What to do for itchy eye allergies
Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.
They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:
- itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
- a blocked nose
Find a pharmacy
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- your symptoms are getting worse
- your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy
You can experience symptoms of a cat allergy correct when you enter into a room or home where a cat lives. Or the effects can start after you spend several hours in the area or with the cat.
A cat allergy can produce upper respiratory symptoms or may affect your skin.
Common effects f a cat allergy can include:
- Sore throat
- A skin rash, redness, or itching
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
While it is rare, swelling of the face, throat, or any part of the body can develop due to a cat allergy. If you develop swelling or become short of breath, seek medical attention immediately.
Cat allergies are more common than dog allergies, but this does not own anything to do with how friendly the cat or the person is.
Cat allergies are not associated with how much you love a cat or how much the cat likes you.
Getting along with your cat or a friend's cat is a completely diverse issue than having an allergy.
Check if you own hay fever
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- loss of smell
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- pain around your temples and forehead
- sneezing and coughing
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- feeling tired
If you own asthma, you might also:
- be short of breath
- have a tight feeling in your chest
- wheeze and cough
Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
What causes hay fever
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat.
Pollen is a fine powder from plants.
Check the pollen forecast
Media final reviewed: 21 April 2017
Media review due: 21 April 2020
Sheet final reviewed: 21 December 2017
Next review due: 21 December 2020
The clocks own gone forward, the evenings are growing lighter and across the land, GP surgeries are bracing themselves for an influx of sneezing, snivelling patients begging for assist with their hay fever. About one in four Britons, or 16 million people, are now affected by allergic rhinitis – to give hay fever its official name – compared with just one in eight in the early 1980s. A century ago, the illness was almost unheard of.
No one is certain about the reasons behind this astronomic rise, but the majority of immunologists point the finger at the hygiene hypothesis: the theory that our ultra-clean homes own left numerous immune systems less capable to tolerate irritants.
Yet despite – or maybe because of – hay fever being so widespread, numerous people are ignorant of fairly how debilitating it can be. “Family members, GPs, even patients themselves can dismiss hay fever as just a bit of sneezing, but for about 10% of sufferers it causes abject misery,” says Professor Stephen Durham of the Royal Brompton allergy clinic in London. “It worst affects young, athletic people at work and school: studies show it can increase by 70% the chance of their summer exam grade being worse than their previous, out-of-season mock test results.”
But young people aren’t the only ones suffering: studies show that increasing numbers of adults in their 30s, 40s and 50s are developing hay fever.
Half a million new “middle-aged” cases are predicted in the next decade, according to the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit. Of these, numerous never even suspect an allergy, instead believing they are suffering from a permanent freezing. Dr Adrian Morris, the director of the Surrey Allergy Clinic, says: “Many go to the GP complaining of sinus problems and finish up on antibiotics, when they really own hay fever and need antihistamines and nasal sprays.”
Others, warns Amena Warner, a nurse adviser at Allergy UK, treat their stuffiness with over-the-counter decongestants, which, used long-term, leave the nasal lining even more inflamed and susceptible to problems.
“You need a correct diagnosis so you can properly treat the problem,” she says.
There are also numerous people convinced that they own hay fever when in fact they are suffering from a diverse allergy. “Hay fever is a stupid name, really,” says Durham.
“It is an allergy to grass, not hay, and it doesn’t produce a fever.”
If you are sneezing and own itchy eyes before the grass pollen season starts in June, you may own an allergy to birch pollen, which is increasingly common. Other trees and plants that spark allergies at diverse times of year include plane, oilseed rape, oak and nettle. If your nose becomes runny in early spring or autumn, it could be the result of a mould allergy.
If the sniffing continues every year circular, you might own an allergy to dust mites, mould or pets. “You may be attributing your sneezing to pollen, when in fact it is because you are sitting next to someone in the office who has a cat,” says Morris. What it is not so likely to be is a food allergy: these affect only 3% of the population, although 30% believe they own one.
Those in doubt should be referred to an allergy clinic, where tests, involving pricking your skin with tiny amounts of allergens to check for reactions, can be carried out.
But waiting lists are often months long: Allergy UK points out that there are only 30 allergy specialists in the UK, one for every 700,000 sufferers.
And testing doesn’t always provide answers, as I discovered myself. After years of a permanent runny nose, blocked ears and volcanic sneezes, my GP finally referred me to a clinic. My skin-prick tests every showed negative and I learned I was suffering from non-allergic rhinitis, meaning I own every the symptoms of hay fever, but no identifiable allergy.
I’m far from alone: one Norwegian study estimated that as numerous as 25% of the population suffers from this condition, which can make life every bit as miserable as for those with a known allergy.
Experts generally link the condition to changes in temperature or hormones, or sensitivity to environmental factors such as car exhaust, perfume or detergent.
But to make matters even more confusing, current research indicates that as numerous as 50% of those with non-allergic rhinitis may actually own an allergy after every, but one that skin-prick tests can’t identify.
Until new, more sensitive tests appear, millions of us may remain in the dark. And without knowing exactly what our allergy is, tackling symptoms can be hard. Most allergic rhinitis symptoms can be controlled with over-the-counter antihistamines such as loratadine that, unlike first-generation pills, don’t make you drowsy. Non-allergic rhinitis sufferers, however, are better off with a nasal spray such as Beconase.
Humidifiers, such as Dyson’s latest device that mists the room with ultraviolet-treated, bacteria-free water, can hugely relieve stuffy noses and sore throats.
Conversely, they can produce ideal breeding conditions for dust mites and mould. Similarly, drying sheets in sunshine helps those allergic to dust mites, but is a bad thought for people with hay fever as it coats bed linen in pollen.
It is crucial, then, to know exactly what your enemy is. “It is extremely simple to misdiagnose allergies – especially with the assist of Dr – and therefore for severe cases, it is a excellent thought to get a referral to an NHS allergy clinic,” says Durham. But with those lengthy waiting lists, in the meantime remember to stock up with tissues.
How to treat hay fever yourself
There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.
But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.
- stay indoors whenever possible
- hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
- do not hold unused flowers in the home
- do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
- do not cut grass or stroll on grass
- do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
- do not spend too much time exterior
- do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors
Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.
Treatments for hay fever from a GP
Your GP might prescribe steroids.
If steroids and other hay fever treatments do not work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.
This means you’ll be given little amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen.
This helpful of treatment generally starts in the winter about 3 months before the hay fever season begins.
What’s your allergy?
Birch: Second week of March to first week of June (peaks final week of March to mid-May).
Plane: Mid-March to mid-May (peaks final week of April to second week in May).
Oilseed rape: Last week in March to mid-July (peaks mid-May to finish of June).
Oak: First week of April to mid-June (peaks finish of April to first week in June).
Grass: First week of May to second week of September (peaks first week in June to final week in July).
Nettle: Beginning of May to finish of September (peaks final week of June to first week in August).
Mould: Early autumn and tardy spring.
Symptoms are worse inside than outside.
Dust: All year, but especially notable in winter when the central heating is turned on. Symptoms are worse indoors.
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Allergies to cats are fairly common, affecting up to 25 percent of people who also own other types of allergies. A cat allergy can cause symptoms such as red eyes and sneezing.
These allergies can be triggered by direct exposure to cats or by indirect exposure through fabric or air.
You may notice a cat allergy based on the timing of your symptoms. Sometimes, getting medical anti-allergy treatment can assist. But avoiding the cat may be necessary.