Itchy eyes can leave you both annoyed and concerned about your health. In most cases, they aren’t a cause for alarm. Should your irritation come from an infection, you should see a vision care professional for proper treatment.
Read on for four things that can cause itchy eyes, as well as hints on how to deal with them.
Allergies are the most common cause of eye irritation. Whether it’s the season for palo verde blooms or the healthy desert broom thriving outside your bedroom window, you may discover itchy or watery eyes in response to seasonal allergies. If your allergy symptoms persist all year, you may have perennial allergies to something in your environment.
How can you combat allergies? Try:
- Leaving windows closed at home and in your vehicle during allergy season
- More frequent showers and loads of laundry to wash away allergens
- Watch your local weather for current pollen count forecasts, and avoid outdoor activities when the pollen counts are higher
- Wearing a mask designed to filter pollen when outdoors
- Over-the-counter antihistamines should your doctor recommend them
Long-lasting allergies may warrant a trip to the allergist to learn more about how you can get relief.
2. Eye Infections
Eyes, eyelids, and even eyelash follicles can become infected. These infections can cause itchy eyes, as well as more serious symptoms. If you experience the following symptoms, or are concerned, see a vision care professional:
- Light sensitivity
- Redness in your eye
- Bumps that resemble acne
3. Irritants in the Air
The Sonoran Desert has no shortage of airborne irritants to aggravate your eyes. Blowing sand, dust devils, and manmade irritants such as vehicle exhaust can give your eyes trouble. You can try a damp, cool cloth over your eyes, or eye drops for relief.
4. Eye Strain
If your work or leisure activities involve long periods of staring at a screen, you may develop eye strain. You can even develop it if you have to drive for a long time, especially at night. This can leave your eyes tired, itchy, and unhappy. Rest your eyes by staring at distant objects for a while, or pull over for a catnap.