You are not alone if you feel the need to rub your eyes. Itchy eyes are a very common problem, also known as ocular allergy, these are typically the result of an allergy or a condition known as dry eye syndrome.
Ophthalmologist Dr. Parag Sawal, Sr. Consultant, Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, explains, "Itchy eyes related problems can be triggered by exposure to pollen, animal fur, mould, dust mites, make-up, or eye drops. The body reacts to the trigger by releasing histamine, causing the blood vessels in the eye/or around the eyes to dilate and irritating the nerve endings so the eyes water.
When the eyes turn red because of an allergy, it is known as allergic conjunctivitis. Other types of allergy may also lead to itchy eyes. For example, a condition called atopic keratoconjunctivitis produces an inflammation of the surface of the eye because of an allergy to a specific substance and can lead to distorted vision. Another condition, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, produces inflammation in the membrane on the surface of the eye and affects mostly adults."
If you have eczema, a type of dermatitis, around your eyes, this may also cause itching, according to Dr. Sawal. Other factors that contribute to itchy eyes include:
. Reaction to medications, for example, antacids, hormonal replacements, chemotherapy medications, anti-depressants, and pain killers
. Dry eye syndrome
. Infection due to contact lenses
. Irritation due to exposure of eyes to chemicals like cigarette smoke and gases
. Blepharitis, i.e, inflammation of the eyelids
Itchy eyes have been one issue a lot of people are facing due to air pollution and smog. Dr. Sawal further shares the cause and the methods to keep in mind to help relieve your itchy eyes.:
. When you're dealing with a mild case of allergic itching, you can use a cold cloth or a cold compress over the eyes to ease the discomfort of itching. You can also try splashing your eyes with cold water.
. If your eye itching is due to some particles or dust in your eyes, you can remove it from your eyes by using warm water or saline solution.
. Closing the windows of your car or house.
. Wearing sunglasses when venturing outside to avoid contact with allergens.
. Avoid rubbing your eyes. As constant rubbing of the eyes can damage the top layer of the eye, which can lead to pain and infection.
. You can shower at night to remove the accumulated dirt and pollen from your hair, eyelid, skin, and face to avoid eye irritation.
. Make sure you wash your hands after patting animals to avoid transferring allergens to the eye.
. Maintaining contact lens hygiene can help you protect your eyes from allergens and bacteria. If you are using contact lenses, you must make sure to change them as frequently as possible.
. Keeping the eyes lubricated frequently with artificial tears.
. And at last, keep hydrating yourself.