What to do when your eyes are itchy: Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes: Remedies That Really Work

Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes: Remedies That Really Work

Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes: Remedies That Really Work

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Medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, O. D. — By Adrian White — Updated on July 3, 2019

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Are there home remedies for itchy eyes?

Having itchy eyes can be uncomfortable. Luckily, getting itchy eyes is rarely ever a serious health concern.

The most likely things to cause it are:

  • dry eyes
  • allergic rhinitis (such as seasonal allergies or hay fever)
  • eye infection (such as various types of conjunctivitis)
  • improper contact lens fit or material
  • getting something stuck in your eye
  • atopic dermatitis or eczema

In these cases, itchy eyes are fairly safe and easy to treat at home.

Here are two reliable home remedies that you can use to treat itchy eyes.

Always make sure to see a doctor if symptoms become severe enough to affect your day-to-day life.

Eye drops

Over-the-counter eye drops for itch relief are always helpful.

Some are designed for allergies and redness, while others work like artificial tears for dryness. The best types are preservative free. Some help all these conditions in addition to itching.

Buy eye drops now.

Cold compress

You can also try a cold compress.

A cold-water compress can relive the itch and have a soothing effect on your eyes. Simply take a clean cloth, soak it in cold water, and apply to closed itchy eyes, repeating as often as needed.

Most cases of itchy eyes don’t last very long, and they might even go away on their own.

To be safe, see a doctor if:

  • you feel there is something lodged in your eye
  • an eye infection develops
  • your vision starts to get worse
  • your itchy eyes turn into moderate to severe eye pain

If you experience any of the above, discontinue home treatments immediately and visit your doctor.

Last medically reviewed on April 17, 2018

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, O.D. — By Adrian White — Updated on July 3, 2019

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8 Reasons Your Eyes Itch

Itchy eyes can be triggered by allergies, environmental pollutants, infection, and some conditions affecting the eyes. The treatments and home remedies depend on the cause.

When your eyes become itchy and red, you’ll do anything to relieve the irritation. But knowing the cause of your itchy eyes can help you find the right treatment and get some relief.

The differences between symptoms of allergy and infection, for example, is important to understand so you don’t make your condition worse.

The following are eight causes of itchy eyes and possible treatment options, including home remedies and prescription medications.

If you get itchy eyes around the same time every year, you may have a seasonal allergy to ragweed or something else that blooms and releases pollen during certain times of year.

One way to tell if you’re dealing with an allergy, as opposed to an eye infection, is that you’ll have other allergic reactions, such as sneezing and nasal congestion.

Allergic symptoms are triggered by histamine, a compound released by cells to defend against allergens. Histamine causes an inflammatory response, and itchy eyes are among the common signs of histamine at work. One way to reduce symptoms is to avoid contact with seasonal allergens. Strategies include:

  • Pay attention to local weather reports and stay indoors when pollen counts are high.
  • Keep home and car windows closed during pollen season.
  • Take showers and wash clothes more frequently to help keep pollen away from your airways.
  • Wear a pollen mask when you have to be outside.

Over-the-counter antihistamine medications can be helpful in controlling symptoms.

If your symptoms are especially serious every year, you may benefit from a prescription allergy medication. Because these medications can take some time to be effective, your doctor may recommend that you start taking them a few weeks prior to the onset of your allergy season.

Unlike seasonal allergies, perennial allergies are those you may have all year long. Things like mold, dust, and pet dander are among the more common perennial eye allergies.

You also may be allergic to certain products in your home. The contact lens solution you use may be irritating your eyes. Or, the soap or shampoo you use may be the problem.

If environmental allergens have been eliminated as the cause of your itchy eyes, try taking a break from a product that comes in contact with your eyes. It may be a process of elimination that leads to a solution, but it could be well worth your time.

To find out whether you have an allergy, an allergist can administer a skin test for specific allergens. Small amounts of allergens, such as ragweed or pet dander, are administered just under the skin to see if the skin around the injection site shows any kind of reaction. These tests are safe for most children and adults.

In addition to trying to reduce your exposure to an allergen, you can take medications, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, to help reduce inflammation.

Some people are particularly sensitive to smoke, diesel exhaust, or even certain perfumes. Avoiding exposure to these irritants is the simplest solution. Soothing eye drops or a cool, damp cloth over your closed eyes may help you feel better fast.

Your eyes are vulnerable to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections — all of which can bring on itchy eyes.

One of the more common eye infections is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye because the white part of the infected eye turns pink. It’s very contagious and often accompanied by drainage from the affected eye.

