When pollen is in the air...

When pollen is in the air...

Anti-allergic eye drops

Eye symptoms and allergies - how are they related?

“Something‘s in the air” – the first thing that occurs to patients when their eyes start to itch and burn. And they would be right most of the time: allergy sufferers tend to associate the season when plants spread their pollen with an allergic reaction of their eyes. This is because allergens enter the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, the nose and the throat, where they trigger our immune system.

Typical symptoms of allergic eyes

Depending on how strongly our mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat react to allergens such as pollen, our eyes may itch, become red and swollen, often accompanied by sneezing spells and increased tear production. If such symptoms occur regularly when specific trees and types of grass are in bloom, then it is most likely a seasonal allergy, commonly known as “hay fever”, pollen allergy or grass allergy.

It is not always easy to determine whether conjunctivitis is due to an allergy or other causes (e.g. bacteria or viruses). If it is an allergy, then both eyes are typically affected. In addition, the symptoms of a pollen allergy usually increase in the daytime during the pollen season and the situation improves with bad weather, such as constant rain. Itching is a typical sign that you are having an allergic reaction. In general, the eyes do not itch with non-allergic causes.

You can complete an allergy questionnaire to find out whether seasonal plant pollen irritate your eyes. The allergy questionnaire, however, is not a substitute for an appointment with your doctor who can determine the exact cause. Your doctor can also perform an allergy test to see which substances you are allergic to and offer advice on which medication or eye drops can help you. You can also consult your pharmacist.

Cross-allergies alert! Frequently, patients allergic to plant pollen get an unexpected surprise when eating certain foods: They suddenly experience a tingling sensation in their palate or throat. This is often due to cross allergies. Their immune system reacts to proteins in foods that have a similar structure to the original pollen allergen. About 50% of all patients affacted by allergies also suffer from cross-allergies.

Possible triggers for allergic eyes

  • Airborne particles irritate the immune system

    With an allergy the body interprets typically harmless particles from the environment as dangerous foreign substances and starts a defence reaction. Allergens irritate our conjunctiva. As a result, the small capillaries dilate and the eyes appear reddened. In addition, the organism releases inflammatory response neurotransmitters such as histamine. These are among the causes of an increasingly itchy sensation in the eyes. If the affected eyes are not treated, this can often lead to conjunctivitis with severely watering eyes, known as allergic conjunctivitis. The nose also starts to run and regular sneezing attacks occur.

    In addition, allergy sufferers should also be aware of other symptoms, such as coughing, trouble breathing out or shortness of breath. These may be signs that an allergy has evolved into allergic asthma.

  • Seasonal allergens

    During spring and summer mostly, plants begin to bloom and to release their pollen into the air. Many people have allergic reactions to the farina of grass, herbs or grains, as well as to early blooming trees such as hazel, alder and birch. They suffer from hay fever, which is medically known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. For people suffering from allergies, a few pollen grains are sufficient to cause an intense immune system reaction. Typical results are severely itching reddened eyes and severe sneezing spells. Many of those allergic to pollen react to a number of flowering plants, which leads to allergy symptoms occurring several times per year due to the different blossoming times. In addition, climate change has contributed to pollen being in the air for longer periods during the year. The dormant time of plants during winter has been significantly reduced within the past few years due to the rise in temperatures. Moreover, the changed temperatures also allow new plants to proliferate in our environment. One example is Ambrosia artemisiifolia (commonly known as ragweed) whose pollen is among the most powerful found anywhere.

    Do you suspect plant pollen is causing the allergic reaction of your eyes, that it could be a grass allergy? Then a pollen calendar can help you pinpoint the allergen or find out the times of year when you should be extra careful. The ZAUM (Zentrum Allergie und Umwelt) of the Technical University Munich, for example, provides a “pollen montoring map of the world”.

  • Year-round allergens

    Allergens such as animal hair, mildew, house dust or dust mites are not limited to specific seasons and widely found in nature.

    In case of an animal hair allergy, those affected do not react to the animal hairs as such, but to specific protein structures in the saliva, sebum and sweat glands of the animals. These proteins are transferred to the fur of pets by licking. They also bind to dust and are spread everywhere in the air. For allergy sufferers they cause intense itching of the eyes, increased tear production and sneezing.

