5 things you need to know about hay fever

Thursday, 18 June 2020 by Vision Direct

The country is beginning to open back up, and we can soon trade in our days at home for strolls down the high street and day trips to our favourite parks. But with these new freedoms, it can be easy to forget that more time outside means that your symptoms of hay fever may be worse. June and July are peak months for grass and weed pollen, which are the most common causes of hay fever and can bring out the worst of your hay fever symptoms, such as sneezing and dry, itchy eyes. As we all prepare for more time outdoors, our optical experts have put together a list of five important things to know about hay fever, so you’ll be ready for any activities that summer brings your way.

Can dogs get hayfever?

Believe it or not, if you’re suffering from hay fever then your furry friend could be too. Dogs experience hay fever in a similar way to most humans - although they’re less likely to have runny noses and itchy eyes, and are more likely to have skin irritation. Your dog will most likely show hay fever symptoms by constantly itching or biting at the skin.

So what causes hay fever in dogs? This is also similar to humans - they’re experiencing an allergic reaction to pollen particles that are more prevalent in the spring and summer months. Their hay fever may be worse if they’re experiencing these pollens for the first time, so if you’ve adopted a puppy in lockdown be sure to look out for the symptoms. If you’re wondering how to stop hay fever from affecting your dog, here are a few things you can do:

  • Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid going outside at midday, when pollen counts are highest.
  • After a walk, wipe your dog’s fur, skin, and paws with a damp cloth to remove any pollen buildup.
  • Vacuum your home and wash your dog’s bedding regularly.

Of course, if you suspect these symptoms are anything other than hay fever, you should consult your veterinarian - unless your dog also needs contact lenses, this isn’t exactly our area of expertise.

Can cats get hayfever?

Based on the above, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that cats can get hay fever too. Cats also tend to exhibit hay fever symptoms by itching or biting their skin or paws, and in some cases by sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and even snoring due to an inflamed throat. However, if your cat is an outdoor cat, preventing hay fever can be difficult. Regular baths and washing of bedding can help, as well as visiting your vet to learn about available medicinal treatments.

Can babies get hayfever?

Can babies get hayfever?

Speaking of the small and cuddly, you may be wondering if your baby is as affected by the pollen as you are. Babies can get hay fever, but it’s not very common for children under the age of 5 to be affected. Babies are more likely to experience hay fever symptoms if a close family member does, or if the baby has asthma.

A baby with hay fever might rub their eyes, have red, watery eyes, a runny nose, or experience sneezing, coughing, or even wheezing. You can differentiate hay fever from a cold in babies if the symptoms are seasonal, get better when they’re away from grass and worse on warm, sunny days, and if your baby’s symptoms don’t include a fever.

You can reduce your baby’s hay fever symptoms in the same way you would reduce your own: keep an eye on the pollen count, dress them in a wide-brimmed hat and wraparound sunglasses when outside, and change their clothes and wipe their hands and faces after playing outdoors. It can also help to avoid hanging their clothes outside to dry, and to try keeping the windows in your home and car closed as much as possible.

Can I wear contact lenses during hayfever season?

Here’s the good news: you can definitely wear contact lenses during hay fever season. In fact, they may even alleviate some of your symptoms. We recommend switching to daily contact lenses during hay fever season, as they can be easily removed and disposed of without worrying about pollen buildup. Each day is a fresh start with a new, clean pair of lenses. Daily disposable lenses like everclear ELITE are a convenient, affordable way to reduce hay fever symptoms and increase your time enjoying the outdoors. And you’ll have enough to worry about with washing your cats, dogs, and babies - why worry about washing your lenses too?

Grab your everclear ELITE free contact lens trial here.

Can you cure hay fever permanently?

Here’s the bad news: there is no hay fever cure that can make all of your symptoms go away. However, there are many ways to reduce and relieve your symptoms, ranging from the extreme to the natural. Some find relief in getting a regular hay fever injection, while others enjoy natural hay fever remedies, such as drinking cleansing teas with local honey. We can’t offer you advice on how to cure hay fever permanently, but we can help you learn how to stop hay fever from ruining your time outdoors. Our top recommendations for hay fever treatment are:

  • Switch to daily contact lenses
  • Carry hydrating eye drops with you
  • Be aware of pollen count and pollen buildup on you, your pets and your belongings
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