Feel Good guide to hay fever and contact lenses

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Feel Good guide to hay fever and contact lenses

This summer is ALL about the outdoors. Feel Good Contacts want to show you how to ensure it’s not ALL about the hay fever too.

It may have escaped you but 2016 is the Year of the English Garden so, to maintain that fresh look what better time to get out and take in all the vitamin D on offer? Walk in the soft, warm grass, take time to smell the flowers or bask in the cool shade of a welcoming tree…Sounds good but in practice, many of us suffer from hay fever. In fact, estimates range between ten and eighteen million. 

Pollen


The allergy to pollen is among the most common we are susceptible to. If you are a contact lens wearer, the implications are even greater as pollen can get trapped under the lens. However, hang in there. Feel Good Contacts have helpful solutions to combat this summertime malady.

Proteins are found in microscopic grains of pollen that act as an irritant. Pollen needs to be able to travel far and wide; its design is so effective that it can sometimes feel insurmountable. Just think: pollen samples have been collected 3.5km into the air and 650km out into sea so don’t be surprised to find that it has no problem getting into your nose, throat, or eyes. This can cause itchiness, pains in the face (from the sinuses being congested), excessive sweating, headaches, sneezing, breathing difficulty and loss of smell. Bear in mind that some these are at the more extreme end of the symptom list, discomfort will mostly come down to itchiness in the eyes and throat, and sneezing.

What to do

Contact lens wearers should obviously try to avoid pollen as much as possible by keeping windows closed and surfaces clear with a dampened duster. When outside during a high pollen count, it’s perhaps best to wear prescription glasses. For your convenience though, try using wrap-around sunglasses – the curved frame helps to keep pollen out.

Contact lenses are more effective for hay fever sufferers in the evening when pollen levels naturally drop. Daily contact lenses are definitely worth considering in the summertime so that you instantly rid your eye of the day’s pollen build-up. It’s worth noting that hay fever can cause the upper eye lid to swell slightly, causing soft lenses to ‘ride high’ and thus disrupt vision. 

As well as reducing the amount of time you keep contact lenses in for, we recommend investing in eye drops as a measure of protection. Eye drops act simply like natural tears to clean away any debris such as pollen, dust or grit. There is a very thin membrane around the eye ball called the conjunctiva; it keeps the eye lubricated with tears or mucin. Hay fever can cause conjunctivitis which is the conjunctiva’s inflammation. Eyes become red, gritty and itchy. In hot conditions like summer, the problem is exacerbated. Our range of eye drop products will alleviate the symptoms hay fever. Most of our drops are preservative-free and come in a variety of different sizes and even mediums to suit your preference and budget. If you find drops uncomfortable to administer, try a liquid gel, refreshing eye mist or even eye wipes. We must stress that if the problem persists then you should refrain from using contact lenses until the season is over. 

Any specific questions about your eye health can always be emailed to us at: optician@feelgoodcontacts.com

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