If you have hay fever then Spring and early Summer (May-July) is often a miserable time with red, watering and itchy eyes, a runny nose and continuous sneezing. The phenomenon is an allergic reaction to various pollens from trees and plants generally, weed seeds and even wind blown chaff. Medically, it is known as allergic rhinitis and is the body’s response to antigens such as pollens by releasing histamine. It is histamine which stimulates both inflammation and irritation of the membranes in the lining of the eyes, nose and throat.
Ant-histamines are the usual method of treatment but there are alternatives which include Chamomile and Eyebright. When using chamomile, it is easy to soak a couple of cotton wool pads with a cooled amount of chamomile which is placed on the eyelid for 10 minutes to soothe sore and itchy eyes. Likewise, eyebright can be applied about three times a day where it works as an anti-inflammatory.