The best remedy for itchy eyes depends on what’s causing the scratchy feeling.

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Is there anything more irritating than itching eyes? When your eyes are persistently prickly, it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything other than stopping the scratchy sensation straight away. But to temper the tickly feeling, you first need to know what’s peeving your peepers.


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Here, experts share seven common causes of infuriatingly itchy eyes, plus ways to soothe the scratchiness.


When your eyes are itchy, your own first reflex is likely to rub them for some relief, but try to resist the urge. Rubbing your eye can tear the top corneal layer, producing pain and potentially causing an infection, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine .

1. You Have Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are the most probable culprit behind intensely itchy eyes.


“During allergy season, there are extremely high levels of pollen particles in the air, which land in and on our body surfaces such as the eye, ” says Neeta Ogden, MD, a good allergy, asthma and immunology specialist.

“If you have a seasonal allergy, this can quickly lead to the allergic immune system kicking into gear and releasing chemical mediators that cause an intense localized reaction in the eye, including itching, tearing and redness, ” Dr . Ogden states.


In addition to itchy, watery or burning eyes, other common seasonal allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Rash
  • Difficulty breathing


Managing your seasonal allergies is key when it comes to preventing more serious eye-related problems. Indeed, “if left untreated, these signs and symptoms can turn in to more severe plus chronic inflammation and even a good infection called conjunctivitis, ” Dr. Ogden says.

Fortunately, the following strategies can help safeguard your eyes against the particular effects of pollen and other periodic allergens:

  • Apply vision drops ​. At
    the first indication of symptoms, start using an allergy attention drop. Dr. Ogden
    recommends LASTACAFT ($15. 84, Walmart. com) antihistamine eye drops for fast relief associated with itchy eye.
  • Practice avoidance and sport protective eyewear. ​ “Avoid going
    outside on high pollen count days, ” Doctor. Ogden claims. “But if you must be outside,
    protect your eyes and wear wraparound sunglasses. ”
  • Rinse your eye. ​ “Before you go to bed, gently wipe down your
    lids and lashes with a mild wipe and rinse out the eyes with a
    preservative-free saline wash (or even contact lens solution) to minimize continued
    pollen exposure while you sleep, inch Doctor Ogden says.

2. You Have a Food Allergy

Just like pollen and ragweed, in some people, certain foods may cause a systemic allergic reaction that results in red, scratchy eyes.

Here’s why: “When you are usually exposed to a good allergic food trigger , multiple organ systems can get involved — this may include the eye, skin, respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems — and develop a response as the particular whole body reacts to the food allergen, inches Dr. Ogden says.

Along with itchy eye, other possible signs of a food allergy include, per the Mayo Clinic :

  • Tingling or itching within the mouth
  • Hives or eczema
  • Swelling associated with the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of
    the body
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Yet keep inside mind, your body might respond differently every time you encounter a trigger food. “This is why you might notice your eyes itch or even sometimes just the pores and skin around your own eye becomes inflamed (eyelid dermatitis) when you have a meals allergic reaction, ” Dr. Ogden says.


For some people, the food allergic reaction can cause a severe, possibly life-threatening sensitive reaction known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms include, per the Mayo Clinic:

  • Constriction plus tightening of the airways
  • A swollen tonsils or the particular sensation of a lump in your throat that will makes it difficult to breathe
  • Shock with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical treatment immediately because anaphylaxis may can lead to the coma or even death, according to the Mayo Medical center.

“The most important thing is to identify what you are hypersensitive to and then practice avoidance to prevent accidental ingestion and further allergic reactions, ” Dr . Ogden says.

To prevent serious complications, “it’s vital that you have a food allergy action plan that you have reviewed with your health care provider, ” she adds.


“If it’s clear that your itching eyes are due to a seasonal or meals allergy, it’s very important to get tested in order to learn about your allergic triggers so you can be aware and avoid them, ” Doctor. Ogden says. “That will also allow you to be prepared along with medications that you may need and should be used at the first hint associated with symptoms. inch

3. A person Have an Eye Infection

Sometimes, an eye infection might produce some of the same issues (read: inflammation and scratchiness) as in season allergies. Indeed, eye infections can instigate itchy eye, says optometrist Jaclyn Garlich, OD .

So how can you tell if you’re dealing with an infection or allergies? Unlike holiday allergies, a watch infection will present with thick or mucous-like discharge plus light sensitivity , Doctor Garlich states.

Additionally, you might also experience discomfort and/or a gritty sensation in the eyes, according to the particular Cleveland Center .

If you suspect you have an eye fixed infection, see an eye care professional who can properly assess, diagnose and prescribe you the proper medication. For example, if you have the bacterial eye infection, your own doctor may treat you with antibiotic eye falls while cold compresses plus moistening eyesight drops can help lessen discomfort caused by a viral infection, for each the Cleveland Clinic.

4. You might have Dry Eye

Your own incessantly itchy eyeballs may also be due to dry eyes , a condition that occurs when a person don’t produce enough (or make the right type of) tears.

The thing will be, if you don’t have enough tears in order to keep your eyes moist, they may become irritated (hence the itchy, scratchy sensation).

