Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, according to the NHS. Signs of the condition are usually worse between late March and September, when the pollen count is at its highest. Hay fever symptoms include having an itchy throat, headaches, coughing, and watery eyes. But, you could also be at risk of the pollen allergy if you often notice the skin underneath your eyes turning blue, it’s been claimed.
Developing dark-coloured skin under your eyes may be one of the first signs that you suffer from hay fever.
The condition is known as allergic shiners, which describes dark circles under the eyes, and they may resemble bruises.
They’re caused by congestion in the nose and sinuses, which may be instigated by an allergy to pollen.
“Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like signs and symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure,” said the Mayo Clinic.
“Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or tiny flecks of skin and saliva shed by cats, dogs, and other animals with fur or feathers.
“Hay fever signs and symptoms can include swollen, blue-coloured skin under the eyes [allergic shiners].
“There are many possible causes of dark circles under your eyes, but allergic shiners got their name because allergies are best known for causing them.
“Allergic shiners are also called allergic facies and periorbital hyperpigmentation.”
Nasal congestion, which is linked to allergic shiners, is caused by swollen tissue and blood vessels in the nose.
If allergies are causing the dark circles underneath your eyes, you’ll likely have some other, more common symptoms at the same time.
These could include having watery, red and itchy eyes, an itchy throat, nasal congestion, and a pressure in the sinuses.
There’s currently no cure for hay fever, but there are ways to prevent it from developing, or to reduce your symptoms.
The best ways to lower your risk of hay fever symptoms include applying petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen, and wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen entering your eyes.
It’s also important to shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off.
Some tablets or nasal sprays could help to provide some relief from hay fever this summer.
But, you should see a GP if your symptoms are getting worse, or they aren’t responding to over-the-counter medication. Your GP may prescribe you steroids to prevent signs of watery eyes of headaches.