How to Stop Itchy Eyes
Dealing with red, itchy eyes that water excessively can be a nuisance. If you are wondering how to stop itchy eyes, you first have to know what is causing your symptoms. Sneezing usually points towards an allergy that manifests itself through burning, red eyes. Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, are extremely common. One in five Americans struggle with an eye allergy as you are reading this. The silver lining is that eye allergies don’t represent a threat for our vision. The symptoms are unbearable, but the worst case scenario only includes blurry vision. However, if the symptoms are particularly stubborn, consider seeing a doctor, especially if home remedies or over the counter products refuse to kick in.
What is an eye allergy?
When conjunctiva is touched by something that is perceived as a threat, the immune system reacts by making antibodies, which in turn forces the eyes to produce histamine. As a consequence, the eyes become watery, red and very itchy. The last symptom is the main characteristic of any eye allergy. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an allergy. It can be anything from pollen, a friend’s perfume, or the neighbor’s cat. In this case, a doctor appointment and a simple test will solve the mystery.
Types of allergies
Eye allergies fall under two categories: seasonal and perennial:
- Seasonal allergies are set off during certain seasons or times of the year. Most allergies appear during spring or summer, when allergens flow freely in the air.
- Perennial allergies can occur anytime during the year. Most often, they are set off by dust, animal dander or feathers. It’s not unusual to have an allergy to a certain substance within a cleaning product, or a medicine, which will make your eyes itch and redden.
How to get rid of itchy eyes
- To limit exposure to allergens, stay indoors mid-mornings and in the evenings to avoid coming in contact with the harmful pollen. If you have to go out, wear big sunglasses.
- Keep dust mites at arm’s length with special pillow cases. It’s also recommended to wash your bedding at temperatures that are over 120 F. An old mattress could also sabotage you by retaining allergens.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes, no matter how badly they itch. This will even worsen the symptoms and you won’t feel relieved in the least. To soothe your itchy eyes, try using cool compresses.
- Rinsing with sterile saline can help alleviate eye irritations by flushing out allergens.
- Over the counter eye drops will help you for a few days, but the symptoms are bound to reappear sooner or later.
- You can try refrigerating your eye drops to relief your itching, puffy eyes.
- Claritin and Zyrtec are oral antihistamines that can help lower discomfort and offer longer relief from itchy eyes.
If you’re wondering how to stop itchy eyes naturally, you can try applying refrigerated cucumber slices on your eyes for 15 minutes, four times every day. You can use rosewater to rinse itchy eyes twice a day for a cooling and soothing effect. Green tea can also help with red, itchy eyes due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Flushing the eyes daily with green tea will alleviate the symptoms and reduce irritation.