Discover how to end the misery of itchy eyes

The Good Life Letter
4th July 2010

  • Why is your hay fever worse this year?
  • And why it might not be hay fever!
  • How to solve the problem of itchy eyes fast

Vision Clear:

I was in a cafe the other day.... drinking some coffee and catching
up on the week's health news...

As I pored through a clutch of newspapers, I was constantly
interrupted by sneezing.

It seemed like the whole place was full of runny-nosed snufflers. It
was like the world had suddenly watched the death of Bambi's

All around me was a sea of red-eyed misery.

What IS it about hay fever this year? Is it me, or is everyone
talking about how much worse it is?

There was nothing in the week's papers about it. So as soon as I
got home I was on the internet, digging up some information.

And I have some interesting insights for you....

Why is your hay fever worse this year?

It seems that the long cold winter this year played a significant
part in the current misery.

The Daily Mail ran a story on the 14th May describing how trees
come out of hibernation with heavier pollen loads after arctic
conditions than they do after a mild winter.

The paper quoted pollen expert Jean Emberlin who predicted that
the cold conditions had delayed the growing season for trees &
grasses. More importantly that flowering would take place all at
once, taking pollen counts from very low to very high in the first
week of June. 

She wasn't wrong.

Then I discovered that our friendly sons of the soil may also be at

There is a significant change in land use for crops this year.  I
know that around me in late May it was as if someone had thrown
a yellow blanket over every field.

That's oilseed rape for you.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report
that the amount of the 'Yellow Peril' has increased this season by
9%, which means that there is over a half a million hectares
planted, and flowering.

In addition, the area being sown to wheat has increased by over
10% to more than 1.8 million hectares. This grass produces high
yields of pollen, with very little difference in timing between

It's almost like the perfect storm for pollen.

And why it may not be hay fever!

Finally, here's the twist......... and it's a good one. What if you
HAVEN'T got hay fever after all!

What if the runny eyes, bunged up nose and dry throat have
absolutely nothing to do with pollen?

It is possible that you have an allergy to your cat, your carpet or
the food you eat - and end up blaming it on pollen.

Suppose you begin to suffer one day in the office. 

Because of the beautiful weather we have had lately the chances
are that the windows are open or you might be taking a lunchtime
walk in the park.

It would be easy, then, to believe that you have an attack of hay
fever. And there is always the office expert to confirm that

But what if the person you sit next to has just got a new cat?  The
dust and hair from the creature would be over their clothes, and on
a direct route to your airspace.

Even though it's not you having to empty the litter tray, you might
as well have Felix curling up on your bed.

A report last week from the Royal College of Physicians stated that
MILLIONS of us don't get access to allergy specialists so have the
wrong diagnosis and treatment. One specialist, Dr Adrian Morris of
the Surrey Allergy Clinic said that all too often if someone sneezes
they are diagnosed with hay fever.

And it just might not be the case, making them spend years on the
wrong medication, without any benefit. Hardly a good thing.

So, whether this year's red eyes are due to too much pollen, a new
local moggy or the volcanic dust from Iceland, there needs to be a
way of making life better for my fellow cafe goers.

Here's what I've found out....

How to solve the problem of itchy eyes fast

You need to be sure that the reason you have itchy eyes is due to
dust or allergens in the air, and not as a result of any other

In particular, a deficiency of vitamin B2 can cause irritation to the

Sources of B2 in our diet include milk, cereals, meat and green
leafy vegetables. A shortage leads to a number of problems with
the eye including light intolerance, watery eyes and a stinging

See how it can easily be mistaken for hay fever.

In Friday's letter I told you how to protect your eyes with correct
nutrition, and how this product can help you reduce the risk of
serious degeneration;

Vision Clear:

I've also found some easy ways to help get rid of pollen and dust -
the first is a reader suggestion that I've used with a great deal of
success myself.

* Cold Water Wash. Fill a huge bowl with cold water. Hold
your breath then put your head into the bowl with your eyes
closed. Now open your eyes while your head is in the water,
and slightly move your head so it causes a little 
ripple of water to flow throw your eyes and nose. This clears
the eyes and nose from any build up of irritants.

* Cold Compress. Any form of cold therapy always helps to
relieve itchy and tired eyes, however, try refrigerating two
chamomile tea bags and placing them over the eyes for
fifteen minutes. As an alternative, slice refrigerated
cucumbers and place them over your itchy eyes.

* Eye Baths. Natural eye wash is available from most health
stores, however, you can make your own version simply by
boiling one cup of distilled water with one teaspoon of salt. 
Allow it to cool before use. Alternatively, use a simple
mixture of green tea and distilled water (two parts brewed
green tea to one part water).  Never store these home
remedies for more than a day or two to avoid bacterial
growth which could cause damage to your eyes.

And then a general housekeeping tip;

* Get Busy With Cleaning. Dust and allergens can be
carried in on clothes and by pets so you need to vacuum
regularly to keep the dust load down. It might even be
worth thinking about drying clothes indoors rather than
outside to avoid contact with pollen etc.

Of course, the levels of pollen and dust tend to be lower at the
coast due to the increased humidity in the air. So, take the
opportunity to have a few days away - which is what I have
planned for the next few weeks.

I'll be back from my well earned break in mid July, but the Good
Life Letter will be in very safe hands whilst I'm away.

My good friend Wendy Churchill will be covering for me, and I'm
sure she needs no introduction to you.

In her own words Wendy is "happy to hold forth on any subject
that tickles her fancy, a keen believer in a continual exploration
into the human condition, practical ways of living life better, and
anything in fact that can sweeten life on this mortal coil."

Like I said, you will be in safe hands!

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