Information on the causes of ocular allergies & symptoms such as redness and dry itchy eyes.
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What are Itchy Eyes?
Itchy eyes are a common symptom often associated with various eye disorders. When your eyes itch, they are usually red and accompanied by a burning, irritating sensation. The itchy feeling can become intense and frustrating, and there is an irresistible urge to itch and scratch.
What Causes Itchy Eyes?
Most episodes of itchy eyes occur as a result of allergy to pollen, grasses, ragweed, plants, dust, mold, cat dander, cigarette smoke or chemicals. When these allergens contact the ocular area, an allergic reaction is caused when histamine is released into the eye. The release of histamine aggravates the eye and results in the intense itching or burning.
Other conditions that are often related to itchy eyes include strained, tired eyes, sties, conjunctivitis, dry eye syndrome or blepharitis. If itching persists, consult your doctor or ophthalmologist for a proper diagnosis. The eyes are very sensitive organs and if discomfort is experienced, they should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
Help for Itchy Eyes
Treatment of itchy eyes involves using medications such as antihistamines, prescription and over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears to relieve symptoms. Taking preventative measures such as avoiding certain irritants and not rubbing your eyes with unwashed hands can make a significant difference.
More Information on Itchy Eyes
There are several ways to prevent itchy eyes and these include:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes
- Avoid rubbing your eyes with your fingers as it aggravates the itching
- Apply cool compresses to the affected area of the eye if it itches
- Avoid irritants and allergens such as dust, cat dander, smog, some houseplants, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, or environmental toxins
- Vacuum your home daily to reduce indoor allergies such as pet dander and dust
- Use a humidifier and air conditioner to filter out allergens and keep the air moist
- Wear sunglasses or ultraviolet coatings on glasses to protect your eyes from the sun and wind
- Protect eyes in the workplace goggles if you are doing tasks that may produce airborne particles or dust (e.g. DIY).
- Keep pets out of the house if you are allergic to their hair
- Avoid the outdoors when pollen counts are high
- Use artificial tear eye drops if you suffer from inadequate tears
- Avoid contact of the eyelids when applying eye make up