Find out why and how to avoid it!
It's not because you got shampoo in your eyes that you end up itching at the end of the day. Nor does chopping onions or not washing properly after cooking spicy food... We live in many situations that are potentially harmful to the health of our eyes! We work too long in front of screens, we touch our face without washing our hands or sometimes we even use our contact lenses badly... The reason? Rushing, carelessness or habit.
Itchy eyes are a sensation associated with symptoms such as blurred vision or redness. Sound familiar? Eye irritation can occur for reasons as diverse as allergies, eye strain or dry eyes. In general, our eyes need to be pampered and given more attention than we normally give them. Why? The eye has its own barriers to prevent infectious agents from reaching its interior, but sometimes microbes get past these protective mechanisms and cause an eye infection. This is the case, for example, with conjunctivitis, another fairly common episode that can cause itching. If you want to know more about the most common causes of itchy eyes, read on! In this article, we explain everything you need to know.
Why do your eyes itch?
The most common causes
What is the first thing you do when your eyes itch? Most likely, you feel like rubbing your eyes to relieve the irritation. Be careful! This only makes the situation worse. Itchy eyes are usually related to the discharge of a fluid other than the drops secreted by the tear gland. And there are many reasons that can lead to this situation. That's why we've outlined the most common causes of eye irritation below. You have probably experienced one of these reasons at some point.
Our eyes, like any other part of the body, get tired after too much activity for too long. In this case, itchy eyes are the first sign of eye fatigue, and it usually occurs for three reasons:
Blinking frequency decreases. Normally, we blink an average of 18 times per minute, but when we are very focused on something, this frequency can decrease to an average of three times per minute! This results in a decrease in eye lubrication and an increase in dryness, which leads to itching.
Stress on the eye muscles. When we focus our eyes on something up close, we stress the muscles that support the lens. This promotes tension in the eye area, leading to fatigue and itching.
Exposure to too many screens. We have become accustomed to living with excessive digital lighting, but this has a significant impact on our eye health.
Dry eye occurs when the eyeball is not properly hydrated. Itching, irritation or redness occurs when one of the layers of the tear film is disturbed. What causes this phenomenon? For example:
-Use of air conditioning.
-Exposure to the sun.
-Ingesting certain medications.
If this happens regularly, it is important to consult an ophthalmologist, as it may be dry eye syndrome. This ophthalmological condition, which continually disrupts the quality of vision, requires diagnosis, treatment and personalized follow-up.
Itchy eyes, watery eyes... if you are allergic, you know that your eyes suffer a lot from contact with an allergen. This happens when we come in contact with the substance in question (dust, pollen, dust mites, animal elements are the most common), and our eyes react by trying to expel it.
For proper treatment, it is essential to locate the allergen. It can then be treated with antihistamines or even corticosteroids. It is important to monitor its evolution, as this ocular reaction can lead to allergic conjunctivitis. The use of an air purifier and keeping the windows closed (especially during the pollen season) is also recommended by allergists. It is recommended to take a shower when coming back from outside during pollen season and using glasses when going outside can help to reduce the amount of allergens reaching the eyes.
There are many substances that, although they do not cause allergy, can also cause itchy eyes. Chlorine from the pool, certain oils, shampoo or soap suds are the most common examples. That's why it's important to check the label before buying products that may come in contact with the eyes!
If this happens, wash your eyes immediately, ideally with artificial tears or sterile wipes, but if you don't have any available, you can also use water. And, as always, consult your ophthalmologist if the discomfort doesn't go away.
Treating itchy eyes
Since itchy eyes are very common, here are the simplest and most effective remedies for itchy eyes:
Disinfect the area around your eyes. We recommend doing this several times a day, for example morning, noon and night, using warm water and rinses with chamomile or horsetail.
Apply cold. Cold is a good remedy for itchy eyes. You can use cold compresses, tea bags or cucumber slices, just like in the movies! Keep in mind that you need to keep the area cold for a while to reduce inflammation.
Massage gently. You can use a moisturizer or oil that is suitable for the eye area and gently massage to release tension around the eyes, eyelids, eyebrows and around the ears.
If none of this helps, or if the itchy eyes are very severe, it's important to see an ophthalmologist for proper care and treatment.
Preventing Itchy Eyes
The best way to prevent itchy eyes is to identify the causes and adopt healthy habits to avoid them.
Make sure you work in the right light
If you spend a lot of time looking closely, avoid eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
It may be helpful to use drops such as artificial tears to prevent dryness and itching.
We hope you have learned from this article and wish you the best of health!
The Protech Allergies team