Itching red eyes are actually a symptom of an underlying problem. However, itching eyes do not cause any threat to eyesight, although they can be a source of irritation and anxiety to the affected person. This condition is very common and it gets worse during the pollen season or in the highly polluted environment. Any itchy sensation in and around the eyes is considered as an itchy eye. This is a very common condition seen with allergic persons. To treat red itchy eyes is only effective by finding out the underlying cause of itchiness.
What does it mean when you have Itchy Eyes?
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is one of the most common (and contagious) eye infections, particularly among school children. It occurs when the conjunctiva — the thin, transparent membrane that covers the sclera and lines the eyelids, becomes infected. When the conjunctiva is infected, the blood vessels within it become irritated and swell, giving the eye a red or pink appearance which is irritates. The reddish-pink eye is a symptom of conjunctivitis.
There are different types of conjunctivitis, so be sure to always visit your eye doctor for correct diagnosis.
Dry eye syndrome occurs when your tear glands produce either an insufficient quantity or quality of tears to properly lubricate and nourish your eyes. Chronic dry eye can cause the surface of the eye to become inflamed and irritated, causing red itchy eyes. While dry eye syndrome may not be curable, it can be managed.
Treatment for dry eyes may includes lubricating artificial tears eye drops and punctal tabs. Ask your eye care practitioner for the treatment options best for you.
Usually, red itchy eyes are referred to as allergy eyes given that eye redness is a common indicator of an allergic reaction. When your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, such as pollen, pet dander, dust or certain chemicals found in makeup, your body releases histamine as part of the inflammatory response that occurs to fight off the culprit allergens. As a result, the histamine released causes blood vessels in your eyes to enlarge, making your eyes become red and watery.
This can be handled by avoiding known allergens to which you are sensitive or taking medication advised by your doctor such as antihistamine eye drops can help keep dreaded hay fever and eye allergies at bay, especially during allergy seasons.
Also, one of the main culprits of red eye is over-wearing or not properly caring for contact lenses, which can cause a build-up of irritating surface deposits and microbes on your eye. Red itchy eyes while wearing contacts could be a sign of a serious eye infection, such askeratitis or fungal eye. If your eyes become red while wearing contact lenses, remove your contacts immediately and visit your optician.
Contact lenses also can worsen dry eye syndrome, as they reduce the amount of oxygen reaching your cornea and restrict normal tear flow production, particularly with poorly fitting contacts. You can minimize your risk of contact lens-induced red eye by keeping your lenses clean and disinfected, and replacing them according to your eye doctor’s directions.
Computer vision syndrome
Red, burning and tired eyes go hand-in-hand with staring at a computer screen for too long. One reason is that you blink less when working at a computer, which dries out the surface of your eye.Tips to reduce computer eye strain may include taking frequent breaks while working at a computer, modifying your workstation and wearing specially designed computer glasses. Lubricating eye drops also will can help to keep your eyes moist and healthy and free from red itchy eyes.
Other Causes of Red Eyes
Infections of the cornea, including a cornea ulcer, are potentially sight-threatening and should be treated as an emergency. In addition to red eyes, corneal ulcer symptoms almost always include eye pain, reduced vision and eye discharge. A corneal ulcer typically is caused by an untreated eye infection or trauma to the eyes and as well can cause red itchy eyes.
Also called eye herpes, this is a recurrent viral infection caused by the type 1 herpes simplex virus — the same virus that causes common cold sores. Signs and symptoms of ocular herpes include eye redness, swollen eyes, eye pain, watery discharge and light sensitivity. This condition can cause scarring of the cornea if left untreated, and in some cases may require a cornea transplant to restore vision.
In most cases, glaucoma is gradual and asymptomatic when it first develops and can cause red itchy eyes as well. But a sudden onset of painful, bright-red eyes accompanied by halos around lights, vision loss and nausea may signal acute angle-closure glaucoma. This is a sight-threatening condition that warrants urgent medical attention. The spike in intraocular pressure can cause permanent vision loss within a matter of hours if it is not reduced.
Whitening eye drops. Eye drops marketed for red eyes contain vasoconstrictors, which are chemicals that shrink the blood vessels on the surface of your eye to reduce redness. However, they can cause more harm than good over the long term. Many people who regularly use eye drops formulated to get the red out build up a resistance to their whitening effects and need to use more and more drops to achieve the same results.
Cold and flu. Bloodshot and puffy red itchy eyes, along with a runny nose, are common symptoms of a cold or flu. Red eyes in this instance typically are caused by a sinus infection or blocked sinuses, especially when accompanied with sneezing and coughing.
Pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your eyes in many ways. Your eyes may become red and bloodshot, as well as dry, itchy and sensitive to light. Pregnancy also can alter the shape of your cornea and you may develop an intolerance to contact lenses or even experience blurry vision. These problems, including eye redness, usually are temporary and resolve completely within weeks or months after childbirth.
Smoking. The dangers of cigarette smoking to your heart and lungs and other diseases associated with smoking are well-known, but smoking can cause red itchy eyes too. Smoking marijuana also causes red, bloodshot eyes. THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, causes significant dilation of blood vessels on the eye, producing eye redness that can last several hours or even longer.
