Itchy eye causes and how to get relief

A cussed itch could be annoying, and we instinctively know that relief comes from lastly scratching it into submission. But when that itch is in your eyes, relief is more durable to come by. You can’t actually scratch your eyeball (no less than, we definitely don’t suggest it), so what’s there to be completed for the itch you simply can’t scratch?

Itchy eyes, additionally referred to as ocular pruritus, is a standard situation usually associated to allergic reactions. But allergic reactions are usually not the one trigger. Below, we’ll focus on the opposite causes of itchy eyes, the signs to be careful for and how to soothe that prickling itchiness so your eyes can perform at their greatest.

Itchy eye signs

The first and most distinguished symptom of itchy eyes is within the title: eyes that itch. But usually there are different indicators that accompany it, together with:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Clear, mucus-like discharge
  • Swollen eyes and eyelids
  • A burning sensation
  • Feeling like an object is caught in a single or each of your eyes

Your signs could also be worse throughout the day and enhance via the night time as you sleep, when your eyes stay closed and at relaxation for hours at a time. Although you is likely to be extra conscious of your itchy eyes at night time as you’re making an attempt to go to sleep when there’s nothing to distract you from the discomfort.

What causes itchy eyes?

When your eyes are uncomfortably itchy, you’re in all probability pondering principally about how to make the itching cease. However, figuring out the rationale why your eyes are itchy can lead to the best remedy for you.

Itchy eyes are sometimes associated to conjunctivitis – which is irritation of the conjunctiva, or the clear membranous lining that covers your eyeball and the within of your eyelids – however loads of different elements can contribute.


If you have got seasonal allergic reactions (hay fever) or different environmental allergic reactions, you’ve doubtless skilled itchy eyes. Allergies are sometimes the most typical trigger behind itchy eyes. Exposure to allergens causes your immune system to launch histamine, which enlarges and irritates the fragile blood vessels in your eyes, main to itching and redness.

Most allergic reactions lead to some type of eye irritation. This irritation causes an itchy, scratchy, even burning sensation on or across the eyeball. Allergic conjunctivitis, a kind of pink eye, is a standard end result, and can often be handled at residence.

Dry eye illness

Itchy eyes are carefully linked to a situation generally known as dry eye illness. With dry eye, the tears that usually preserve your eyes moist are now not in a position to accomplish that for various causes. Your eyes change into very dry, main to itching, redness and ache.

Eye an infection and irritation

Sometimes, itchy eyes generally is a signal that one thing extra is occurring together with your eye well being. Blepharitis is an irritation of your eyelids brought on by both an overabundance of micro organism in your eyelids or eyelashes, or clogged and irritated oil glands round your eyes.

Other types of conjunctivitis, unrelated to allergic reactions, additionally steadily contribute to itchy eyes. Conjunctivitis can develop within the aftermath of viral or bacterial infections and diseases, just like the widespread chilly, the flu and COVID-19.

Contact lenses

Using contact lenses with out correctly cleansing them or recurrently altering them out for a brand new pair can lead to irritation of the conjunctiva. Also referred to as contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis, this situation causes purple, itchy, swollen eyes. There may additionally be seen bumps on the within of the higher eyelid. This situation could be improved via correct contact lens care and managed with antihistamines. Only put on contact lenses in case you have a prescription and get an analysis to guarantee your contacts match correctly and won’t irritate your eyes.

Recovery after eye surgical procedure

Your eyes could itch as they heal from cataract surgical procedure or LASIK eye surgical procedure. Many sufferers expertise a gritty feeling like sand, of their eyes. This eye itch often goes away utterly inside just a few weeks or months after surgical procedure. If it persists past that, you’ll need to converse together with your ophthalmologist.


Focusing on one factor for an prolonged time frame – a digital display screen, the highway in entrance of your automotive as you drive or the guide you’re making an attempt to learn in dim lighting – forces our eyes to work time beyond regulation. They can change into strained and begin to burn, itch and harm. Make certain you’re recurrently taking time to relaxation your eyes throughout your workday or your highway journey, and that you’ve correct gentle for studying. Practice the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to deal with one thing no less than 20 toes away.

