Itching eyes can be extremely aggravating.
Many know this first hand from having dealt with seasonal allergies and the accompanying itching, watering, and red eyes, for years.
Unfortunately, the irritation may not be your biggest problem. Itching can be a sign that a bigger problem is going on in your eyes.
So, what could be making your eyes itch, and what can you do to find relief?
What Causes Itchy Eyes?
The itching you feel in your eyes may be due to contact with allergens or irritants like pollen, dust, pollutants, or pet dander.
It also may be a symptom of a bacterial infection or Demodex mite (eyelash mite) infestation. This itchy feeling is actually part of a specific immune response from your body.
When your body encounters a parasite or allergen it signals for specialized white blood cells to mount an inflammatory response that leads to itching, extra tear production (watering), and dilated blood vessels.
Dilated blood vessels allow greater migration of immune cells to the area and cause the redness and swelling you often see along with itchiness.
These symptoms are part of your body’s way of trying to get rid of whatever it is your immune system has taken objection to.
For instance, watery eyes are meant to flush germs, parasites, and irritating particles from your eyes. Even the itch reaction is intended to elicit a scratching or rubbing response from you – a trait from your caveman ancestors who were constantly fighting parasitic infections without access to modern antimicrobial medications.
Unfortunately, rubbing your eyes is only going to provide very temporary alleviation of eye itch.
This Itching is Driving me Crazy! How Do I make it Stop?
For itchy eyes, a simple remedy that works in a pinch is to wipe your eyes with a cool, damp washcloth. This helps clear some of the allergens and irritants away from the immediate vicinity of your eyes. Furthermore, the coolness can be soothing and help with swelling.
Allergy medications such as antihistamines and antileukotrienes are another option. They target various signaling molecules in the inflammatory response to reduce the reaction. Oral antihistamines and antileukotrienes take a while to move through the blood system. This means that they are not fast-acting and need to be taken on a regular basis before they start to have an effect. Eye drops containing antihistamines work fairly instantaneously, but only offer temporary relief .
Anticholinergic medicines like Benadryl are faster-acting but only address the symptoms themselves, not what’s causing them. Plus, anticholinergics can only be taken for a few days at a time.
A Natural & Efficient Alternative
The best method for relieving itchy eyes is to remove the irritant causing the reaction.
By using Cliradex Light foaming cleanser daily, you can help prevent eye itch from arising in the first place.
But if you are already suffering from itching eyes, Cliradex is still a great choice.
Its main ingredient, 4-terpineol, targets many of the factors that could be triggering an inflammatory reaction, covering all your bases. It also cleans deep by removing irritants.
- Ackerman S, Smith LM, Gomes PJ. Ocular itch associated with allergic conjunctivitis: latest evidence and clinical management. Therapeutic advances in chronic disease. 2016;7(1):52-67.
- Di Lorenzo G, Pacor ML, Mansueto P, et al. Is there a role for antileukotrienes in urticaria? Clinical and experimental dermatology. 2006;31(3):327-334.