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Why do my eyes itch and what can I do about it?

Itchy eyes are typically related to an ocular allergy. If the itchiness is seasonal, there is usually something either growing (in springtime) or dying (in autumn) that is putting an allergen in the air. If you are affected year-round, you may suffer from dust or animal dander allergies. Either way, something in the air, or on your hands is making its way onto the front of your eye and causing an allergic reaction. Itchiness, along with redness and puffiness (swelling), can be resolved a number of ways – depending on the duration and severity of it.

Nothing replaces a doctor’s examination to find out what is happening to your eyes and why. So using the suggestions below does not replace a doctor’s diagnosis, but they are some helpful hints to relieve the itch. If you are going to try one of the therapeutic drops (the ones that have active drugs in them) please read the inserts in the packaging carefully so you understand what you are doing. If you have any questions or concerns about their use, call us or make an appointment to see the doctor.

1.    Cool compresses (wet a washcloth with cold water and wring it out slightly) placed over your eyelids can calm the swelling and redness.

2.    Over-the-Counter Artificial Tears / Eye Lubricants can help remove excess pollens and allergens from your eyes to keep the allergies reduced and soothe the eyes.

3.    Over-the-Counter Anti-Allergy drops can provide relief from the itch with an Anti-Histamine drug. These drops can be very useful to reduce and relieve the itchy eyes if used properly for mild symptoms. However, most of these drops also contain a drug to reduce red eyes. The user must be careful not to overuse this type of drop due to possible over-reaction of the eyes to this drug.

4.    Newer Over-the-Counter Anti-Allergy drops combine a Mast Cell Stabilizer with an Anti-Histamine for more severe symptoms and only need to be used twice per day for good relief of allergy symptoms.

5.    Prescription Anti-Allergy drops are available, if needed, after a visit to our doctor.

6.    Some allergy sufferers may get itchy eye relief from their oral Anti-Allergy medications.

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