Home > Treatment > Treating Hay Fever with Eye Drops

Treating Hay Fever with Eye Drops

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 26 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Eyes Hay Fever Symptoms Eye Drops

Eye drops are a commonly used treatment for hay fever and are a welcome relief for those who suffer from the itchy red and inflamed eyes that occur as a symptom of hay fever. In particular, bloodshot eyes can be very socially distressing and the more a person rubs his or her eyes, the more irritated the eyes become. Red eyes can detract others from your work while leaving you embarrassed and in discomfort from the irritation.

Basic Eye Drops

There are eye drops that are geared for generalized relief of red or dry eyes, regardless of the condition triggering the pain. Brands such as Visine provide artificial moisture to the eyes and are helpful if you suffer from dry eyes, particularly if you find you are rubbing them often in attempts to manually relieve the irritation.

These types of eye drops are quite cheap but shouldn't be used too frequently, or you can suffer a rebound effect, where your eyes are dryer than they initially were prior to use of the eye drops. You can keep these eye drops on hand for occasional use, particularly if you have social or professional engagements and want to relieve dryness and redness.

Antihistamine Eye Drops

Antihistamine eye drops often include the drug called levocabastine and work well to relieve the irritation hay fever sufferers experience in their eyes. The drug tends to begin working within ten to fifteen minutes of application and works by blocking action of the chemical histamine that is released during an allergic reaction. Your inflammation should be reduced or eliminated, providing effective relief.

Although levocabastine is no longer available in the United Kingdom, you may find it in other locations.

Antiallergic Eye Drops

The drugs cromoglycate and nedocromil are used in eye drops to treat hay fever. Cromoglycate works to stabilise the mast cells, which are an important feature of the immune system. When exposed to an allergen, mast cells become activated and respond by releasing histamine, which then causes inflammation as part of your body's response to fighting the allergen.

Both cromoglycate and nedocrimil are considered highly effective drugs, although they can sting a bit when first applied. Your eyes will likely tolerate the application better after a few uses. These drugs also tend to work best for seasonal allergies and can be used as preventative mechanisms or as treatment after eye hay fever symptoms appear. They do not contain steroids and they are often used if an antihistamine eye drop product has not provided sufficient eye relief.

Important Cautions

If you wear contact lenses, it is generally recommended that you don't wear them when treating with eye drops. This is particularly true for wearers of soft contact lenses; preservatives and other ingredients in hay fever eye drops can be absorbed by the lenses and subsequently may cause irritation.

It's also important to note the expiration dates because eye drops tend to have fairly short expiration dates, especially once opened. Once you have taken the drops, your vision may blur but this is only temporary and will resolve.

Red, inflamed and irritated eyes are not only painful but also socially embarrassing because they alert the world to your hay fever symptoms and detract others from your work and personality. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the different eye drops available and you can find the ones that work best for the frequency and severity of your hay fever symptoms. You shouldn't have to suffer from painful eyes and once you find a treatment plan that incorporates the right eye drops for your discomfort, you can get back to clear, healthy and painless eyes.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Robbo
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    Hi i always have a clammy throat and sometimes feel short of breath use nasal spray seems to work somedays doctor says i just got…
    28 February 2018
  • ClaireB
    Re: Common Symptoms Of Hay Fever
    Feeling weird almost like drowsy, weight on upper chest, throat area, burning in throat, tickly cough etc this has been worst…
    23 August 2017
  • Keith
    Re: Steroid Injections
    kenalog injection are not available on the NHS I'm going private for this as I can't cope with my eyes watering constantly anymore.
    4 August 2017
  • HayfeverExpert
    Re: Tree Pollen
    Chris - Your Question:My allergy is at its worst from early July sometimes until mid September. I am convinced it is an allergy to trees. My street is
    4 August 2017
  • Chris
    Re: Tree Pollen
    My allergy is at its worst from early July sometimes until mid September. I am convinced it is an allergy to trees. My street is lined with numerous…
    1 August 2017
  • TimPH
    Re: Steroid Injections
    Hi there This season I have really bad Hayfever ... I'm miserable and my eyes are in a terrrible state. I had Kenalog injections a few years…
    9 July 2017
  • charliexo
    Re: Common Symptoms Of Hay Fever
    I have a tickly throat that makes me feel sort of gaggy at the back of my throat. I also have a blocked nose and dry itchy eyes. I…
    21 June 2017
  • Joonhen
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I have read somewhere that tree pollen is more active in the mornings up to 10 ..11am is this true as my symptoms do improve as day goes on
    8 April 2017
  • jono
    Re: Tree Pollen
    From the End of February for approx 8 weeks Tree Pollen is unpleasant and causes Asthma, Blocked nose and constant watering & itchy eyes. For myself…
    12 March 2017
  • HayfeverExpert
    Re: Rebound Nasal Congestion
    Anna - Your Question:Been addicted to sudafed blocked nose spray for about 3 months. I have threw my bottle away. I'm on day four with…
    9 January 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the HayfeverExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.