Exposure to irritants

Your eyes are uncovered to the air in every single place you go. Depending in your setting, they’ll encounter mud, wind and smoke, all of which may trigger irritation, dryness and, sure, itching. This additionally applies to what you placed on or round your eyes, together with cosmetics and lotion. This sort of response known as contact dermatitis or eyelid dermatitis.

Sometimes, itchy eyes are brought on by a overseas object caught in your eye – sand, dust and different tiny particles can change into embedded very simply. Avoid rubbing or touching your eye in any respect if that is so. Instead, strive blinking and rolling your eyes to naturally flush the thing out.


Certain medicines like antihistamines, decongestants, contraception tablets and pimples drugs can exacerbate dry eyes, making them itch.

You may expertise detrimental reactions to different eye medicines like prostaglandin analogs (used within the remedy of glaucoma) and eye drops with preservative elements.

Eczema and rosacea

People with eczema (atopic dermatitis) or rosacea could expertise eye issues associated to these circumstances. Eczema and rosacea can develop on the eyelids and trigger irritation of the conjunctiva. This is named atopic keratoconjunctivitis, or ocular rosacea in these with rosacea, and it presents with itchy, swollen and purple eyes.

Are itchy eyes an indication of COVID-19?

In very uncommon circumstances, purple, itchy, watery eyes could be an preliminary symptom of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 could trigger you to develop viral conjunctivitis as you recuperate. Viral conjunctivitis is a situation through which your eyes itch, burn, flip purple and have a watery discharge.

Home cures for itchy eyes

Itchy eyes can drive you loopy. Thankfully there are many fast, easy options to calm the itch. Some work straight away, and others can take just a few days to attain their full impact. Be affected person should you don’t get fast relief.

Don’t rub your eyes

It could be extraordinarily tempting, however strive to resist touching your itchy eyes. Even although it appears to be probably the most fast means to get rid of your ocular itch, rubbing your eyes can really make issues a lot worse, particularly if a overseas object is inflicting the itch in your eyes. You could find yourself scratching your cornea, which may improve your danger for different, extra critical eye infections.

Apply a cool compress

A washcloth soaked in cool water and positioned over your eyes can present fast relief from itching and assist calm irritation. Sometimes just a few days of recurrently making use of cool compresses is the one remedy wanted.


Lubricating eye drops (additionally referred to as synthetic tears) and over-the-counter allergy eye drops could be useful for dry eye. Avoid over-the-counter drops which might be formulated particularly to get rid of eye redness, as they could irritate your eyes much more. An eye physician may suggest prescription eye drop choices for itchy eyes.

Rinse your eyes

If harsh irritants like pollen and dander are clinging to your eyelids or eyelashes and aggravating your eyes, take away these irritants with an eye wash. Use heat, clear water to gently rinse off your closed eyelids and eyelashes.

Take allergy medicine as directed, or strive different remedies

Antihistamines can both assist or harm your itchy eyes. It’s totally different for everybody. If antihistamines are solely making your itchy eyes worse by inflicting your eyes to dry out, ask your physician about different varieties of antihistamines or options to conventional allergy remedy. Or join with an allergist.

When to speak to a health care provider about itchy eyes

Most of the time, itchy eyes will get higher in 2-5 days with at-home cures. But in case your situation doesn’t reply to any of the remedies listed above, schedule an appointment together with your major care physician.

Your major care physician could refer you to optometry or ophthalmology for extra specialised eye care.

Visit a health care provider straight away if:

  • There is thick inexperienced or yellow discharge coming from one or each of your eyes
  • One or each eyes swell shut
  • You expertise sudden imaginative and prescient modifications, like blurred imaginative and prescient
  • Your eyes change into extraordinarily delicate to gentle
  • You develop extreme eye ache

Don’t accept itchy eyes

You don’t have to settle for “minor” eye issues as part of life or getting older, and you don’t have to dwell with itchy eyes.

While itchy eyes are sometimes merely an annoyance, they will also be an indication that one thing extra is occurring together with your eyes. If your itchy eyes are cussed, recur steadily and intrude together with your day by day life, it’s a good suggestion to have them checked out by a health care provider.

Make an appointment together with your major care physician

Find an eye specialist

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