here at Eye Lounge, we have many years of experience dealing with this issue and a range of products to help.

Dry eye, as obvious as the name suggests, is when the eyelids have a lubrication deficit. Though scientist predicts that 1 in 5 people have dry eye conditions, the concept of dry eyes began thousands of years ago.  The first known record of any ocular lubrication dates back to 1550BC where Egyptian documents detailed tears as “the water within” thus establishing a relatively developed understanding of the ocular anatomy considering the time. Despite this, any form of ocular care wasn’t developed for thousands of years later in the mid-1850s.

Our eyelids, when shut, slide on a compound consisting of oil, water and mucus across the ocular surface of our eyes. Whilst these compounds lubricate the eye, dry eye is when the water within that compound evaporates at an accelerated rate, thus meaning the eye becomes “dry.” This is, however, not the only cause of dry eye, there are a wide variety of factors to include, the second most important being the environment. Environmental factors such as wind, sun, heat, air conditioning and many more all contribute to the severity and volatility of dry eye.  People with dry eyes will normally describe their eyes as irritating, scratchy, sore, red or painful.

Lastly, it is important to assess your day-to-day environment. Do you have the heating on full, or air conditioning blowing in the car? Are you blinking enough, or staring into your computer without giving your eyes enough rest? Are you eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit and omega oils? Are you getting enough rest? It is always important to treat the cause as well as the condition.

So the big question which I imagine many of you are asking about is, whether we have this allusive cure for hay fever but alas no. But we do have a few pointers that may help...

Tips to help with hay fever

1) Cleaning - One of the most basic things you can do is make sure your house is regularly hovered and cleaned or dusted. As mentioned above my other half suffers a bit and around this time we more than normal up the ante on our dusting and hovering to help her. And if you go outside changing your clothes or showering will help rid your body of pollen that could be transferred into your home.

2) Vaseline - To combat hay fever you could use the old trick of Vaseline. If you put some around your nostrils, it will cause the pollen to stick to it and not go up to your nose. Clever.

3) Lagad Lacrima - It’s a common case that our eyes are subject to the symptoms of dry eyes. From extensive use of computer or TV screens, wearing contact lenses, effects of ageing or blepharitis or even cold, air-conditioned environments, our eyes can become dry, gritty, tired and irritated. Effective treatments are out there, but sometimes we want an alternative to drops or gels.

Lagad Lacrima is a dual purpose, an easy-to-take food supplement that helps protect our eyes from that irritating, dry sensation that dry eyes cause. By helping to promote the production of your tears, this supplement relieves you of discomfort. Lagad Lacrima also contains important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are found naturally in the human body including; Omega 3, Borage Oil, Zinc and more. These all help to reduce oxidative stress on the eye – both a cause and consequence of dry eyes. The recommended dose for Lagad Lacrima is two soft gels a day – preferably alongside a meal. 

So there you go, hay fever might not be curable at the moment but, you never know what the future holds and there are ways to manage it well and allow you to enjoy yourself in the glorious weather.