why does my eye itch

You probably do it unconsciously at least a dozen times a day: rub your eyes because they itch. Much like blinking, it’s a bodily function that goes mostly unnoticed. When your eyes persistently itch, however, you’ll likely be more aware of how much you’re rubbing them. Itchy eyes usually are a temporary problem, especially if it’s due to an irritant that’s trapped somewhere in the eye.

However, some cases of itchy eyes will last longer in duration. Here are a few causes of itchy eyes:

Causes of Long-Term Itchy Eyes

Conjunctivitis

why does my eye itch

One of the most common causes of itchy eyes is pink eye, which also goes by the clinical name of conjunctivitis. The itchy eye is caused by inflammation of the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. Conjunctivitis can be contracted if you have a cold. Itchy eyes can also stem from a bacterial source of conjunctivitis. Ever get strep throat? The streptococcus bacteria can also manifest as pink eye.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

Clear discharge from the corner of the eye is a major symptom of conjunctivitis, as are swollen eyelids. In the case of bacterial conjunctivitis, eye discharge may be different than its viral counterpart, as it has a green or yellow color.

Treatments and Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis

Bacterial causes of conjunctivitis need to be treated with antibiotic drops. For temporary treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis, a warm compress against your eyes will provide relief. You can also purchase an over-the-counter eye-drop decongestant for temporary relief. Viral conjunctivitis doesn’t require antibiotics for treatment unlike bacterial conjunctivitis.

Allergic Reactions

There are several environmental factors that can cause uncomfortable, persistent itchy eyes. But don’t try to stop the itch by rubbing the eyes as this will make the condition much worse. The body sometimes reacts with an immune response if a particular environmental irritant or food is recognized as a pathogen. As a result, this creates histamines to counter the foreign invader.

Some allergens that can produce itchy eyes include:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Dry air
  • Food allergies
Treatment and Home Remedies for Allergies

Consider oral antihistamines or eye drops such as Visine before visiting a doctor, because symptoms usually clear up in a reasonable time. A home remedy for itchy eyes is an all-natural eye wash. It’s best to use distilled water. Cold solutions will alleviate swollen and itchy eyes better than warm compresses. But first, you’ll want to boil a cup of distilled water with one teaspoon of salt. Boiling two green tea bags in a cup of distilled water and letting it cool also makes for an effective home-remedy eye wash.

Blepharitis

why does my eye itch

Blepharitis can cause itchy eyes and be more of a serious condition than conjunctivitis or allergen-induced causes of itchy eyes. Non-contagious, caused by bacteria, blepharitis is a common eye disorder. The underlying cause of blepharitis may be a bit more challenging to discern than other causes of itchy eyes.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Inflammation of the eyelash follicles, caused by the bacteria, is the main symptom of blepharitis. Dandruff-like flakes on the eyelashes may also accompany blepharitis. In some cases, the condition causes one to lose their eyelashes. Other traits of blepahritis may include blurred vision, itching, and burning.

Treatments for Blepharitis

Blepharitis can be treated with antibiotics, if a medical professional deems it necessary. If not, anti-dandruff shampoo and discontinued use of clogging eye makeup may be effective.

There are several causes of itchy eyes and most are highly treatable with several home remedies available. From the homeopathic route to eye drops, those dealing with itchy eyes have a number of solutions. If eye pain or compromised vision accompanies your itchy eyes, consult a medical professional immediately.


 

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