Another possible eye infection is called uveitis, an inflammation of the iris — the part of your eye with color. Uveitis can cause eye pain and an extreme sensitivity to light.

Both types of infections should be evaluated and treated by a doctor. Antibiotics may be used to treat conjunctivitis. Steroids also may be necessary. Anti-inflammatory eye drops may be enough to treat uveitis.

In more severe cases, immune-suppressant drugs may be needed. Uveitis, if not treated effectively, can lead to severe vision loss and complications such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Tears, which are a combination of water, oil, and mucus, keep your eyes moist and refreshed. For various reasons, your eyes may stop producing enough tears to keep your eyes from getting dry and itchy. One common cause is simply getting older. As you age, tear production tends to wane.

Likewise, conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to fewer tears. Certain medications list dry eyes as a possible side effect. Those include:

  • antidepressants
  • medications that lower blood pressure
  • birth control pills
  • decongestants

Your eyes can also dry out because tears are evaporating too quickly. If you’ve ever been outside in the wind for a long time or in an environment with very low humidity, you may have noticed your eyes getting dryer and itchier. Sometimes, a blocked tear duct or tear gland leads to dry and itchy eyes.

Treating dry eyes may be as simple as using over-the-counter artificial tears, which are available as drops. Follow the instructions carefully. If you experience chronic dry eyes, see an eye doctor. You may need medicated drops.

Staring at a computer screen for a long time, or trying to read in a poorly lit area, can strain your eyes, causing them to feel itchy and tired. Driving for a long time, especially at night or on a bright, sunny day, can strain your eyes, too.

Eyestrain can also develop if you’re forcing yourself to keep your eyes open and remain awake when you’re tired. For some people, indoor heat or air conditioning can lead to strained, itchy, and irritated eyes.

The best treatment is to simply rest your eyes periodically. If driving is putting a strain on your eyes, pull over and close your eyes. Take a nap or switch drivers, so your eyes can focus on closer objects than a long stretch of highway or oncoming headlights.

Keeping your contacts lenses in too long or failing to replace your lenses regularly can irritate your eyes, making them itchy and red.

If you wear contact lenses, remember to take them out at night and follow other basic lens care steps. Follow your doctor’s advice about how to care for your lenses and how often you should replace them.

Red and itchy eyes may result from an inflammation of the eyelids known as blepharitis. It occurs when the little oil glands at the base of your eyelashes become blocked. Sometimes just keeping your eyelids clean is enough to resolve blepharitis symptoms, which may also include watery eyes and swelling.

Blepharitis won’t usually cause vision loss, but it can be a chronic problem that leads to conjunctivitis and other complications. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications may be necessary to provide relief and avoid further problems.

Itchy eyes can be caused by a number of things, some more serious than others. If you find that you have frequent red, itchy eyes, talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Why do my eyes itch? article on the website of the Transfiguration Clinic

Often, many of us have experienced itching of the eyes, but when the eyes are constantly and strongly itching, this leads to terrible discomfort, female faces are deprived of the opportunity to apply makeup, men have constantly red eyelids, eyes, focusing is difficult during prolonged visual load, as we constantly want to scratch your eyes.

What to do with it? Let’s first understand the causes of this itch.

One of the main causes is chronic or acute inflammation of the eyelids. Mainly caused by the saprophytic mite Demodex (Demodex). The disease is called demodicosis, the main complaint in this disease is itchy eyes.

According to statistics, demodex is detected in 80% of the population, but not everyone causes this condition. Normally, he lives in the thickness of the hair follicle, 1-2 individuals and does not bother us with anything. When favorable living conditions arise on the surface of the skin of the eyelids, face (with a decrease in immunity, diseases of the digestive tract), it crawls out and actively begins to multiply. Demodex produces a huge amount of metabolic products, which, in turn, appear on the surface of the eyelashes in the form of “clutches”, crusts, on the skin of the eyelids and irritate our nerve cells, thereby causing unbearable and constant itching.

Why is demodicosis dangerous?

First of all, it can actively multiply from the skin of the eyelids, eyelashes to jump to the skin of the face, provoking the development of rosacea, acne. Secondly, demodicosis is a contagious disease and can be transmitted to your loved ones (especially with reduced immunity), having slept with you in the same bed, on your pillow, drying yourself with one towel in the morning. Thirdly, untreated chronic inflammation of the eyelids can lead to breakage and disruption of the proper growth of eyelashes, the development of severe “dry eyes” (which in turn makes it difficult to focus, reduces vision, discomfort when working at a computer), eyelid deformities.

How to check if you have demodex?

