When, and why, do your eyes get itchy?

A mast cell stabiliser, such as Opticrom, or Optrex for Hayfevery Eyes, is very effective to reduce the itching and discomfort experienced by a pollen allergy – commonly called hayfever. But who knew that there were so many common causes of  an allergic reaction? – I for one thought that pollen was pollen! I was never a hay fever sufferer as a child, but recently developed an issue. Using this infograph, and also thinking about what caused my major problem, for me I reckon it is nettles! Once after strimming, I had a serious swelling of my eyes, where the conjunctiva was “spilling over my eyelids”! A couple of antihistamines and some drops later, things settled down. I still “suffer” from itchy eyes at certain times, but this year I am going to try drops for the nettle season to see how I get on! Last time I bought Opticrom locally it cost €11.22 – I recently found the package. You may need a couple or three bottles for your season, but if it reduces the problem, it may be worthwhile.

As a Scotsman, from Fife (the equivalent of a Cavan man), I bought a bottle, but having found out how much it cost, I didn’t open it, thinking that “I will use it if my eyes get worse”. I then promptly lost it, so it serves me right for being a meanie! But I did recently find it, and it is unopened, and still in date, I will try it, starting in June this year. Hopefully I can report back a success!

Scottish people, and Fife people in particular are not mean, I would imply Cavan men aren’t either –  just a joke…. Billy Connelly reckoned that two Scotsmen invented copper wire, while fighting over a penny…

As the information suggests, though mast cell stabilisers are very effective, it may take a few weeks to make a difference, so attempting to find the cause of the itch is very insightful.

If you wear contact lenses, and have itchy eyes, perhaps all year round, or getting worse, it is more likely that you have a contact lens (or solutions) issue than a pollen issue – how much contact lens solution gets in the eyes every day compared to pollen? Have a contact lens check-up where you normally go.

It is particularly  important that parents try to prevent their children from rubbing their eyes, though it is easier said than done – if they are itchy, prevent them from itching – eye rubbing is thought to be a major (perhaps THE major cause) of Keratoconus!



  1. ianmcleish
    ianmcleishMay 13, 2016

    Had a chap today with complaints of itching eyes, decreased contact lens comfort and wear time. I was seriously tempted to tell him to get the internet (where he buys his lenses) to check his eyes and contact lenses, as he was booked in for only a sight test, but expected a contact lens check also, for the price quoted for a sight test. There was no mention of contact lenses or problems when the appointment was booked….

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