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Natural Home Remedies For Itchy Eyes

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction  

If you suffer from the need to scratch or pick at your eyes, you are not alone. Having itchy eyes is a very common problem. The scientific name for itchy eyes is ocular pruritis. Itchy eyes are a common problem, usually caused by some allergy or dry eye syndrome. You can also have itchy eyelids, usually at the base of eyelashes, and swollen eyes or eyelids.1 Knowing the cause of the itchy eyes will help you utilise the most effective remedy. For example, if your itchy eye is due to an allergy, getting rid of the trigger causing the allergic response will be the most effective way to manage the itchy eye.2 

itchy eyes home remedies

What Causes Itchy Eyes?  

Allergy is the most common cause of itchy eyes. An allergy can be triggered by pollen, animal fur, dust, mites, makeup, or eyedrops. Some of the specific causes of itchy eyes are:  

  • Allergic conditions like allergic conjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis (swelling of the eye surface), and atopic keratoconjunctivitis (swelling on the eye surface due to a genetic condition) can give you itchy eyes.  
  • Eczema (roughness and swelling of the skin) around your eyes can also cause eye itching.  
  • Reaction to medications, for example, medicines like antihistamines (drugs used to treat allergies), birth control pills, anti-depressants, and pain killers.  
  • Dry eye syndrome (the body does not produce enough tears to keep the eye surface moist and comfortable) 
  • Infection due to contact lenses 
  • Irritation due to exposure of eyes to chemicals like cigarette smoke and gases  
  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).1   

While washing eyes with cold water is soothing, it shouldn’t be done excessively. It could induce eye dryness and further discomfort. Twice or thrice a day is fine.

Dr. Gitanjali Sharma Bose MBBS, MS Ophthalmology

Symptoms of Itchy Eyes 

Apart from the itchy feeling, itchy eyes can cause other symptoms like: 

  • Irritation  
  • Burning sensation 
  • Swollen eyes and eyelids2 

Did you know?

  • Mold growth indoors due to climate change can worsen respiratory conditions and cause itchy eyes. source: CDC
  • Itchy eyes from pollen exposure can lead to diminished work and school productivity. source: CDC
  • Extreme rainfall and rising temperatures can contribute to indoor air quality problems, worsening itchy eyes. source: CDC

Suggested Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes 

You can relieve yourself of itchy eyes by following these home remedies. Home remedies for itchy eyes are given as follows: 

Herbal Home Remedies  

1. Aparajita (Clitoria leaves)  

You can make a paste of Aparajita flowers with milk. Applying this paste over the closed eyes helps relieve conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is a common cause of itchy eyes. Aparajita has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation and swelling.3,4  

2. Muli (Radish green leaves)  

You can use fresh leaves of radish to make juice. Consuming this juice is considered good for eye health. It helps by relieving the burning sensation and itching in the eyes.4  

3. Punarnava Leaves (Hogweed)    

The leaves of Punarnava can be used to make a fine paste. You can apply this paste over closed eyes. It gives a cooling sensation to the eyes, which might improve eye irritation and itching. Punarava is effective in managing eye diseases. Punarnava leaves juice can also be used topically for the eyes to manage diseases like conjunctivitis that might cause itchiness.4,5    

4. Chandan (Sandalwood)  

Sandalwood has anti-inflammatory (swelling reducing) activity. It also helps in dealing with eye infections that might cause itchy eyes. You can use sandalwood to make a decoction. Cool this decoction and use it to wash your eyes.4,6    

Over the counter eye drops for itchy eyes are notorious for having steroids. Some allergic eye conditions tend to recur every year, especially during March- April. It is a form of conjunctivitis and is best to consult your eye doctor for the same and not use over these counter remedies.

Dr. Gitanjali Sharma Bose MBBS, MS Ophthalmology

Other Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes 

1. Cold compress    

When dealing with a mild case of allergic itching, you can use a cold cloth or a cold compress over the eyes to ease the discomfort of itching. You can also try splashing your eyes with cold water.1  

2. Eyewash    

If your eye itching is due to some particles or dust in your eyes, you can remove it from your eyes by using warm water or saline solution.1  

3. Protective Measures for Itchy Eyes  

To get relief from itchy eyes, you can follow these protective measures to avoid exposure of eyes to external particles:  

  • Closing the windows of your car or house  
  • Wearing sunglasses when venturing outside to avoid contact with allergens like pollen    
  • Changing the bedding frequently  
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Constant rubbing of the eyes can damage the top layer of the eye, which can lead to pain and infection.  
  • You can shower at night to remove the accumulated dirt and pollen from your hair, eyelid, skin, and face to avoid eye irritation. Make sure you wash your hands after patting animals to avoid transferring allergens to the eye.2    
  • Maintaining contact lens hygiene can help you protect your eyes from allergens and bacteria. If you use contact lenses, you must make sure to change them as frequently as possible. In addition, you can follow these tips to maintain proper contact lens hygiene.2    
  • Keeping the eyes lubricated frequently with artificial tears.  
  • Properly cleaning the contact lenses every night. Make sure to rub the contact lenses during cleaning. Make sure you clean the case and change the solution inside it every day.  
  • Make sure to consult with an eye doctor if you face continuous irritation.    
  • You can also use daily disposable contact lenses.2    

Also Read: How to Stop Watery Eyes: Effective Solutions Based on Research

When to Seek Medical Help? 

