Hay fever is the most common form of allergy which affects two in five Australians throughout the Spring and Summer seasons. Mainly affecting the eyes and nose, typical symptoms include sneezing, itchy ears, nose, eyes and throat, a runny or stuffy nose and red, watery eyes.
How symptoms can be relieved
- Try to identify what triggers your hay fever and avoid these as much as possible
- Keep windows closed during the pollen season
- Splash eyes with cold water at regular intervals to flush out pollen
- Make use of air conditioning and/or air filtering systems in your house and car
- Anti-histamine medications help control sneezing and itching and assist in soothing the eyes from irritation
- Eye-drops relieve itchy, swollen or watery eyes
- Nasal sprays help reduce the inflammation in the nose which is the cause of nasal blockage and other symptoms.
Hay fever and contact lenses
If you suffer from hay fever and are a contact lens wearer, you may not be very comfortable wearing them during hay fever season. Useful tips include:
- Avoid wearing contact lenses when outside conditions are hot, dry and dusty during hay fever season, or when mowing the lawn
- Wearing sunglasses in addition to contact lenses may help protect your eyes from dust and pollen circulating in the air
- When the pollen count is very high, switch to wearing glasses rather than contact lenses to avoid irritation
- Consider using daily contact lenses; replacing them daily reduces the chance of protein build up that can lead to sore, irritated eyes
Although hay fever can have a large effect on your day to day life, there is relief available. Taking simple precautions and utilising products available on the market to assist with hay fever symptoms can help limit your discomfort and help you enjoy the most out of every day.
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Dry Eye Syndrome can now be a thing of the past for Gold Coast residents with the arrival of a breakthrough IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment at Main Beach Optical.
“IPL is revolutionising how we manage dry eye syndrome, and is the treatment that eye specialists and sufferers of Dry Eye Syndrome have been waiting for,” said Optometrist, Dr Michael Jackson.
“More than 20 per cent of the Australian population will experience Dry Eye Syndrome. The Syndrome manifests as dry, sore and itchy red eyes, with associated poor quality of life and eye function,” he said.
“Up until now, treatments for Dry Eye have been restricted to ongoing use of over the counter and prescription eye drops. Unfortunately these only provide transient relief. About two years ago we started using Manuka honey eye drops, which has been useful in alleviating dry eye symptoms. However, IPL is allowing us to take treatment to a whole new level.”
“IPL technology uses perfectly calibrated, intense light pulses which stimulate glands within the eye to return to normal function. With just three treatments of three minutes duration, and then periodic top-ups, we now have the opportunity to really nail this debilitating condition,” he said.
This technology is non-invasive, pain free, and has no negative side effects. Patients often report an improvement within hours of their first treatment.
Dry Eye Syndrome is primarily caused by a dysfunction of the Meibomian gland. There are more than 80 Meibomian glands located in the upper and lower eye lids. These glands produce oil which helps to prevent tear evaporation. People with Dry Eye have an oil layer within their tears that is unstable and thinner than normal. Often it is attributed to increasing age and more commonly affects females than males. In addition to hormonal causes, it can be triggered by windy, dusty dry weather as well as the effects of modern living, with computer screens, driving, artificial light, air conditioning, pollution and contact lenses all recognised contributors to the condition.