Allergic rhinitis and swollen eyes
In response to the likes of animal dander and pollen, in those with allergic rhinitis the immune system releases histamine. The aim of this chemical is to widen blood vessels in order to bring more fluid into the affected tissues and therefore wash out allergens. Inflammation can occur all over the body but it is more common in the eye area because the tissues in this part of the body are thinner.
Swollen eyes are particularly troublesome as the issue can remain hours after the allergen has been removed. This is because it takes time for tissues to settle back into their normal size and for fluid to be reabsorbed.
Issues around the eye, such as swelling, that are caused by an allergen are generally called allergic conjunctivitis.
What can you do?
Avoid foods containing lots of histamine – things like caffeine, smoked meat and alcohol are all high in histamine so these are best avoided when you’re suffering from allergic rhinitis as they will only worsen symptoms.
Cold compress – wet a cloth with cold water and use this to press round the eye area. This may have a soothing effect on your symptoms.
Glasses – if you know pollen is the cause of your allergic rhinitis then wearing glasses outdoors may help protect the eyes.
Opt for foods low in histamine - such foods include fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh chicken, fresh fish and herbal teas.
Triggers - removing or avoiding your trigger is an easy way to improve your allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Moisturising Eye Drops – inflammation around the eyes is normally accompanied by a whole set of other symptoms including redness around the eyes and itchiness. Therefore, to soothe irritated eyes it’s worth trying our moisturising eye drops. These contain Euphraisa which have a long history in the treatment of eye problems.
Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets – people often worry about the side effects of allergic rhinitis treatments but with these tablets you needn’t worry. Pollinosan contains seven tropical herbs which help to treat hayfever symptoms like inflammation without causing issues like drowsiness.
Anti-histamines – when swelling is particularly uncomfortable or persistent it may be necessary to visit a doctor or pharmacist who can offer anti-histamines. These can block the release of histamine which we know, in those with allergic rhinitis, is at the root of any inflammation around the eyes.
Eye drops – doctors may also prescribe eye drops with an anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine as these, once again, can improve any swelling around the eyes.