When anything bothers your eyes or the surrounding region, it’s called eye irritation.
The appearance and sensation of an irritated eye vary depending on the origin of the irritation, but dryness, itching, and discomfort are the most common symptoms. It may appear that something is in your eye at times. A red or bulging eye is possible.
Also, Blinking distributes tears over the cornea, which is the front of the eye, in most cases. This not only keeps the eye moist but also washes away any particles that might cause illness.
When someone has dry eye disease, their tears do not nourish or lubricate their eyes.
They either don’t cry enough or don’t have the correct combination of oil, water, and mucus in their tears to clear the eye. The disorder is also known as dysfunctional tear syndrome by doctors.
Continue reading to learn about some of the most common causes of eye irritation, as well as how to treat them and when to seek medical help.
Symptoms of Irritated eye
The symptoms include:
- itchy eyes
- a gritty feeling in the eyes
- burning pain
- sensitivity to light
- blurry vision
- the sensation of something being in the eye
- watery eyes
Causes of Irritated eye
Allergies: occur when an allergen (a substance to which you are allergic) irritates the membranes of your eyes. Pollen, dust mites, molds, and pet dander are just a few of the things that can trigger eye allergies.
Shortly after being exposed to an allergen, symptoms usually appear in both eyes. If you’re allergic to pet dander, for example, you can have ocular allergy symptoms if you visit someone who owns a cat or dog.
The goal of eye allergy treatment is to alleviate symptoms. The use of over-the-counter medications or eye drops may be beneficial. If your symptoms are severe or linger for a long time, your doctor may prescribe medication or allergy injections.
Irritants: Eye irritation can also be caused by accidental exposure to things like smoke, dust particles, or chemical fumes. Your eyes may feel gritty in addition to being red or watery after being exposed.
In many situations, properly cleaning the afflicted eye or eyes for 15 to 20 minutes with room temperature water helps ease symptoms.
Some irritants have the potential to inflict lasting damage or burns to your eyes if you are exposed to them. It’s critical to limit the amount of time your eyes are exposed to an irritant and to seek medical help right away if symptoms persist after washing.
Foreign Objects: Foreign items might irritate your eyes if they get inside them. These items might be little, like a lost eyelash, or huge, like a broken piece of glass. Some things have the potential to harm your eyes.
If your doctor suspects you have a foreign item in your eye, he or she will shine a small light into your eye to examine if the object can be seen. To check for a scratched cornea, they may inspect beneath your eyelid or use a special dye.
The foreign item must be removed as part of the treatment. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to prevent infection, depending on the item that was in your eye.
Eyes that are itchy: Tears assist to keep your eyes lubricated and moist. They’re produced by glands close to your eyes. Dry eye occurs when the number or quality of tears is insufficient to keep your eyes moist.
Your eyes may feel dry and scratchy, or as if something is in them, in addition to being irritated.
Over-the-counter drugs, such as eye drops, can be used to treat mild dry eyes. In more severe situations, prescribed dry eye medicines may be required. Quitting smoking, limiting screen time, and wearing wraparound shades to guard against dry weather are all possible ways to improve your health.
Infection: Diseases Eye irritation can be caused by a number of bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Swelling of the membrane around the eye, the need to massage your eyes, pus or mucus discharge, and discoloration of the eyelids or lashes are all possible signs.
Treatment is determined by the source of the infection. In most cases, viral infections are minor and go away in one to two weeks. Your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics in the form of eye drops if you have a bacterial infection.
Antifungal medications, either in the form of eye drops or pills, can be used to treat fungus eye infections. Antifungal medicine may need to be administered directly into the eye in the most severe situations.
When people need to make their eyes wet, they can utilize artificial tear solutions. Drugstores sell these items. People can also use a warm compress or massage their eyelids.
Dry eye illness may never go away in some people. These people will be able to manage their symptoms with medicine.
Doctors may advise restricting the tear ducts to prevent tears from emptying before they have completed their task. Another alternative is prescription-strength eye drops.
When to see the doctor
See a doctor if:
- your symptoms aren’t getting better
- you have thick discharge from your eyes
- your eyes are stuck together
- you can’t keep your eye open
- your vision is changed or blurred
- you have something in your eye
- you can see a halo around lights
- it hurts to look at bright lights
- your pupils are different sizes
- your eyes are swollen
- you are in pain
Self-help for itchy eyes
Place a clean, cool, moist washcloth or an ice pack over your closed eyes to relieve irritation. You may also try putting cold water in your eyes. Avoid rubbing your eyes since this can aggravate the irritation and perhaps injure them.
If you have dry eyes, place bowls of water about the room to make the air as humid as possible.
Don’t rub your eyes.
Rubbing your eyes when they itch, regardless of the cause, is not recommended since it can damage your eyes and make them itch much more. If the itching is caused by a foreign item in the eye, such as a lash or make-up debris, excessive eye rubbing might result in a damaged cornea.
Eye discomfort can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of these issues, such as digital eye strain or a stye, are self-resolving. Others, such as irritating exposure or a clogged tear duct, need medical attention.
Treatment options range from medicated eye drops to surgical treatments, depending on what’s causing your eye discomfort.
Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns and establish the origin of the irritation if you’re having eye irritation symptoms that annoy you.