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Allergies giving you a runny nose and itchy eyes? Here’s help.

Published on May 23, 2022

Allergies giving you a runny nose and itchy eyes? Here’s help.

What causes a runny nose?

A runny nose — also known as rhinorrhoea — is excess drainage produced by the nose and surrounding mucous membranes; it can be thin and clear or thick mucus. Nasal congestion is one of the most frequent symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, allergies, sinus infections and nasal polyps.

When a cold virus or an allergen, such as pollen or dust, first enters the body, it irritates the lining of the nose and sinuses (air-filled pockets around the face), and the nose starts to make a lot of clear mucus. This mucus traps the cold virus or allergen and helps flush it out of the nose and sinuses.

Runny noses from hayfever

You may experience a runny nose if you are allergic to certain substances and are exposed by touching, inhaling or ingesting them. Typical allergy triggers include dust mites, pollen, animal fur, fungal spores, grass and mould. Hayfever, also called allergic rhinitis, is a common type of allergic reaction. Hayfever usually occurs in spring and on windy days due to the excess pollen in the air.

How do I treat a runny nose?

If your runny nose is allergy-related, an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Telfast® may help to ease the symptoms. Other simple relief strategies can include gently blowing your nose, using a saline nasal spray or steam inhalation to open the airways.

If your runny nose is due to a cold, rest and fluids are key. For advice on treatment options for a runny nose, please consult your healthcare professional.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

What’s causing my red, swollen and itchy eyes?

Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander and mould can trigger a condition known as allergic conjunctivitis in some people, which causes various eye symptoms, including:

  • Redness in both eyes
  • Itching and burning of the eyes and surrounding tissues
  • Watery discharge often accompanied by short‐term discomfort with bright sunlight
  • Swollen eyelids

The best way to prevent an episode of allergic conjunctivitis from occurring is to avoid the substances that trigger your allergies.

If you are affected, there are several things you can do to help relieve your symptoms. These include:

  • Remove your contact lenses if you wear them.
  • Use ‘artificial tears’, a type of eye drop that is available over‐the‐counter. Do not use the same bottle of drops in the other eye if it isn’t affected.
  • Try placing cold compresses over your eyes.
  • Washing pillowcases, linen and towels in detergent and hot water will help to reduce allergens as well.

While itchiness does suggest an allergic cause, similar symptoms may occur with other conditions like conjunctivitis or even the presence of a foreign body in the eye. Consult your GP or eye specialist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

Learn about which Telfast product may be appropriate for you.


MAT-AU-2102139. Nov 2021.

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