Nasal Steroid Sprays Treat Eye Allergies

Flonase Helps Eye Allergy

Nasal steroid sprays are effective at treating eye allergies..

Do Allergy Nasal Sprays Treat Allergic Eye Symptoms?

You wouldn’t think so, but they do. Allergists have actually known that nasal steroid sprays do help to treat allergic eye symptoms, although this has not become a big issue until recently. Since the approval of the topical steroid nasal spray Veramyst (fluticasone furoate), the manufacturer of this medication has touted the fact that this spray treats symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as allergic conjunctivitis.

But, is there something particularly special about Veramyst compared to other nasal steroids that makes it better at treating eye symptoms? Or is this just a tactic to earn marketing share for a new allergy medication that the allergy world really didn’t need? Possibly a little bit of both. Vermayst did show that it was helpful in treating symptoms of eye allergies in a large study.

However, since the claims made by the makers of Veramyst have come out, other studies have some similar benefits of Nasonex (mometasone furoate) on eye allergy symptoms. Therefore, I believe that all topical nasal steroid sprays can help the symptoms of eye allergies – but not all of them have proven this fact in medical research.

It’s not exactly clear why nasal sprays treat allergic eye symptoms; certainly this is not because a person is putting the spray directly into their eyes! Getting the steroid spray directly into the eyes could possibly result in glaucoma or cataract formation.

Theories on why nasal steroids help eye allergies include a stopping of the neurologic connection between the nose and the eyes called the nasoocular reflex. Steroid nasal sprays may also help the tear ducts to drain better, resulting in the better ability of the eyes to cleanse themselves of allergens.

Lastly, the nasal steroids could have a limited “whole-body effect,” which could also explain why these medications can also help control asthma symptoms.


Kaiser HB, Naclerio RM, Given J, Toler TN, Ellsworth A, Philpot EE. Fluticasone furoate nasal spray: a single treatment option for the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007;119:1430–1437.

Bielory L. Ocular Symptom Reduction in Patients with Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis Treated with the Intranasal Corticosteroid Mometasone Furoate. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008; 100:272-79.

Weber RW. Ocular Impact of Intranasal Corticosteroid Therapy: All That Surprising? Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008; 100:193.

Baroody FM, Foster KA, Markaryan A, deTineo M, Naclerio RM. Nasal ocular reflexes and eye symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008; 100:194-9.

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