I’m a pharmacist – here are 7 ways to cure your hay fever eyes

POLLEN bomb made your eyes dry, itchy and irritated?

Hussain Abdeh, Clinical Director and Chief Pharmacist at Medicine Direct, explains how to keep angry red eyes from hay fever at bay:

Hay fever season can wreak havoc on your eyes


Hay fever season can wreak havoc on your eyesPhoto credit: Getty


As any seasoned hay fever sufferer knows, pollen causes the blood vessels in your eyes to swell.

“When you have hay fever, your body mistakes pollen for a harmful product and releases a chemical called histamine – it’s released naturally when you come into contact with an allergy trigger – causing your eyes to water or itch uncontrollably. “


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Prevention is better than cure.

“Wear sunglasses,” says Hussain. “This minimizes the risk of pollen particles coming into contact with your eyes.”

Circumferential ones best protect your eyes.


TOO late for sunglasses?

“You can buy eye drops containing an antihistamine at pharmacies to treat the effects of hay fever on the eyes.

“These eye drops help reduce inflammation and relieve pain and itching.”

Over-the-counter antihistamines can also provide some relief.


IF your eyes feel like they are on fire, use a cold compress.

“Placing a damp washcloth or piece of kitchen paper over your closed eyes for about five minutes several times a day can help relieve pain and reduce swelling,” says Hussain.

“Aloe Vera is also a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

“Mix aloe vera gel with cold water. Dip a cotton pad in the mixture and place it over each eye for about ten minutes.”

An eye mask that you can stick in the freezer can also be a treat.


Whatever you do, don’t give in to the itch.

“Scratching can provide very temporary relief, but the reality is that it only makes the problem worse, making your eyes even redder and more irritated.”

Also avoid contact lenses. “Contact lenses will only increase the irritation and make things even more uncomfortable.”


YOU can try to avoid the pollen count, which peaks in the morning and late evening.

“If you don’t need to go outside on high pollen days, don’t do it,” says Hussain.

“Keep windows and doors closed and don’t hang laundry out to dry.

“Damp clothing is effectively a magnet for accumulating pollen particles, which can cause eye irritation.”

He also says to shower as soon as you get back inside to wash off any pollen and to put the clothes you were wearing in the washing machine.


Eye drops, cold compresses and antihistamines make no difference?

See your GP. “If your symptoms seem to be getting progressively worse, you should see your doctor as well.”

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Sarah Y. Kim

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