What are the symptoms of hay fever?

  • Itchy, watery or red eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Itchiness in the back of the throat, nose and ears

For some people, the protein found in pollen can cause their eyes to become irritated and inflamed, as well as the nose, throat and sinuses. This can become quite uncomfortable and even debilitating – preventing you from enjoying warm, sunny days when the pollen count is at its highest.

As a result of these symptoms, hay fever can be quite problematic for contact lens wearers. If your eyes become itchy, red and watery, your vision through the contact lenses can appear ‘smeary’ and less sharp – not to mention uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Treating hay fever

Over-the-counter products

  • Antihistamines
  • Nasal spray
  • Eye drops

If you’re a contact lens wearer

  • Try contact lens friendly eye drops to calm down itchiness
  • Wear your glasses if your eyes feel uncomfortable
  • Ask your optometrist about daily disposable lenses

Things you can do yourself

  • Keep an eye on daily pollen counts so you can take necessary precautions
  • Avoid going outside on days with high pollen counts wherever possible
  • Shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside
  • Avoid hanging your clothes to dry outdoors
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen getting into your eyes

Be allergy aware

Because it’s so common around the summer time, it’s easy to assume your symptoms may be related to hay fever. However, many people don’t realise that symptoms typically associated with allergies could also indicate other potentially serious eye conditions.

So if your symptoms become worse, or don’t go away with the help of antihistamines, it’s a good idea to come and see us.

  • Uncomfortable and sore eyes can be a sign of an eye infection, or conjunctivitis
  • Irritated, achy and red eyes can be a sign of iritis, which in some cases can lead to serious complications including cataracts and glaucoma

Did you know?

Eye tests are bulk billed to Medicare so there are no out of pocket expenses for you.

Frequently asked questions

Listed on a valid Medicare card without Optometry restrictions.