This Allergy Awareness Week (April 22-28), Specsavers stores across East Anglia are determined to help all Brits make the most of the warmer weather, by offering tips on how to handle hay fever this summer.

Common symptoms linked to the allergic reaction to pollen, include sneezing, a blocked or runny nose and red, itchy or watery eyes, and are often treated easily over-the-counter.

Basic treatments are often best

Samantha Moore, optical regional chair for Specsavers stores across East Anglia, said: 'More often than not, over-the-counter products, such as antihistamines tablets and anti-inflammatory eye drops can help with symptoms affecting eyesight, like itchiness and irritation. 'Sometimes, sufferers can feel a strong urge to rub their eyes, but we always advise customers to try to resist as it only exacerbates the problem, and in rare cases, it can cause damage to the cornea.'

Hay fever can be particularly uncomfortable for those wearing contact lenses but, contact lens-friendly eye drops are also available, helping to ease any irritation. Wearing prescription glasses instead can also help by preventing pollen from getting into your eyes.

Hay fever can irritate ears, as well as eyes

This allergy can also affect the ears. Alongside causing itchiness and swelling to the outer ear, hay fever can also cause discomfort through popping ears or earache, due to a build-up of mucus can clog the Eustachian tube responsible for drainage.

Callum Biggs, audiology divisional chair for Specsavers stores across Essex said: 'Showering and changing after being outside will help remove pollen from your person and reduce your chances of being exposed to pollen and inhaling irritants, whilst antihistamines decongestants are always helpful in relieving symptoms.'

A common problem

With 29 per cent of Brits suffering from hay fever, Specsavers urge those with symptoms to go in-store for an examination.

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