Hay fever: All you need to know about this summer allergy


picnicSpring (and arguably summer) has officially sprung, with parts of the UK reaching a sizzling 28 degrees celsius this week. But as excited as many of us are about a warm few months of bike rides, picnics and BBQs, the season also brings something many unlucky individuals are all too familiar with. The dreaded summer allergy, hay fever.

What is hay fever?


Hay fever is a common summer allergy to pollen, reacting when it comes into contact with the cells that line the eyes, nose and mouth. Pollen is a fine powder from plants and there are lots of different tyres of it. Grass pollen seems to be the most lethal to those with hay fever, with 90% of sufferers allergic to it.

When somebody with hay fever comes into contact with pollen, their body will start overreacting and producing allergic antibodies to deter it. Your body reacts in a similar way to other allergens, such as mould, and house dust mites. The chemicals released by your immune system are sent out to protect you from what has mistakenly been perceived as an infection, It is these chemicals that cause the infamous symptoms of hay fever.

hay fever eyes

How does this summer allergy affect your eyes?

Your eyes are one of the most common areas affected by hay fever, causing discomfort in the following ways:

Itchy eyes

One of the most common symptoms of hay fever are itchy eyes, which is a reaction to them being irritated. Remind yourself of how sore and irritated your eyes become when you get shampoo in your eye. Unpleasant, right? Those that suffer from hay fever can experience this kind of discomfort and irritation in their eyes.

Red Eyes

watery red eyes

When our eyes are irritated, they become red. The redness comes from the swelling blood vessels on the white outer surface of the eyes and is essentially the inflammatory response to your eye whilst it’s irritated.

You can see how hay fever becomes a vicious cycle when it comes to your eyes.

Whilst it’s tempting to rub your eyes, this is likely to cause more redness, as it increases the irritating and can damage other blood vessels.

Watery eyes

Watery eyes from this summer allergy is not only an annoyance, but can reduce your vision, as the extra water produced distorts the way the light falls onto the surface of your eye, which then makes your eyesight blurry. Whilst your body is producing these tears in an attempt to flush out the pollen irritant, it makes it frustrating to get on with your day-to-day tasks.

To make matters worse, once your watery tears start to try, the tears thicken and become sticky, making your eyesight even more blurred.

swollen eyesPuffy and swollen eyes

In some cases, hay fever can cause the eyes to become sore, swollen and puffed up. This happens when your blood vessels become inflamed and dilate, which then brings more fluid into the tissues affected.

Puffy eyes can last for a couple of hours until the irritation has reduced and your blood vessels restore themselves to their normal size.

Treating sore and irritated eyes

The impact of hay fever on our eyes can be extremely frustrating. But every cloud has a silver lining and the good news is that it’s extremely unlikely that any long term damage will occur to your eyes, and these symptoms will eventually pass.

Some ways to treat and reduce irritated eyes from hay fever include:

  • Antihistamine drops or tablets – these can be prescribed by your doctor and will help with itchy and watery eyes, as well as sneezing. You can get them in the form of eye drops or oral tablets. If this doesn’t work, your GP may prescribe steroidseye drops
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses – this will help stop the pollen getting into your eyes
  • Shower and change into fresh clothes after you’ve been outside – this will wash away any pollen that is still on you and reduce irritation as a result
  • Get treatment sooner rather than later – starting treatment early can keep your hay fever mild, as the more sensitive your body becomes the worse your symptoms to this summer allergy could get as the hot months continue
  • sunglassesBathe your eyes regularly in cold water – this will help soothe your eyes and reduce irritation
  • Try and avoid wearing contact lenses in hot, dry and dusty environments – contact lenses are likely to worsen the irritation. If you wear them, try and put sunglasses on top for a form of protection

Get your eyes protected as early as possible and take all the precautions to ensure you can enjoy the summer with healthy, happy vision.




By: David

If you are interested in vision correction at Focus Clinic please call us on 0207 307 8250 and book a free consultation.

Book your FREE consultation
Related Articles
  • english views

    The Best of English Views

    Here at Focus Clinics, we have collaborated with photographers from all over England to put together a photographic journal that showcases the Best of English Views today; in focus. From Yorkshire to Essex, and Norfolk to Cornwall, we asked each of the photographers to contribute an image of the landscape from their county that they […]

    Learn more
  • firework night

    Remember remember the 5th November, and to protect your eyesight of course

    Now Halloween is out the way, we look to the coming weekend to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, commonly known as bonfire or firework night. With shops stocked up full of firecrackers and fountains, it’s easy to forget about the precautions we need to take to protect our vision. Fireworks are a spectacular show, and whilst […]

    Learn more
  • cold eyes

    Cold eyes? Here’s how to protect your eyes this winter

    We are always reminded to protect our neck from the cold by wearing a scarf, or stop the heat leaving our head with a woolly hat, so why are we not taking the same type of precautions to protect us getting cold eyes this winter? Whilst the festivities have gotten into full swing today, the […]

    Learn more
  • healthcare doctor

    How much does each country spend on healthcare?

    Across the world, healthcare systems are relied upon by millions of people.  Whilst we may not realise just how pivotal these systems are in our lives when we are feeling healthy, they are in fact critical in not only protecting us from illness but also treating us if we become unwell. With the global movement […]

    Learn more
  • love couples

    Loved up? Here’s how your eyes are giving it away

    Love makes the world goes round and whilst we’ve all heard the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul, did you know they are also the passage to our hearts? As many of us celebrated Valentine’s Day this week, what better way to find out how much we can give away just […]

    Learn more
  • dark chocolate vision

    Need an excuse to eat chocolate? It’s good for your eyes

    With the Easter weekend only just over, there might be a few of us that are feeling a little guilty about the amount of chocolate we have eaten. But did you know that dark chocolate is actually good for our vision and can protect us from a number of diseases in our eyes? You probably […]

    Learn more
  • night vision

    The reason why our ability to see at night goes back to evolution

    The cavemen days were a long, long time ago, but human bodily behaviour in the 21st century is still proving to have qualities that originate back to this period. One of these aspects, is our night vision abilities. New research conducted by Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, studied the brains of 14 males across six different […]

    Learn more
  • yellow eyes

    Yellow eyes reveal a lot about your overall health, so don’t ignore it!

    We’ve all heard that the eyes are the window to the soul, but did you know they provide a pretty good insight into the overall health of our bodies too. So what does it mean if we develop yellow eyes? The whites of our eyes are referred to as ‘white’ for a reason. This area […]

    Learn more
  • milia

    Milia: What are those white bumps around our eyes?

    Have you ever experienced small, hard white bumps under the surface of your skin and mistaken them for whiteheads? Chances are you probably have milia. Milia often occurs around your eyes, eyelids and cheeks and is commonly caused by the build up of dead skin cells (also known at keratin), which then become trapped near […]

    Learn more
Get in touch
Thank you for getting in touch with Focus. Your message is on its way and one of our friendly team will be in touch shortly!


16th Jun


'I wanted the best and believe I got it'

big close

Book a free* consultation

Would you rather speak to someone?

*Opening Times:
Monday - Friday: 9am – 6pm Saturday: 9am – 3pm

Would you rather speak to someone?

Call: 0207 307 8250

to arrange your free* consultation
There is a refundable admin fee of £25 for consultations during the week and £50 for consultations in the weekend. This will be returned to you when you attend the appointment.
Mr Samer Hamada
laser and lens eye surgery specialist
 Samar Hamada