As the weather continues to hot up, and the easing of lockdown restrictions allow us to enjoy the great outdoors once more, it can be a tricky time for allergy sufferers.
High pollen counts are bad news for hay fever sufferers who often succumb to symptoms such as sneezing, headaches, itchy eyes and even inflamed ears. Now that we are allowed out more for exercise, with hiking and mountain biking being encouraged, this is becoming more of an issue. Plus, as temperatures increase and windows are open and gardens being enjoyed, hay fever can affect us at home as well!
As well as sneezing and a blocked or runny nose, hay fever can also be particularly problematic for contact lens wearers. The director of Specsavers Ópticas Marbella, Nerea Galdos-Little says: ‘Hay fever sufferers who wear contact lenses may notice the vision through their lenses can appear smeary and eyes can generally feel uncomfortable.
‘However, there are some things contact lens wearers can try to help reduce the irritation. Contact lens-friendly eye drops can help to calm down any itchiness, and wearing prescription glasses (particularly wraparound sunglasses) can prevent pollen from getting into your eyes. Those suffering with hay fever could also try daily disposable lenses during the summer months.’
‘To avoid irritation, try putting a balm like Vaseline around the nose to trap pollen, and vacuum and dust your home regularly, or you can try over-the-counter allergy relief. Staying inside when the pollen count is high will also help to avoid irritation, and showering and changing your clothes when you get home will help to remove pollen from skin and hair,’ advises Nerea.
It is also important to note that, while a runny nose is a common symptom for allergy sufferers, for a few people it has also been a reported symptom of coronavirus*. If you are experiencing any of the other symptoms, such as a dry cough, fever or tiredness, make sure that you self-quarantine and seek medical advice.
It is normal for hay fever sufferers to have red, itchy and watery eyes, which is actually a form of allergic conjunctivitis. Coronavirus can cause conjunctivitis but it is rare, occurring in only about 1-3% of affected people. Conjunctivitis associated with coronavirus tends to occur in the later stages of the disease and alongside more common symptoms such as a continuous cough and fever. If you have none of the other symptoms associated with coronavirus it is unlikely that it is the cause of your conjunctivitis.