Looking after your eyes this spring and beyond
The Easter weekend marked an easing of restrictions in the UK and get -togethers, all be it small could happen outside and in private gardens. It seems such a long time ago that we were able to sit and chat with family or friends in our own space. I know many of us are looking forward to catching up with more friends and family over the coming weeks.
Our gardens are coming back to life too after their winter slumber and those of us who discovered gardening during last years lockdowns will be keen to get back to gardening and outdoor DIY projects.
Whilst the weather is warming up and allowing us to socialise and spend more time outside, it also brings with it the start of the hay fever season and the misery of those all too familiar symptoms of sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes.
Most allergy sufferers are aware of antihistamines, but there is plenty that you can do to help reduce your symptoms. Avoidance is probably top of my list, watch the pollen forecasts and try to stay inside on days where the pollen index is high and keep doors and windows closed where possible. If you have been outside take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes to remove any lingering pollen once back inside. Avoid rubbing your eyes and wear sunglasses when you are outside to prevent pollen entering your eyes. Keeping your eyelids clean may also help to remove any pollen build up, and a cool compress can relieve eyelid swelling and help to dampen that burny, itchy sensation. Lubricating eye drops can also offer symptomatic relief. FUSION Allergy is a new range of natural products designed to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and includes a cooling eye mask, eyedrops and nasal spray. You can find out more about the range here.
If you are gardening or indeed building that new decking that you have promised yourself then don’t forget to wear protective eyewear. We are all familiar with the importance of eye protection when embarking on a DIY project, but it is easy to overlook the hazards of branches and twigs so make sure your eyes are protected for those gardening projects too. And remember to avoid touching your eyes to avoid potential irritants from handling plants.
We should all remember the importance of protecting our eyes against the effects of UV when we are outside. This is important for adults and children alike as UV exposure has been linked to eye conditions such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). When choosing sunglasses look for the British Standard or CE mark to ensure they have been made to the appropriate safety standard. You can also protect your eyes by wearing a hat with a brim or a sun visor in bright sunlight.
Finally, as the weather hopefully warms up, remember to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water which is not only good for our bodies but will also help to protect our tears from drying out and leading to the symptoms of dry eye.
As always, if you have any concerns about your eyes or if any persistent discomfort, please seek advice from your Optometrist.
Enjoy the outdoors and stay safe