What does it mean when your eyes are itchy?
Usually, itchy eyes are the result of an allergy although there are other possible causes, depending on the symptoms.
What are the causes?
Itchy eyes are generally caused by an allergy – such as pollen, dust or animal dander. – that triggers a reaction in the body and the release of histamines in the tissues around the eyes, which results in itching, red eyes and swollen eyes.
Eye allergies can be seasonal or perennial.
All sorts of products and their ingredients may give you itchy eyes and these include solutions you use for your contact lenses, some kinds of eye makeup and skins creams, lotions and soaps; even eye drops for dry eyes can cause the itching.
You may have other symptoms along with the itching, such as burning eyes and these could be caused by a gland dysfunction or dry eye syndrome, rather than any allergies.
Blepharitis is a condition that makes your eyelids red and swollen; it’s usually caused by bacteria but microscopic mites are another possible cause.
Artificial tears and eye drops to stop any allergy can be used to treat itchy eyes.
Sometimes, relief from the symptoms of itchy eyes can only be relieved by using oral medicines or even prescription eye drops.
The treatments that address the real cause of the itchy eyes – such as dry eye or a seasonal allergy – and not just the symptoms are the most effective.
Consult your eye doctor to determine the most effective remedy for itchy eyes and most suitable for your particular needs.
The cures for itchy eyes can include drops for allergies or even artificial tears, antibiotics or other medications.
The most important basic advice to anyone with itchy eyes is not to rub them because it just makes them worse and even more itchy. You could even create more problems by scratching the cornea or causing an eye infection through bacteria on your fingers.
Eye allergies are also known as ‘allergic conjunctivitis’.
Contact conjunctivitis is when cosmetic products or other ingredients are the cause of the eye problems.
An allergy to contact lenses is called giant papillary conjunctivitis.
Treating Eye Allergies
Interestingly, medicines used for other allergies may also give you some relief for itchy eyes and other eye allergies.
When you need immediate relief from the irritating symptoms of itchy eyes, then tablets or drops can help.
If you’re still having symptoms, your doctor may suggest allergy injections to expose you to increasing amounts of an allergen over time and allow your body to get used to it gradually.
Other Ways to Reduce Symptoms
- Don’t forget to wear sunglasses when outside in sunlight because they can also block some of the pollen and other irritants from getting into your eyes.
- Rinse your eyes with water or apply a cold, wet washcloth.
- You can use artificial tears to wash and moisten dry eyes and these will also help remove anything in the eyes that may irritate them.
- Take out your contact lenses.