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What Causes Itchy Eyes & How to Find Relief

Jan 1, 2024 | Eye Health Info

Are your eyes constantly itchy and irritated? Itchy eyes are a common issue, but they can interfere with your daily routine if they persist. The first step to finding relief is figuring out what’s causing it. Whether it’s seasonal allergies or a recurring problem, we’re here to help you understand the causes and how you can get relief fast. 

Causes of itchy eyes 

1. Allergies 

If you’ve ever dealt with seasonal allergies, then you know how uncomfortable it can be. One of the most common symptoms is itchy eyes caused by allergens like dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. As pollen counts go up, cases of itchy eyes also rise. If you believe allergies are causing your itchy eyes, try taking an antihistamine, washing your hands frequently, and staying indoors on days when pollen counts are high. 

2. Contact lenses 

Contact lenses can also make your eyes feel itchy, especially if you don’t clean or change them often enough. If your eyes are itchy and irritated, you can try cleaning your contacts more frequently, using a different kind of solution, or switching to daily disposable lenses to minimize the time your eyes spend in contact with the lenses. 

3. Blepharitis 

Blepharitis is a condition that happens when the oil glands in your eyelashes get red and inflamed. It can cause crusty eyelids, redness, and itchy eyes. If you have blepharitis, try putting a warm compress on your eyes for a few minutes to soften the crust and then wash your eyelids with a gentle soap. Your eye doctor might suggest using antibiotics or steroid eye drops to help with the inflammation. 

4. Eye strain 

If you spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen or reading, you might be experiencing eye strain. This can cause dry, itchy, and irritated eyes. The best way to avoid this is to take regular breaks and adjust the lighting and glare to reduce the strain on your eyes. 

5. Eye infections 

Eye infections can also cause itchy eyes. If you notice redness, discharge, or a strange feeling in your eyes, it might be a sign of an infection. Remember to wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes to reduce the risk of infection. If you think you might have an infection, contact your eye doctor right away. 

6. Dry eye syndrome 

One of the main causes of itchy eyes is dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. It can cause itching, burning, and redness. Many factors can lead to dry eye syndrome, including hormonal changes, aging, medical conditions, and more. To prevent dry eye symptoms, try to blink more often, use over-the-counter eye drops, and limit screen time.  

If your dry eye is serious and won’t go away, our eye doctors in Milford offer a range of treatments to help you find relief fast and keep your eyes healthy. One of the in-office treatments we offer is OptiLight by Lumenis. It’s the first and only FDA-approved intense pulse light (IPL) therapy for managing dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. It uses gentle pulses of light to unclog blocked meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oily layer of the tear film. 

Itchy eyes can happen for different reasons, like allergies, wearing contact lenses, blepharitis, or dry eye syndrome. Figuring out the cause of your itchiness can help us find the right treatment for you. If your eyes won’t stop itching, schedule an appointment with our eye doctor today. We’ll identify the root cause and recommend the best treatment for you. If dry eye is causing your discomfort, we offer dry eye treatment in Milford for our patients in Orange, West Haven, Stratford, Monroe, New Haven, and the surrounding areas.