Itchy eyes can be a serious annoyance. You just want to rub and rub your eyes until it is red and the itchiness is gone.
However, there is a reason why your mom always tell you to not rub your eyes. There are countless of reasons to why you should never even think of scratching the skin around your eyes for instant relief. Excessive scratching or rubbing can cause future problems, such as deformed cornea and retinal deattachment. Both of these events can contribute to partial blindness if not careful.
One of the unknown tricks to dealing with itchy eyes is using Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Treatment Cream and very lightly smear it around your eyes’ edges (don’t dab it directly into your eyes!). It is amazingly effective for those that are afraid of using eyedrops.
Alternatively, if you don’t have Aveeno’s treatment cream or eyedrops, you can also use these methods for temporary relief:
• Try washing your eyes and the area around it with pure distilled water to rinse out any bacteria or allergen particle that might be causing the reaction.
• Alternatively, you can also create your own eyewash by mixing a cup of distilled water with one teaspoon of salt.
• Use an ice pack or a cold compress on the area to numb your eyes to the itchiness.
• If you have any over-the-counter antihistamine, they can also help provide temporary relief to your eyes if it is due to an allergic reaction.
Now, here are a few things that you definitely should not do if you are suffering from an eczema flare-up on your eyes.
• Again, don’t rub it! It can spread bacteria and also break skin on your eyes. As mentioned above, it can also scar or deformed your cornea. It can also contribute to retinal deattachment. All of these can contribute to partial blindness.
• Avoid using contact lens during a flare-up as it can potentially worsen your itchy eyes
Once you have found relief, there are also things you can do to reduce the likelihood of itchy eyes happening again. Despite of having solutions that can provide instant relief, these are temporary solutions at best. You should work to change your living environment to reduce the likelihood of itchy eyes happening again.
First of all, you have to find out whether the nature of your itchy eyes is actually due to an allergic reaction or just simply due to dryness. All About Vision has a handy quiz that you can take to figure that out.
If it is indeed an allergic reaction, here is a few things that you can do to reduce itchy eyes in the future:
• If pollen is the reason behind the reaction, you might want to consider staying indoors during the morning. This is when pollen count is at its highest. To reduce pollen indoors as well, you can also close the window and turn on the AC to keep ventilation.
• You can consider wearing protective spectacles to lessen your eyes’ exposure to these causes, if you are heading outside. It might surprise you, but itchy eyes might also be an allergic reaction to mildew and mold. While common known causes are pollens, dryness, and dust, being in an environment that induces mold can also induce itchy eyes.
• If mold is the culprit, consider installing a dehumidifier to reduce mildew and mold in the house.
• Check if you are allergic to a certain type of contact lens brand or contact lens solution. Consider talking to your local optometrist to find out the best contact lens for you to use in comfort.
• In the case of itchiness induced by dust or dust mites, make sure you wash beddings and pillow cases with hot water and to vacuum your bedroom area from regularly. You might also consider vacuuming your mattress as well.
• It is also crucial to check if any of the cosmetic products being used around eyes is triggering the reaction. Not only can cosmetic products trigger a skin reaction, it can also trigger itchy eyes as dust particles from the product gets into your eyes.
• Cigarette smoke is another common irritant. If you are a smoker or living with a smoker, make sure to take steps to ensure that your eyes aren’t irritated from the smoke with protective eyewears.
Of course, these are only a few things that you can do. Most importantly, if your itchiness persists, it is always good to consult an optometrist about your options and also to ensure that your eyes aren’t infected and are in healthy conditions.