Are people across the UK potentially ignoring signs of dangerous eye conditions by misdiagnosing symptoms as allergies?

That’s the question Specsavers is asking this Allergy Awareness Week.

Bloodshot, burning and swollen eyes are all symptoms of common allergies like hay fever. With the summer months fast approaching and temperatures on the rise - so are the levels of pollen in the air.

However, many people don’t realise that these symptoms typically associated with allergies could also be the signs of a potentially serious eye condition.

Spotting the signs

Dr Nigel Best says: ‘Dismissing streaming or puffy eyes as just hay fever is a mistake many people make during the summer months. If you start to experience discomfort or irritation that doesn’t go away with the help of antihistamines, there’s a chance it could be the sign of an eye infection.

The importance of acting fast

‘Irritated, achy and red eyes can also be a sign of iritis[1], which in some cases can lead to serious complications including cataracts, glaucoma, calcium being deposited on the cornea, swelling within the retina or irregular pupil from scar tissue sticking to the cornea, making the iris sluggish in its reaction to light.

Detection and Intervention
‘It’s important to seek the advice of your optometrists as they will be able to provide guidance on the correct care and solutions.

'In addition, a number of Specsavers stores now offer eye health clinics where you can receive treatment for a range of minor eye conditions without needing to visit your GP or hospital.’

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