Symptoms of red Itching Eyes
The important symptoms of the itchy eyes are
- Continuous itching of the eyes
- Burning sensation of the eyes
- Runny eyes
- Inflamed eyelids
- Inflammation of conjunctiva
- Red and irritated eyes and eyelids
- Discharge from the eye
- Sensitivity to light
Preventing Red Eyes
- Don’t rub your eyes — irritants on your hands and fingers can cause even more redness and irritation.
- Carry out good hygiene when wearing contact lenses. Contacts and contact lens cases can act as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
- Speak to your doctor about allergy medications to help keep allergies at bay.
- Take a break from looking at the computer screen and follow the 20-20-20 rule: look away from your computer every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Schedule an eye exam to rule out a more sinister cause of red eyes such as eye disease or a sight-threatening infection.
- Don’t over-use whitening eye drops — they can make your eyes redder over time!
Why does the Corner of my Eye Itchy?
According to researchers, itching in the corners of the eyes is a common symptom of eye allergies, also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis. Eye allergies are reactions to pet dander, pollens, dust and chemicals. Additional symptoms include redness and irritation of the eyes, swollen eyelids, burning and sensitivity to light. Eye allergies are treated with over-the-counter eye drops and oral antihistamines.
They further explains that dry eyes can cause itchiness, stinging and a burning sensation in the eyes. Those with dry eyes often feel like there is something in the eye and experience excessive eye watering. Dry red itchy eyes are caused by low tear production and are common in post-menopausal women, individuals over the age of 50 and laser eye surgery patients.
How do you get rid of Itchy Eyes?
Once the diagnosis has been made, an appropriate treatment course can be selected to cab the specific condition causing the red itchy eyes.
Contact conjunctivitis. First, it is imperative to identify and discontinue use of the offending agent. Contact reactions to topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are commonly delayed several weeks or months. Once the irritant is eliminated, supportive treatment, including the use of cool compresses, is usually sufficient.
Atopic dermatitis. Eliminate environmental and food allergens. Exacerbations on the skin can be treated with corticosteroid cream in severe cases. Moisturizing the facial skin (specifically the eyelid) is important for long-term treatment. Systemic antihistamines and mast-cell stabilizers may also provide relief.
Dry eye syndrome. Lubrication of the ocular surface is the ultimate goal. Initial treatment with artificial tears and with lubricant at bedtime, is acceptable. Some patients may also require punctal plugs. Those who remain symptomatic may need topical cyclosporine A to increase tear production.
Allergic conjunctivitis. It is important to avoid or eliminate allergic triggers whenever possible. Supportive care with cool compresses can be helpful for some patients. The use of physical barriers (such as glasses) is also useful in limiting allergen contact. Artificial tears will help dilute any allergen remaining on the ocular surface.
Vernal keratoconjunctivitis. Symptoms may be alleviated with topical antihistamines and mast-cell stabilizers. However, these patients tend to require more aggressive measures compared with those suffering from allergic conjunctivitis. Topical corticosteroids and even immunomodulators (such as cyclosporine A) may be necessary.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis. Patients should first be advised to discontinue contact lens wear until the exacerbation has resolved. It is also appropriate to refit the lenses or to try different lenses and to advise patients about proper hygiene. It may be helpful to change to daily-wear contact lenses.
Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes
The following are some of the effective home remedies that you can follow to get rid of itching eyes.
Aloe Vera is an effective and natural home remedy that is used to effectively treat itching eyes. Cut open the leaf of fresh Aloe Vera plant and extract the Aloe Vera juice. Mix this juice with a teaspoon of honey and half a cup of elderberry blossom tea. Rinse your eyes with this solution mixture for a minimum of two times a day. Repeat this daily until the itching eye problem is solved completely.
Raw vegetable juices, especially raw carrot juices and spinach juices, are found to be very effective in treating itching eye problems. You need to extract fresh carrot juice from one or two carrots and drink this juice twice every day to get rid of itching eyes. You can also extract spinach juice from fresh spinach leaves and drink this juice to get the desired result…
Raw potatoes are an effective home remedy that you can think of when you have trouble with itching eyes. Cut a raw cleaned potato into thin round slices. Keep the cut slices in the refrigerator for several minutes. Now, once the slices are cooled, remove it from the refrigerator and place it over your eyes for about 30 minutes.
Milk is considered to be one of the best home remedies for itching eyes. Take a clean cotton ball and dip it in a glass of cold milk. Now, rub the cotton ball around your eyes. You can also place the cotton ball soaked with cold milk on the eyes and use it as a cold compress to get an instant cooling effect for the eyes. Keep it there on your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes.
Water and Salt
Water and salt are common home remedies that you can use to treat itching eyes. This has been in practice for centuries now. In a cup of distilled pure water add a teaspoon of salt. This is a natural eye wash. Boil this natural eye wash until the soil completely dissolves in the water.
Allow the water to cool to room temperature and then flush your eyes with this water to get relief from itching eyes.
