Do you dread that time of year when the trees start to bud, the grass grows & the flowers blossom? Hay fever affects everyone differently, some have runny noses, some have irritated skin and some have irritated eyes. Allergies such as hay fever can occur at any time of life even if you have never had it before.
Wearing contact lenses can help some individuals as they act as a barrier between the pollen and the eyes. Daily disposables are the advised option as you wear a brand new pair every day preventing the build up of any deposits or toxins on the lens. Some lenses seem better than others at protecting the eye from the allergen, so if your current contact lenses don’t work an alternative type may be better. Ask your optician if this is an option for you?
Oral Anti Histamines
Try taking an over the counter anti histamine first, however check with your doctor if you are taking other medications or have any existing medical conditions first which may be effected. Do not take anti histamines if you have been diagnosed with raised intra ocular pressure such as Glaucoma without checking with a medical professional first. Some patients can also get side effects from taking anti histamines always read the label & information leaflet. If you get any of these symptoms cease taking anti histamines immediately & seek advice from your doctor.
There are 2 forms of eye drops available to treat hay fever symptoms;
Also branded Opticrom, can be purchased over the counter and is a mast cell stabiliser so need to be instilled 4 times a day everyday as it prevents the release of histamine which causes the symptoms of hay fever. However it may take up to 14 days to have its full effect and can not be instilled with contact lenses in situ.
is an alternative option especially for contact lens wearers, but it is only available on doctor’s prescription. Olopaterdine has dual action of both an anti histamine and a mast cell stabiliser so you may feel an improvement immediately upon application.
The drops also only need to be instilled twice daily morning and night so can be applied before you apply your contact lenses (just wait 10 mins) and on removal.
Theoloz Duo Gel
used morning and night can cool, clean & moisturise the ocular surface. It can also act as a protective shield for a few hours stopping the allergen from reaching the surface of the eye causing a reaction. The viscous nature of the gel will blur vision for a few minutes after application but once clear the eye can feel refreshed and cleansed.
Theoloz Duo Drops
can clean, cool & moisturise the surface and can be used as needed throughout the day.
Both these products are available from the practice without a prescription.
Steroid nasal sprays are medicines that are commonly used to treat symptoms of stuffiness or congestion in the nose. They are used most often for allergies of the nose, such as hay fever. They are also used for other causes of persistent inflammation of the nose (rhinitis). Steroid sprays reduce swelling and mucus in the nose, and usually work well. People with hay fever only need to use them for a few months of the year. Others may need to use them long-term. You can buy some steroid nasal sprays from your supermarket or local pharmacy, without a prescription.
You can discuss these and other options with your optician or doctor.As with any medications always read the label & information leaflet.