Do you suffer from itchy eyes? Even though rubbing your eyes to relieve the itch will only make the symptoms worse, it can be hard to keep your hands away. The more you rub the more irritated and red your eyes become. It’s a vicious cycle that can leave your eyes appearing as if you’ve just had a long cry. Are there remedies for itchy eyes that work?
Causes of itchy eyes
What causes itchy eyes to occur in the first place? Most cases of itchy eyes are related to allergies or eye irritation. If you experience this symptom frequently, you may find it occurs on a seasonal basis such as when certain plants are blooming outside. If it occurs on a non-seasonal basis, you may be experiencing a reaction to other allergens such as cosmetics you’re using around your eyes, certain foods, cleaning products, or animal dander. People who wear contact lenses often experience itchy eyes related to irritation. Another less common cause of itchy eyes is a viral or bacterial eye infection of the conjunctiva known as pink eye. Dry eyes, where your tear glands don’t produce enough tears, can also cause this symptom.
Non-allergy related causes
If you don’t have allergies and develop this symptom, especially if there’s marked redness or drainage coming from the eyes, see your doctor since these are cardinal signs of conjunctivitis or pink eye which needs treatment with antibiotic eye drops.
Remedies for itchy eyes: Find the trigger
To help cure itchy eyes related to allergies, the most important step is to identify what’s causing the allergy or irritation. If you experience seasonal allergies or hay fever, there’s not much you can do to avoid contact with ragweed or other plants that bloom seasonally and activate your allergies. If you’re unable to identify what you’re allergic to, keep a diary of your symptoms and what foods you eat and products you use on a daily basis for a few weeks. You may find that certain foods or the use of certain products causes your eyes to itch. If the problem becomes chronic and you can’t identify the trigger, you may want to consider allergy testing.
Remedies for itchy eyes: Medications
If the trigger happens to be ragweed or other plants that you can’t avoid, it can be more difficult to cure itchy eyes, but you can reduce the symptoms. The best prescription remedies for itchy eyes are antihistamines which are sometimes used to treat seasonal allergies. These can be quite effective for relieving irritated, itchy eyes. You can also buy over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops such as Zaditor at your local drugstore. Another option that can help cure itchy eye symptoms is to use artificial tears to soothe the irritation. This can be particularly effective if the cause is dry eyes. Avoid using commercial eye drops that claim to “get the red out”. If symptoms are severe, your doctor can prescribe a corticosteroid eye drop.
Cure itchy eyes naturally
What about natural remedies for itchy eyes? Applying cold compresses can be an effective way to soothe irritation and reduce the swelling created by constant rubbing. Try refrigerating two chamomile tea bags and placing them over the eyes for fifteen minutes. As an alternative, slice refrigerated cucumbers and place them over your itchy peepers. A bag of frozen vegetables placed over the eyes is also effective. Whatever you do, resist the urge to rub! It’ll only make matters worse.
If you experience eye pain, blurred vision, double vision or light sensitivity, see your doctor as you may have a more serious eye problem that needs immediate medical attention.