To do this, you need to contact an ophthalmologist to have your eyelashes analyzed for Demodex (a painless procedure, the doctor will carefully take 6-8 cilia from different areas of both eyes under a microscope) and the laboratory will present the result in 20 minutes. And if there are problems with the skin of the face, you also need to visit a dermatovenereologist.

If the result is positive, how to treat?

Treatment of demodicosis is long, consists of three stages:

Eyelid hygiene:

  1. eyelid cleansing with antimicrobial soap or special gentle solutions (to avoid skin dryness)
    • eyelid heat compresses (using cotton pads, warm chamomile solution and special lotions to cleanse the skin and eyelashes)
    • eyelid self-massage with special anti-demodectic gels
  2. Antiparasitic treatment, determined only by an ophthalmologist, depending on the identified number of ticks in the analysis.
  3. Anti-inflammatory treatment:
    • eyelid massage by an ophthalmologist
    • physiotherapy (magnet therapy) to reduce inflammation in the eyelids

These procedures are carried out only in a complex, painless, comfortably tolerated at any age, the number of them is determined by an ophthalmologist.

Other causes of eyelid itching, which are less common, may be:

  • allergy (to clarify the diagnosis, biomicroscopy is performed and blood tests are taken – KLA, Jg E, eosinophilic cationic protein)
  • severe stage of “dry eye syndrome” (to clarify the diagnosis, biomicroscopy is performed, a study on tear production).
  • maturing barley (biomicroscopy – slit lamp examination)
  • metabolic disorders, endocrine diseases (diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases, diseases of the digestive tract) in this case, a consultation is held with a therapist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist to identify the causes.

Based on this, it is necessary to understand that itching is a symptom, the manifestation of which can be with various changes in the body, therefore, in order to exclude serious diseases of the eyes and the body, including, it is necessary to consult a specialist to receive complex treatment and prevention of this condition.

Seven Reasons Why Itchy Eyes

Quite often, many people ask themselves: “What causes itchy eyes and what should I do about it?”. It must be said that itching in the eyes is one of the symptoms that almost all people have, and even healthy ones, at least once in their lives, were still disturbed. But if itching in the eyes has become frequent or severe, it’s time to think about the reasons for its appearance!

  1. Allergy

Itching and redness of the eyes may occur when allergic to smoke, dust, flowers, low-quality cosmetics, household chemicals, and so on, less often – to certain foods. Lachrymation and a runny nose are often added to the manifestations of allergies. If you notice the natural appearance of the above symptoms, you should get rid of the allergen as soon as possible.

  1. Foreign body in the eye

Eyes often itch due to small specks getting into them. If the contamination is insignificant, you can independently remove the foreign body that has entered the eye, in other cases you need to urgently seek qualified medical help.

  1. Dry eye syndrome

People who spend a lot of time at the computer, as well as the elderly, often suffer from insufficient tear production. At the same time, the mucous membrane dries up and becomes irritated, and then, as a result, itching begins in the eyes. Give your eyes a rest and don’t neglect the tips for eliminating dry eye syndrome. Sometimes a separate diagnosis is required to accurately determine the type of tear film disorder.

  1. Incorrectly fitted drops or lenses

If the eye drops or contact lenses are not fitted correctly, the eyes may itch. Therefore, you should never self-medicate.

  1. Eye diseases

Conjunctivitis, blepharitis, demodicosis are diseases of different nature, but they all share one symptom, such as itching in the eyes. Also, these complaints can cause chalazion in young patients, as well as violation of the position of the eyelids in elderly patients.

  1. Gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases

The human body is a single system. And if one part fails, problems can be observed in the rest. For example, if you have diabetes or liver disease, your eyes may itch.

  1. Hypovitaminosis and sleep deprivation

These two factors are often the cause of itchy eyes. 8-hour sleep and good nutrition are mandatory requirements for the normal functioning of our eyes and the whole body as a whole.

Location of itching

The location of itching is also important. If the corners of your eyes itch, this is a symptom that you most likely have conjunctivitis. But it is also necessary to take into account additional symptoms: discharge from the eyes of a stretching thick consistency and the formation of cracks in the corners of the eyes. If there are any, then it is necessary to treat conjunctivitis, which is done quite quickly and simply.

If your eyelids itch, then this may well indicate:

  • that you are using allergenic or low-quality cosmetics;
  • eye strain and fatigue;
  • individual reaction to contact lenses or wearing them for too long;
  • contact with the eyes of animal hair or pollen from flowering plants;
  • eye reactions to eye drops you may be currently using.

Itchy eyes – what to do?

Before taking any action to eliminate itching, it is worth finding out the true cause of its occurrence.