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Springtime, Sinuses and Your Eyes

Health • by Paul De Beyer • 25 August 2021
Most people look forward to the end of winter. As the season changes to spring, the weather gets warmer and the flowers start to bloom. Incredibly beautiful! However, for some of us, spring comes with an overriding sense of inevitable suffering.

You settle onto a park bench – there’s summer in the air. Suddenly, you can’t see. Your vision is blurry, your eyes are itching and your nose is twitching. You sneeze once, twice, seventy-two times…

You get the picture. Not a fun time.

Hay fever does many things to your sinuses, but what is it actually doing?

Hay fever is, in fact, your own immune system turning against you. Your body has effectively identified a harmless airborne substance as dangerous – in this case, pollen.

It then sends out an army of antibodies to battle the infection, and these antibodies tell your body to release chemicals into your system. One of these chemicals – histamine – causes a reaction that is hay fever.

But why my eyes?

Your sinuses, where one generally gets a reaction, are connected to your eyes via the nasolacrimal duct, otherwise known as the tear duct. This connective tissue means that your eyes get to experience things along with your nose.

Seasonal allergies like hay fever can cause your eyes to experience:

These symptoms can affect one or both eyes, and can become infected much like your sinuses would in the case of sinusitis. This is known as an orbital complication, and is when the infection of your sinuses travels to the back of the eye.

This can cause:

Keep your eyes healthy!

While hay fever can be a pain, keeping your eyes healthy shouldn’t be. We should all get our eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. Luckily, all GetSavvi Health members have the chance to add optometry to their plans.

Optometry Top-up Benefits offers one consultation or eye test, one pair of preferred provider network spectacle frames, one pair of single vision lenses, and one pair of bifocal lenses per family every 24 months.

What better time to get your eyes checked than now? Chat to our Customer Services department on 0861 18 92 02 or email talktous@getsavvi.co.za to find out more about our optometry benefits.

References:
How does sinus affect your eyes
What Causes a Feeling of Pressure Behind the Eye?
How Sinuses Affect the Eyes
Acute sinusitis

How Nasal Function Influences the Eyes, Ears, Sinuses, and Lungs
Hay fever
The Eye and the Nose:What’s the Connection?


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