Dry eye can also cause a variety of other signs and symptoms, including the following, per the particular American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO):

  • Redness , stinging
    and burning up.
  • Blurred vision
  • A gritty feeling like something is within your eyes
  • Strings associated with mucus in or around your eyes
  • Pain when wearing contact lenses
  • Excessive tears (your eye make
    more tears whenever they’re irritated)

If you’re dealing with dry eye, see your vision doctor, who can perform an attention exam and help determine if any underlying health issues are evoking the problem.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to decrease the discomfort of dry eye:

  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule. ​ “Exposure
    to digital screens is a common cause of eye dryness, ” Dr . Garlich states. “Patients
    that use screens most associated with the day and experience eye vaginal dryness, irritation plus
    discomfort should follow the particular 20/20/20 rule, ” the girl says. This involves taking a
    break from staring at your screen every 20 minutes simply by looking in something else
    20 feet away for 20 seconds. “Be sure to blink during this break, inches Doctor Garlich
  • Use eye drops. ​ To calm dry
    eyes, it’s important to keep them damp. Dr. Garlich recommends REFRESH Digital PF ($11. 99, Amazon), the preservative-free, over-the-counter lubricating eyesight drop that’s formulated to
    relieve dried out, irritated eye that might be associated with extended display time.
  • Opt for omega-3s. ​ Taking a
    fish oil supplement , which contains omega-3 fatty acids, may help reduce
    swelling and enhance your eyes’ meibomian glands, which generate the oily
    part of tears, thereby easing dry eye symptoms, based on the AAO .
  • Consider punctual plugs ​. Some
    individuals find relief for dried out eye through the placement of punctual connects, teeny
    silicone or gel plugs that the doctor inserts in your own tear ducts, per the AAO.
    Punctual plugs assist your natural tears stay in your eyes, so your eyeballs
    stay moister.

5. You Have Eczema

Eczema may affect any kind of part associated with the body where there’s epidermis (read: everywhere), such as the sensitive skin around your eyes and eyelids. Yep, this particular inflammatory skin condition can flare up around the eye, causing itching, red, dry and scaly skin, Dr. Garlich says.

Over-the-counter ointments like Aquaphor ($4. 99, Target. com) can relieve the annoyed skin and are safe to use around the particular eye, Doctor. Garlich states.

However , in case your case is a lot more severe, “your doctor may also need to prescribe a steroid to help calm the inflammation, ” she adds.


Never apply over-the-counter steroid creams near your eyes.

6. It’s a Side Effect of Your Medication

Sometimes certain medicines you’re taking can mess with your eye and initiate itchiness.

“Occasionally, a patient will have an allergic reaction in order to prescription eyes drops, inch Dr . Garlich says. “This allergic response can be due to the particular preservative in the eye drop or the medication itself. ”

Other common medications that cause allergic reactions in the eye are atropine (usually utilized before vision exams to dilate the pupil) and neomycin (an antibiotic used to treat eye infections), according in order to the National Eczema Society . Preservatives in contact lens systems can affect your own eyes as well.

In addition to itchiness, watch out for symptoms such as red, watering eyes plus eyelid swelling , which may also indicate an sensitive response to a medication, Doctor Garlich says.

In case you believe your meds might be making your eyes itchy, “notify your own doctor, as you will probably have to switch to a different medication, inches Dr. Garlich says.

The same advice holds for your disposable lenses. Lenses worn improperly (i. e. used beyond their recommended timeframe) could irritate your own eyes. When you think your contacts could be the culprit, talk to your doctor about how you’re using them or about switching to a different type or brand that’s less irritating.

7. You Have Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis — a good itchy rash caused by direct get in touch with an irritating substance — could also be the source of your scratchy eyes, Dr. Ogden claims.

Makeup (especially the particular metals and preservatives within cosmetics) is usually one associated with the most common culprits of contact hautentzündung, Dr. Ogden says.

Face washes, detergents and solvents can also irritate plus damage the delicate pores and skin around your eyes, in accordance to the particular National Dermatitis Society.

Even products you don’t place directly upon your eyes or face — such as nail polish, hair dye or perfume — may produce a good itchy allergy in your own eye region, per the National Eczema Society.

“While contact dermatitis tends to only affect the epidermis round the eye, causing the periorbital hautentzündung, occasionally we can see the actual attention affected since well, ” Dr. Ogden says.

To clear up contact dermatitis and inhibit the particular itch in your eyes, you must first determine which products are causing your response and avoid with them, according to the Mayo Medical clinic .

Once you stop using the particular irritating material, your itching rash ought to resolve between two plus four weeks. In the meantime, you can find alleviation and soothe your skin simply by applying a cool, wet compress, per the Mayo Hospital.

Whenever to See a Doctor About Itching Eyes

“If your symptoms are not alleviated along with over-the-counter options, or if your vision is definitely blurry, you have eye pain or your own eyes are usually excessively red, seek the particular guidance of an eye treatment provider, inch Dr. Garlich says.

“Likewise, if itchy eyes persist more than a few days, it is essential to see a doctor, ” Doctor. Ogden provides. Symptoms can continue in order to get worse and result in conjunctivitis (a more severe form of inflammation plus infection requiring antibiotics), the lady explains.


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