You can reach out to a doctor or healthcare provider if you experience: 

  • A thick discharge from the eyes 
  • Symptoms that don’t get better 
  • Inability to open the eyes 
  • Change in vision or blurry vision 
  • Difficulty in keeping the eyes open 
  • Pain  
  • Swollen eyes 
  • A difference in the size of your pupils  
  • Discomfort when looking at bright lights1 

Conclusion  

Itchy eyes are a common condition, which mainly occurs due to allergic reactions, and sometimes due to dry eye syndrome. Getting rid of the allergen that causes eye itchiness is the best way to relieve itchy eyes. However, for this, you can get help from a doctor. In this case, you can consult your doctor for a treatment plan that works best for you. Using a cold compress and washing the eyes with cold water are some simple yet effective home remedies to relieve itchy eyes. You can also use herbal remedies like sandalwood and radish leaves.  

If the home remedies don’t work and your symptoms don’t get better, you need to contact your healthcare provider.

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies for Red Eyes    

Frequently Asked Questions  

1) What are the home remedies to relieve itchy eyes? 

There are many effective remedies to manage itchy eyes at home. You can try a cold compress with an ice pack or damp cloth to ease the discomfort of itching. You can splash your eyes with cold water to get rid of itchy eyes. Some herbal remedies include using Chandan (sandalwood), radish leaves, aparajita (Clitoria) leaves, and punarnava leaves, which can be used to relieve the symptoms of an itchy eye.1,3–6 

2) Can I prevent itchy eyes? 

You can try avoiding things that can irritate the eyes, such as dry air, pollen, wind, chemicals, cigarette smoke, dust, and strong smells. Avoiding these things might help prevent itchy eyes in the future. If your itchy eye is due to an allergen, avoiding the trigger might also help prevent itchiness in the eye. For this, you can get in touch with a doctor to get an assessment.1  

3) Is my itchy eye due to an allergy? 

Allergy is the most common cause of eye itchiness. Many people are allergic to environmental factors like dust, pollen, animal fur, or dust mites. You can consult a doctor to get the assessment.1  

4) Should I visit a doctor for my itchy eye? 

Eye itchiness is a common problem that mostly occurs due to certain allergies. Getting rid of the allergen can help you deal with eye itchiness. However, if your itchy eyes do not improve, or you experience symptoms like pain, difficulty keeping your eyes open, blurred vision, swollen eyes, and pain when facing light, you should visit a doctor and get medical help.1  

5) Can anti-allergy medicine cause itchy eyes? 

Some people might experience reactions to certain anti-allergy medications and develop itchy eyes.1 If you feel like your medication is giving you an itchy eye, contact your healthcare provider as they will be able to guide you about the next course of action.  

Also Read: 8 Home Remedies For Seasonal Allergies

References  

1. Itchy eyes – causes, treatment and self-help. healthdirect [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 28]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/itchy-eyes 

2. Why Are My Eyes Itchy? Answers From an Expert. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 28]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/why-are-my-eyes-itchy-answers-from-an-expert 

3. Oguis GK, Gilding EK, Jackson MA, Craik DJ. Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea), a Cyclotide-Bearing Plant With Applications in Agriculture and Medicine. Frontiers in Plant Science [Internet]. 2019 May 31 [cited 2022 Apr 28];10. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31191573/#:~:text=The%20perennial%20leguminous%20herb%20Clitoria,source%20of%20an%20eco%2Dfriendly 

4. Ayush Division. Ayurveda offering Herbal healing. Available from: https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf 

5. Bhowmik D, Sampath Kumar KP, Srivastava S, Paswan S, Sankar A, Dutta D. Traditional Indian Herbs Punarnava and Its Medicinal Importance. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry [Internet]. 2012;1(1). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285176083_Traditional_Indian_Herbs_Punarnava_and_Its_Medicinal_Importance 

6. Choudhary S, Chaudhary G. Sandalwood (Santalum Album): Ancient Tree With Significant Medicinal Benefits. International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research [Internet]. 2021;9(4). Available from: https://ijapr.in/index.php/ijapr/article/view/1895”‹ 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes. 

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