What to do when your eyes hurt from allergies


  1. wash hands regularly with warm soapy water
  2. wash pillows and face cloths in boiling water and detergent


  1. do not share towels and pillows
  2. do not rub your eyes

Staying away from work or school

You do not need to avoid work or school unless you or your kid are feeling extremely unwell.

Check if you own conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is also known as red or pink eye.

It generally affects both eyes and makes them:

  1. bloodshot
  2. burn or feel gritty
  3. produce pus that sticks to lashes
  4. itch
  5. water

If you’re not certain it’s conjunctivitis

Other conditions can cause red eyes.

How to treat conjunctivitis yourself

There are things you can do to assist ease your symptoms.

Use clean cotton wool (1 piece for each eye).

What to do when your eyes hurt from allergies

Boil water and then let it cool below before you:

  1. gently rub your eyelashes to clean off crusts
  2. hold a freezing flannel on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down

Do not wear contact lenses until your eyes are better.

Treatment from a GP

Treatment will depend on the cause of your conjunctivitis.

If it’s a bacterial infection you might be prescribed antibiotics. But these will not work if it’s caused by a virus (viral conjunctivitis) or an allergy.

Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause conjunctivitis.

What to do when your eyes hurt from allergies

This type takes longer to clear up.

Sheet final reviewed: 9 January 2018
Next review due: 9 January 2021


Conjunctivitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

By Gary Heiting, OD

A pharmacist can assist with conjunctivitis

Speak to a pharmacist about conjunctivitis. They can give you advice and propose eyedrops or antihistamines to assist with your symptoms.

Find a pharmacy

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  1. your baby has red eyes – get an urgent appointment if your baby is less than 28 days old
  2. you wear contact lenses and own conjunctivitis symptoms as well as spots on your eyelids – you might be allergic to the lenses
  3. your symptoms own not cleared up after 2 weeks

Urgent advice: Get advice from 111 now if you have:

  1. pain in your eyes
  2. sensitivity to light
  3. changes in your vision, love wavy lines or flashing
  4. intense redness in 1 eye or both eyes

These can be signs of a more serious eye problem.

111 will tell you what to do.

What to do when your eyes hurt from allergies

They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.