It is important for you to drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated. Drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water every day to keep your eyes hydrated. This will help in preventing itching eyes.
Eye Drops for Itchy Eyes
There is an eye drop or ointment to relieve the symptoms of most eye problems whether you have dry eyes, pink eyes or red itchy eyes. Determining which kind of eye drop or ointment is best depends on what kind of eye condition you have.
Eye Drops for Dry Eyes
Lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, can provide relief for short-term dry eyes, when the cause is related to temporary circumstances such as computer eye strain, being outdoors in windy and sunny conditions, and tiredness. Most OTC lubricating eye drops work by adding various tear elements that are in your eyes already, to supplement your natural tears and make your eyes more moist and comfortable.
Eye Drops for Redness
Decongestant eye drops, or whitening eye drops, contain vasoconstrictors which eliminate red eyes by shrinking the tiny blood vessels on the white part of your eyes (sclera), making them less visible. While decongestant eye drops are effective at getting rid of redness, be mindful that they can mask a potentially serious underlying problem. It’s always best to first consult with your eye doctor to identify the cause of your red eyes.
Decongestant eye drops can cause dryness and irritation, dilated pupils and other adverse effects if they are used too often.
Eye Drops for Allergies and Eye Itching
Antihistamine eye drops are specifically formulated to treat itching due to allergies. Allergy eye drops work by reducing histamines in the eye tissues. Allergies can cause eye symptoms such as red itchy eyes, wateriness and puffy eyes, for which OTC antihistamine eye drops also may be useful.
Eye Drops for Soreness, Swelling or Discharge
Before you consider using eye drops for soreness, it’s essential to determine the underlying cause. Usually eyes become sore because they’re dry, strained, tired or just plain overused. But if your eyes are sore a lot, you should have an eye exam to see if your vision needs correcting for near sightedness, far sightedness astigmatism or presbyopia.
Eye Drops and Contact Lenses
Rewetting drops are specifically formulated for contact lenses and can provide relief for dry eyes and discomfort associated with contact lens wear. If you choose to use regular OTC lubricating eye drops while wearing contacts, check with your eye care practitioner to see if your contact lens type is compatible with the eye drop you’re considering.
However, unlike rewetting drops, many eye drops acquired over the counter or prescribed are not intended for contact lens wearers, and you may need to remove your lenses before applying
Itchy Eyes but Not Red
An inflammation of the middle layer of the eye uvea, uveitis typically is characterized by red eyes, light sensitivity and visual disturbances such as floaters and blurry vision. Uveitis has many known causes; the most common are eye infections, eye injury or trauma, or a systemic autoimmune disorder. But in many cases, the underlying cause of uveitis is unknown. This can be one of the cause of itchy but not red eyes
If not treated early enough, uveitis can result in adetached retina, cataracts and high ocular pressure all of which can lead to permanent loss of vision.
One Itchy Eye
Trauma or injury to the eye, including cosmetic eyelid surgery, can result in red, bloodshot eyes, sometimes accompanied by a sub-conjunctival haemorrhage. As an inflammatory response to injury, blood vessels in your eye dilate to allow more blood flow to the site of the injury for quicker healing. This dilation of blood vessels on the eye is what causes the red itchy eyes.
Eye injuries can range from minor eye scratches to deep puncture wounds and chemical burns. Whatever the source, always treat an eye injury as a medical emergency causes of itching eyes
Itchy Eyes at Night
Itchy eyes at night are caused by lack of sleep and general allergies that one may be exposed to. Lack of sleep a common problem that we may have without noticing. The appearance of your eyes is a dead giveaway when you’re tired. Swollen eyes and dark circles are also signs that you haven’t had enough sleep. And remember: rubbing sleepy eyes will only aggravate eye redness!
Watery Itchy Eyes
Eye allergies red, itchy, watery eyes that are bothered by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose among seasonal allergy sufferers are very common. Researchers estimates that 50 million people in the United States have seasonal allergies, and its prevalence is increasing affecting up to 30 percent of adults and up to 40 percent of children. In addition to having symptoms of sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, most of these allergy sufferers also experience red itchy eyes, watery eyes, and swollen eyelids.
And in some cases, eye allergies can play a role in conjunctivitis and other eye infections. If you think you have eye allergies, here are a few things you should know including helpful tips on how to get relief from your red, itchy, watery eyes
How do you Get Rid of Water Eyes
Watery eyes can be very irritating. Watery eyes can be caused by many things–from allergies to bacterial infections. Regardless of what is bothering your eyes, there are several things you can do to stop them from watering.
Common remedies include washing your eyes, using eye drops, and using a warm compress. You can also get help from your doctor, who may be able to diagnose the problem and offer a treatment that will help. There are also some things that you can do to prevent watery eyes, such as wearing goggles, wearing sunglasses, and wearing your own makeup.
- Red eyes causes and treatments: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/red-eyes.htm
- How to get relief from eye allergies: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/eye-allergies#1
- Eye drops: http://www.allaboutvision.com/buysmart/eye-drops.htm
- Red eye: http://www.nhs.uk http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/allergies.