Most people will experience itchy eyes from time to time. Itchy eyes can often be accompanied by itchy eyelids, red eyes and swollen eyelids. There are many potential causes of itchy eyes, so knowing the specific cause can help you find the right treatment and get some relief.
Symptoms of itchy eyes may include:
- Burning sensation
- Clear, watery discharge
- Green or yellow pus
What causes Itchy eyes?
Allergies are the most common cause, but computer eye strain, dry eyes, blepharitis and conjunctivitis can also lead to this eye condition. Below are more details on some of the most common causes:
Allergies are the most common cause of itchy eyes. Seasonal allergies occur most commonly in the Spring and Autumn and are caused by high pollen counts and exposure to outdoor allergens like grass and weeds. Allergic symptoms in allergy season are triggered by histamine, a compound released by cells to defend against allergens. Allergic reactions to mold, dust and some chemicals can also cause itchy eyes.
Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the surface of the eye becomes inflamed and sore due to a poor relationship between the tear film and the eyelids. This might be because your eyes are not producing enough tears, or that the chemistry of the tear film is out of balance. The most common cause is chronic inflammation of the eyelids. 1 in 5 adults suffer from dry eye symptoms every day. Mucus, oils, water and proteins help make up tears in our eyes and when you don’t have the right amount, you can develop dry eye. This can irritate your eyes and may result in them becoming itchy.
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the inner lining of your eye. It is one of the most common eye infections and can cause your eyes to become red, irritated, swollen and itchy. You should see your eye doctor if you think that you have conjunctivitis as it is very contagious and can be quite uncomfortable.
Computer Eye Strain
Computer eye strain occurs after intense periods of looking at computer screens. This eye condition can cause your eyes to become tired and itchy and may also result in blurred vision.
Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids. It can be both the skin area around the eyelashes that is inflamed or the area around the oil-producing glands, or both. Over 40% of adults will show some signs of blepharitis and the older you are, the more common it becomes. Symptoms of blepharitis may include sore, red, gritty and itchy eyes.
Wearers of contact lenses may develop itchy eyes because our eyes sometimes react to a foreign object being placed on the surface of the eye. Trapped grit or dirt can also lead to infection, which can then cause itchy eyes and itchy eyelids.
How Can You Prevent Itchy Eyes?
While itchy eyes are a common eye condition, there are a number of practices we can do to help prevent it from occurring.
Hygiene is key. Wash your hands regularly. They carry dirt and germs that can easily infect your eyes. Washing them regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer helps to keep them clean and reduces the risk of infection.
When your eyes are itchy, it may be incredibly tempting to rub them to temporarily alleviate the itchiness, especially during allergy season. But this will only make them worse, so if your eyes are itchy due to allergies, take allergy medication if it helps with the itchiness.
If you wear makeup, make sure to wash it off every night before you go to bed so it won’t block pores and hair follicles. Don’t share makeup with other people as this can increase the chances of spreading bacteria which may lead to infection and itchy eyes.
If you wear contact lenses, it is important to talk to your eye doctor about how best to disinfect and clean your lenses. Keep your hands clean before inserting the contact lenses and your eyes start to feel itchy while wearing them, speak to your doctor right away. Sometimes, if you are wearing contact lenses for too long or don’t replace them frequently enough, your eyes may become itchy.
Long lasting relief from Itchy Eyes?
So how can you get rid of – or at least, get some lasting relief – from itchy eyes?
Théa Pharma, Ireland’s No 1 choice for Eye Health, provides two specific products that can provide long lasting relief from itchy eyes.
Zaspray® is a 3 in 1 solution that hydrates, lubricates and soothes your eyes. It relieves itchy, irritated dry eyes caused by allergies. Zaspray® can be used in addition to other anti-allergic therapies. The spray is easy to use, 100% preservative free and is also ideal for those who struggle with eye drops.
You can also get rid of itchy, red, tired eyes with Thealoz Duo®, Europe’s No 1 dry eye drop solution. Clinically proven to treat dry eyes, 100% preservative free and ideal for ALL dry eye sufferers, Thealoz Duo was awarded by the Committee of the Irish Pharmacy News in 2021 “Ireland’s BEST EYE CARE PRODUCT”.