May signals start of hay fever season - how to protect your eyes and ears

Hay fever sufferers are being warned to watch out as the pollen count starts to increase with the warmer weather this May.

Hay fever is a common condition that many people experience, particularly coming into Spring. The condition is an adverse reaction to pollen – a fine powder released by plants during their reproductive cycle.

Those with allergies may find themselves succumbing to sneezing, headaches and itchy eyes and ears. However, the experts at Specsavers Athlone are here to help with their tips on how to best ease symptoms.

“As well as sneezing and a blocked or runny nose, hay fever can also cause red, itchy or watery eyes, which can be particularly problematic for contact lens wearers.

“If you wear contact lenses you may notice the vision through your lenses can appear smeary and your eyes can generally feel uncomfortable. While it can be tempting to rub your eyes to ease discomfort, it’s important to refrain. If the eyes become irritated, use a cool compress, or pop your eye drops in the fridge, to calm them down.

“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 sunglasses – particularly wraparound sunglasses – can prevent pollen from getting into your eyes. Those suffering with hay fever can also try daily disposable lenses,” Specsavers Athlone Ophthalmic Director, Keith McCallion, said.

When it comes to the impact on our ears, Specsavers Athlone Audiology Director, Ronan Byrne, stated that allergic reactions from hay fever can affect the lining of the middle ear via the eustachian tube, which links the middle ear to the nose and throat.

“If this becomes blocked it can lead to a build-up in pressure, which can cause discomfort, popping in the ears, earache and impair your ability to hear.

“To avoid irritation, try putting a balm like Vaseline around the nose to trap pollen, regularly vacuum and dust your home, 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,” Mr Byrne added.

For more information or to request an appointment at your local store in Golden Island Shopping Centre, visit or for more information on eye health and hay fever visit


Page generated in 0.1210 seconds.