Itchy or stinging eyes: what are the causes?

Itchy or stinging eyes: what are the causes?
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Whether it happens occasionally or on a regular basis, many people experience itching or stinging in their eyes. So what causes this itching and stinging, and how can it be prevented?

Fatigue or allergies?

If you have been exposed to something you are allergic to (such as pollen or mites) during the time in which you notice the itching and stinging in your eyes, try to avoid exposure to these substances for a day or two if possible. If symptoms continue regardless, they could be caused by fatigue.

Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night for two nights, but if you still have symptoms after eliminating allergens and getting enough sleep, it is best to consult an ophthalmologist. You may be suffering from dry eye syndrome.

An infection causing itchiness

Itching or stinging in the eyes could also be caused by:

  • different types of conjunctivitis,
  • atopic dermatitis (eczema),
  • dysfunction of the meibomian glands (inflamed eyelids, dry eyes),
  • blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids),
  • an infection caused by contact lenses,
  • viral infections, such as herpes,
  • certain medications (e.g., the contraceptive pill, antibiotics, antihistamines, saline solutions, etc.)

Finally, the ocular dryness at the root of itchy eyes can also be linked to:

  • prolonged screen use
  • age
  • the menopause
  • environmental factors (dry air, cigarette smoke, pollution, etc.)
  • conditions such as diabetes or lupus

What are the solutions?

Obviously, if the itching or stinging lasts more than 3 or 4 days, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist, especially in the case of strong pain, changes in your vision, redness, signs of infection, excessive tearing, or if your eyelids are stuck together when you wake up.

The treatment will vary depending on the cause of the problem. It may involve applying hot or cold compresses, changing your contact lenses or taking a particular medication.

If you can’t resist the urge to rub your eyes, use a compress instead of doing so with your hands. Eat a diet that is rich in vitamin A and omega 3 to improve your eyesight.