    Patients allergic to dust mites do not react to the small arachnids themselves but to their residues, components of their chitinous exoskeleton and their faeces.

Relief for allergic eyes

It is not always possible to avoid all allergenic substances such as pollen and animal hairs in our environment. If the eyes are irritated, anti-allergic active ingredients can help. With an allergy, histamine is the main cause for itching and reddened eyes as well as increased tear production. Applied locally to the eye, antihistamines quickly alleviate acute symptoms. They prevent histamine from binding to specific receptors (histamine receptor blockers), inhibiting this neurotransmitter. The latest-generation antihistamines also prevent the release of histamine from mast cells. They also act anti-inflammatory. This triple action (e.g. of the active ingredients azelastine, ketotifen) is particularly beneficial for rapid treatment in the acute phase. In comparison, other anti-allergy medications have only a single action as histamine receptor blockers or must be taken preventively as they take a few days to work.

The anti-allergy eye drops from OmniVision provide quick relief. In order to prevent allergic reactions as well as irritation to already inflicted eyes, they do not contain preservatives.

Eye drops with the active ingredient azelastine

They soothe itching allergic eyes. They become effective after just a few minutes, providing relief for up to twelve hours. The contained active ingredient azelastine is a new-generation antihistamine and helps treat and prevent eye symptoms of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

Single-dose eye drops with azelastine

Azela-Vision® sine

Acts within a few minutes. The only Azelastine eye drops that are also available in small packsize with 10 single doses.

Multi-dose eye drops with azelastine

Azela-Vision® MD sine

Fast acting also in the convenient SafeDrop® bottle without preservatives.

Eye drops with the active ingredient ketotifen

They soothe allergic eyes due to hay fever and are well tolerated. They provide fast-acting relief for up to twelve hours. Allergo-Vision® sine is a highly effective allergy medication with a triple mode of action: anti-allergic (H1 blocker), mast cell stabilising and anti-inflammatory. Available as convenient single-dose packages in three sizes.

Anti-allergic eye drops with ketotifen

Allergo-Vision® sine

Acts within a few minutes, suitable also for children aged 3 and over and for breastfeeding mothers. Available starting with a small 10-dose pack.

Tips for patients suffering from pollen allergies

  1. Ventilate your rooms regularly! In the countryside, airborne pollen levels are highest in the mornings. In urban areas, levels tend to peak in the evenings. So in the countryside you should ventilate your home between 7 p.m. and midnight and in urban areas between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  2. Vacuum and mop your home regularly to remove any pollen. Special vacuum cleaner filters or vacuum cleaners for allergy sufferers are especially helpful for patients suffering from asthma.
  3. Wash your hair, every day if possible, before going to bed. During the pollen season we also recommend tying up long hair so it does not collect lots of pollen.
  4. Avoid getting changed in the bedroom wherever possible.
  5. Protect your eyes from pollen outdoors by wearing glasses or sunglasses.
  6. Keep the windows closed when driving – a pollen filter prevents pollen from entering your car.
  7. When the pollen count is very high, you should avoid strenuous physically activity outdoors. Always have a suitable product with you that you can use if your symptoms get worse.
  8. Keep an eye on the pollen count – check newspapers and the internet for the latest information. In our download section you can find our allergy guide – with a questionnaire, pollen count calendar and extra tips for your holidays and when you are on the go.

Our products for allergic eyes

Allergo-Vision® sine

Allergo-Vision® sine

Acts within a few minutes, suitable also for children aged 3 and over and for breastfeeding mothers. Available starting with a small 10-dose pack

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Azela-Vision® MD sine

Azela-Vision® MD sine

Fast-acting and also in the convenient SafeDrop® bottle without preservatives

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Azela-Vision® sine

Azela-Vision® sine

Acts within a few minutes. The only Azelastine eye drops that are also available in small packsize with 10 single doses.

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duraultra N sine

duraultra N sine

Immediate relief of reddening of the eyes – reasonably priced and with no preservatives

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