Eye Drops for Hay Fever


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If you develop itchy, watery eyes, it usually means you are having an allergic reaction to something. With hay fever, itchy eyes are one of the most common symptoms. Hay fever sufferers around the world are well aware that as soon as the ‘seasonal’ itch starts, that the hay fever season is upon them once again. One of the quickest and easiest ways to help alleviate the irritating eye symptoms is to use eye drops.

There are a variety of over the counter eye drop solutions available. Some will work more effectively on certain individuals than others so it is important to find out what works best for you and your particular level of symptoms.

Eye Drops with Antihistamines

Some eye drop preparations include antihistamines. These antihistamines find their way into the cells in the eye and promptly block the release of histamines. As it is the release of these histamines that cause the allergic reaction, once blocked from release they cannot go on to then produce an allergic response. The inflammation and redness associated with hay fever is thus eliminated.

Eye Drops with Decongestants

Decongestants are often available in an eye drop solution combined with antihistamines. While the antihistamines act as described above, the decongestants will help to reduce the amount of’ ’watering’ the eyes suffer from by helping to constrict the tear ducts. This in turn helps to reduce the amount of mucus that runs out of the nose.  In taking a combination eye drop solution many hay fever sufferers find a very good level of relief from the main symptoms associated with the condition.

Eye Drops with Mast Cell Inhibitors

Another type of eye drop employs the use of mast cell inhibitors. These inhibitors work somewhat like antihistamines in that they prevent the release of the histamines that cause the allergic response. But instead of chemically blocking the signal to release histamines, mast cell inhibitors act to ‘comfort’ mast cells, to trick them into thinking everything is ok and there is no reason to release histamines. This neutralises the allergic response before it can get underway and thus provides relief during the hay fever season. This type of eye drop is steroid free and a good alternative for those who cannot get enough relief from hay fever symptoms by using an antihistamine eye drop.

Side Effects of using Eye Drops for Hay Fever

One thing to be aware of when using eye drops for hay fever relief is the addition of preservatives in the eye drop solution. Many companies will add any number of chemical preservatives to help products last longer and to inhibit the growth of bacterial or microbiological organisms in the solution. Some hay fever sufferers will find that they are particularly sensitive to these additives and that upon application, a separate immune response will begin and an allergic reaction to the additive allergen will make the hay fever symptoms even worse. Additional symptoms might also arise such as burning in the eyes, swelling, headache and fatigue.

If you wear contact lenses, especially soft contacts, the ingredients in an eye drop solution are often absorbed into the lenses and may lead to further symptomatic problems. Always see your doctor if symptoms of dryness, blurry vision, and headaches persists when using eye drops.


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Guide to Hay Fever