Itchy eyes: causes and remedies to treat them
If your eyes ever become red, itchy and irritated, you’re not alone; millions of people in the UK battle with itchy eyes on a regular basis.
There are a number of causes - from seasonal allergies such as hay fever, to eye strain - so it’s important you can recognise the triggers in order to choose the right treatment. Here are some of the common causes of eye irritation, and potential treatments or home remedies for itchy eyes.
What are the most common causes of itchy eyes?
Allergens such as pollen, dust, food particles and pet dander can cause an allergic reaction, which is where the body's immune system overreacts and wrongly detects these particles as a threat, triggering an immune response.
The best way to distinguish between an allergic reaction and an infection is to look out for other allergy-related symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose.
Allergies can be seasonal. For many, hay fever in Springtime is a major cause of their irritated, itchy eyes. Alternatively your allergies may be perennial, or year round, to irritants like pet dander, dust or mold, which your doctor can help identify via skin prick testing.
Once you’ve identified your triggers, options for treatment include taking an antihistamine or a more powerful, prescribed medication, and using an at home allergy eye treatment like our cooling eye mask. The Eye Doctor Allergy mask gives cooling relief to the itchy eyelids and surrounding area, helping to reduce inflammation, swelling and general discomfort. It's the perfect home remedy for burning, itchy and irritated eyes caused by allergies, and is ideal for hay fever season. Store it in the fridge to have ready for immediate use whenever you need it.
Looking at a screen for too long (whether it be a computer, a phone or the TV), driving in the dark and reading in a poorly lit area can all cause our eyes to strain, which can make them feel tired, sore and irritated.
Treatment tips for reducing eyestrain include reducing screen time or being sure to take regular breaks, plus regular hydration drops such as our Daily Refresh Drops, which provide rapid relief and are easy to use at home with our 'one-drop' pump action dispenser.
Tears are incredibly important for keeping our eyes healthy and moist. Dry eyes can feel itchy, sore and gritty, they may also appear red. There are a number of reasons your eyes may become dry, such as:
- Age (over 50s eyes can slow in tear production)
- Looking at a screen for a long time without a break
- Wearing contact lenses
- Spending time in air conditioning or heated areas
- If you take certain types of medicine, such as antidepressants
- It’s windy, cold, dry or dusty
Remedies for dry eye include hydrating eye treatments, such as our The Eye Doctor Intensive Relief Drops, which provide rapid relief for severely irritated, dry and burning eyes. You can also try The Eye Doctor Essential® hot and cold eye compress featuring Sterileyes®, which stimulates the glands to give relief from the tension and irritation of the eyes.
Should you incorporate daily eye care products?
Although our eyes do a pretty good job at self-cleaning, it can help to incorporate a daily cleaning routine to help remove dirt and debris, preventing any irritation or inflammation from forming. A simple, at home treatment that promotes good eye health and helps reduce the risk of irritants that cause itchy eyelids are our eyelid wipes. Recommended by TV’s Dr Hilary Jones and Dr Colin Parsloe, Medical Officer in Ophthalmology The Milton Keynes University Hospital, they’re presoaked in a preservative and detergent free solution, and are excellent for gently cleaning away debris from the eyelid and eyelashes.
We have also put together some essential eye care routine bundles which are designed to suit your eyes, symptoms and budgets - there's a routine for everyone and each bundle means an amazing saving when compared with buying products individually.