Itchy eyes

What causes itchy eyes?

Most commonly, itchy eyes are caused by an allergic reaction. Whether its pollen, dust or another irritating agent, a group of compounds named histamines are released in the eyes. This leads to irritation and itchiness, sometimes resulting in redness and swelling.

Hay fever is one of the most notorious allergies for causing itchy eyes, and is most prevalent in the spring or autumn time. In addition, agents such as dust can cause allergies all year round.

However, it isn’t always allergies from nature that cause itchy eyes. If your eyes are becoming red and itchy, it could be because you’ve just started using a new product (fabric softener or shampoo etc.) that you’re allergic to.

How to treat itchy eyes

If you’re suffering from itchy eyes, the first thing you should do is take your contact lenses out until your eyes have healed, to avoid aggravating the issue.

In most cases, itchy eyes can be treated with medication or prescription eye drops.

It’s important to remember to avoid rubbing your eyes, even if they are itchy. You may also find that applying a damp and cold cloth to your closed eye can help bring down the symptoms.

Preventative measures should also be taken, not just to avoid worsening the condition but to limit the possibility of a reoccurrence after your eyes get better. Distancing yourself from the allergen, whether it’s pollen, dust or a new skin cream, will allow your eyes the time they need to heal.

Quick links:

Top tips for contact lenses and allergies
A guide to swollen eyelids