If you’ve ever been tormented by itchy eyes, you know how frustrating it can be. You notice a small itch, give your eye a scratch – but things just get worse from there. Fortunately, most cases of itchy eyes are easy to treat. Ultimately, learning how to get rid of itchy eyes varies depending on the severity of your condition.
How to Get Rid of Itchy Eyes
What Causes Itchy Eyes?
Several factors may lead to chronically itchy eyes:
- Eyestrain from looking at screens or improper eyewear prescription
- Seasonal allergies or hay fever
- Conjunctivitis or other eye infections
- Atopic dermatitis, which is a type of eczema that causes itchy skin and dry eyes
- Improper contact lens fit and/or dirty contacts
- Blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelid
- Some dry eye-causing medications including antihistamines and blood pressure medication
- Foreign bodies in your eye like dust, eyelashes, or dirt
Whatever the cause, try the following solutions if you’re suffering from itchy eyes:
Step One: Try a Cold Compress
If you’re noticing newly itchy eyes, a cold compress can work wonders. Just take a clean washcloth, soak it in cool water, and apply it to your closed eyes for immediate relief. If your eyes are itchy or swollen due to allergies, you might also try a warm water compress, which can relieve the itch.
Step Two: Consider Eye Drops
If you’re suffering from itchy eyes on a daily basis due to allergies, eye drops can be a lifeline. Some over-the-counter eye drops are specifically designed for dry eyes. No matter which brand you choose, make sure to look for preservative-free formulas, as preservatives can further irritate sensitive eyes. In addition, beware of eye drops that reduce redness while making your eyes more irritated and dry. Consider asking your optometrist for a recommendation if you aren’t sure which product to choose.
Step Three: Call Your Eye Doctor
Most cases of itchy eyes resolve fairly quickly with a few at-home remedies. But if you’re experiencing severe, prolonged itchy eyes, it may be time to call your eye doctor. There are several other circumstances in which calling your doctor is a must:
- You find a foreign body lodged in your eye
- Your vision is blurry or getting worse over time
- You are experiencing moderate to severe eye pain
- You are experiencing discharge from one or both eyes
Step Four: Develop Your Action Plan
After visiting your eye doctor, you can develop an action plan to fend off itchy eyes for good. Make sure to identify your eyes’ triggers – dust or extended screen time, for example. From there, there are several steps you can take to improve your eye health over time:
- Take breaks when driving long distances.
- Read only in well-lit areas.
- Use artificial tears or eye drops throughout the day.
- Take breaks when working at a computer for long periods of time.
- Reduce mold growth in your home with the help of a dehumidifier.
- Try over-the-counter antihistamines.
- Remove any eye makeup thoroughly at the end of the day.
- Wash your hands before touching your eyes, especially after contact with pet hair, dust, or dirt.
Whether itchy eyes stem from allergies, dry eyes, or too much screen time, one thing is certain: They can be a major annoyance. Fortunately, figuring out how to get rid of itchy eyes is as easy as identifying your triggers and working with an eye doctor to resolve the situation.
If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Heffington’s for help. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!