Does this sound like hayfever or not?

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For the past week both my eyes have been stinging, and watering to to point I have to keep wiping the outer corner of my eyes to remove excess liquid and I've had to moisturise the sides to alleviate soreness from the constant wiping. This stinging and watering is all day every day, no respite.

This happened to me maybe 18 months ago, exactly the same symptoms, all day every day again, only it went on for at least 6 months, maybe more, I can't quite remember exactly how long but It felt like a lifetime and severely affected my mood as I saw no end to it in sight.

Every doctor to spoke to said hayfever, or maybe some kind of eye infection, but every prescribed medication was useless, nothing had any affect. I was given various eye drops, some were for hayfever and some for the suspected eye infection.

Ultimately everything I've read or heard about hayfever makes me think this is not hayfever because it is persistent, all day everyday. AFAIK hayfever often gets better / worse at certain times of the day, and again better / worse on different days depending on the pollen count that day. I've not noticed any significant difference day to day on how much my eyes sting or how much they are watering, it's pretty much the same every day regardless of the weather.

Does this sound like hayfever to you? I'm only a week in to this right now, but the thought of this happening for another 6 months is incredibly depressing...

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Felix, it does sound like hayfever or an allergy of some description. Has anyone ever suggested patch testing? [for allergies]

    Years ago, my eyes kept weeping, now I do suffer from hayfever but, like you, it didn't appear to be caused by pollen.

    Ultimately, it turned out to be my washing liquid, the manufacturer had changed the ingredients & when I had patch testing, I could see what to avoid, apart from the washing liquid, I just bought a different variety.

    As I recall, it was an Optometrist in Specsavers who suggested looking at my washing powder etc..

    Are you in the UK?

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the replies!

      Yes I'm in the UK. I did actually go to Specsavers the last time this happened and there was a suggestion of some type of conjunctivitis. I was recommended to use "Hycosan Eye Drops" which helped with the constant feeling that my eyes were dry, even though they were producing excess liquid. I guess that is one slight difference I forgot about. My eyes don't really feel dry this time around. Though if I have a gust of wind or have a fan pointed towards my face, I do get a dry feeling which causes more watering.

      I coincidentally already have a doctors appointment booked in a couple of days for a separate issue, so I will ask to get a patch test done.

      I'm not sure if any of the eye drops I was prescribed previously were steroid based, I tried 2 - 3 different ones I think. I've tried taking Piriton tablets (https://www.boots.com/health-pharmacy/baby-child-health/allergy-hayfever-children/piriton-allergy-tablets-30-tablets-10032788), but they don't seem to have any affect.

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    • Posted

      You can get runny eyes with Dry Eye Syndrome, an Ophthalmologist explained to me years ago, that my eyes were lacking an oil in the tears, so my eyes weren't being lubricated.

      When I first started to have a lot of eye problems, I tried everything & eventually was referred to an Ophthalmologist because my problem wasn't being solved. I would suggest you ask to be referred to an Ophthalmologist for treatment.

      I use steroid eye drops, prescribed by an Ophth rather than a GP & a variety of other eye drops. My eyes are pretty much under control now but you do need an expert on your side if you know what I mean.

      Preservatives cause a lot of problems but Drs are aware of that so tend to prescribe preservative free drops these days

      I use Ciclosporin eye drops at night, these are to help my dry eyes & they do appear to. My Consultant at Moorfields prescribed them for me.

      Good luck Felix & push to see an Ophthalmologist, it might be at your nearest large hospital.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for your suggestions, it's always helpful to hear what worked for others with similar problems. I'll definitely try to get a referral to an ophthalmologist.

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  • Posted

    You could be getting allergic conjunctivitis. Have you been to an opthalmologist? Have you been offered a short dose of steroid eye drops? Does any antihistamine help?

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  • Posted

    It definitely sounds like allergic or giant papillary conjunctivitis, which means you should really see an ophalmologist. I have had this a lot and depending on how bad your eyes are, you usually get a few months of preservative free steroid eye drops and these really gloopy artificial tear eye drops. You also get advised to put a warm flannel or warm eye mask over your eyes for 5 mins in the morning and 5 mins in the evening. Also you may get a solution which you wipe your inner lids with.

    Try benadryl allergy relief see if it helps a bit with the symptoms. You can take them up to 3 times a day. The generic name for the active ingredient is acrivastine, you could ask if your doctor could prescribe it because benadryl is quite expensive.

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