Itchy eyes can be uncomfortable and just plain annoying. It can be hard to get much of anything done with itchy eyes bothering you. Fortunately, itchy eyes are not typically a cause for major concern.
The most common causes of itchy eyes include dry eyes, allergic rhinitis, eye infection, improper contact lens fit or material, getting something stuck in your eye, eye strain, eczema and even changes in weather. While it is advisable to see a doctor if your itchy eyes become painful or start to severely impact day-to-day functioning, usually, the causes of itchy eyes can be treated at home.
Oftentimes, medications can be expensive and have unwanted side effects. The following home remedies are a good place to start in order to get itchy eyes under control.
1. Eye drops
Over-the-counter eye drops are helpful to relieve itchy eyes. It is best to get preservative-free eye drops. Some eye drops are designed for allergies and redness, while others are meant to act as artificial tears for redness.
2. Warm and cold compresses
If your eyes feel warm or swollen, take a clean cloth, soak it in cold water, and apply to closed eyes, repeating as often as needed for a soothing, relieving effect on the eyes. For itching due to allergies, try the same thing using hot water instead of cold.
3. Stay hydrated
Itchy eyes may be due to dehydration. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep the eyes moist and reduce dryness.
4. The 20-20-20 rule
Spending too much time on the computer can cause eye strain, which can in turn lead to itchy eyes, especially at night. Following the 20-20-20 rule can reduce eye strain. While doing computer work, stop every 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds to relax the eyes.
5. Fish oil or flaxseed
Supplements like fish oil or flaxseed can help reduce the effects of dry eyes, especially in people with ocular rosacea, a condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids.
Itchy eyes don’t have to get in the way of daily functioning, and treating them doesn’t have to be expensive. Most of the time, home remedies are an effective way to treat itchy eyes.