Ahead of this summer, Specsavers stores across Hertfordshire are underlining the help opticians can provide in relieving symptoms of hay fever.

With 29 per cent of Brits suffering from symptoms affecting eyes, ears and noses, optical and audiologist experts are highlighting the number of easily accessible treatments available over-the-counter this Allergy Awareness Week (April 22-28).

For speedy and accurate treatment, Specsavers stress that it is often more efficient to book an emergency appointment directly with your opticians before contacting your local doctors.

Opticians can offer accurate advice to relieve symptoms affecting eyesight

Daniel Harris, optical regional chair for Specsavers stores across Hertfordshire said: 'Often GPs will refer patients to the opticians for eye-related issues with most being resolved instore. Our experts can recommend over-the-counter products, such as ocular lubricants in the form of eye-drops or gels, as well as anti-inflammatory eye-drops, helping to ease red, itchy or watery eyes.

'Sufferers can feel a strong urge to rub their eyes, but we always advise customers to try to resist, because as well as making their itching worse, in rare cases it can also be damaging to the cornea.

'If your symptoms are so severe that you would benefit from being examined by an eye specialist, we can also arrange this.'

Audiologists can also advise actions to tackle headache and congestion

Hay fever can also cause your ears to become itchy or inflamed. Most commonly, it can irritate the outer ear, encouraging swelling or itching, or irritate the inner ear, where mucus build-up in nasal passages can cause congestion and lead to earache.

Callum Biggs, audiology divisional chair for Specsavers stores across Hertfordshire said: 'Where possible, staying inside when the pollen count is high will help avoid irritation to ears and eyes. Showering and changing your clothes after getting home also helps in reducing your exposure to pollen.

'Other basic steps at home, such as putting Vaseline around the nose to trap pollen, and vacuuming and dusting regularly also go far in preventing inhalation of any irritants. You can always try over the counter pain relief and decongestants.'

For more information or to book an appointment, visit your local store.

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