In the cab I boarded earlier today, I watched the driver rubbing his eyes furiously. With one hand on the steering wheel and one eye on the road, he kept busy in a futile attempt to pacify his itching eyes.
For some people, the spring season might encourage irritation of the eyes. Burning sensations and swollen eyes or eyelids might also accompany the uncomfortable situations summoned by such a season.
If your eyes itch from time to time, understanding the possible causes is the most fundamental step to avoiding irritations like those. To get treatment and relief, one should know what the likely causes might be.
Eye allergies are often the cause of itchy eyes. They are usually triggered by pollen or other irritants which include dust and smoke, products such as lotions, make-up or contact lens solutions. An allergy test can be conducted to determine the specific allergens responsible for the irritation or inflammation.
DON’T RUB YOUR EYES
The most obvious action to take may also be the most difficult; avoid rubbing your eyes. Raising your hand or finger to rub your already-irritated eyes can add more allergens which would only worsen the case. Constant rubbing of the eyes can also cause damage in the top corneal layer (epithelium), causing pain and potentially leading to infection.
RELIEF FOR ITCHY EYES
You might have to visit a doctor to determine the cause of your itchy eyes. If allergies are the main reason for your itchy eyes, a doctor might advise you to engage the following;
Taking protective measures during the spring or high-pollen season can help provide relief from itchy eyes.
- Keep your windows closed while driving and at home too. Wear sunglasses (wrap-around) outdoors to minimize contact with pollen.
- Shower every night to remove accumulated pollens on skin, eyelids, hair and your face. Also wash your hands after contact with pets/animals.
- Change your bedding more frequently.
What to do when my eye itches
- Cold compress. To deal with a mild case of allergy-related itching, use a clean cold cloth over the eyes to ease the discomfort.
- Artificial tears. Use of chilled over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can relieve symptoms.
- Anti-allergy Medication. Recommended oral medication that contain antihistamines can be obtained from a doctor or a pharmacy. Anti-allergy eye drops can also be used.
- Allergy Immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is a treatment that involves daily administration of allergy drops. Sometimes, a person is treated with the allergens one is sensitized to and over time, such a person becomes more tolerant of those allergens.
These precautionary measures and treatment might help alleviate the symptoms of itchy eyes but see a doctor if such symptoms persist. Other conditions such as blepharitis or dry eye syndrome can also cause irritation in the eyes.
Contact Lens (hygiene)
If you use contact lenses, changing them as often as prescribed is very important Allergens and bacteria can easily stick to soft contact lenses.
- Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes.
- Properly rub your contact lenses when cleaning.
- Wash the case and change the solution regularly.
Your eye doctor might recommend a new replacement schedule if irritation does not reduce. Disposable contact lenses may also be an option where they are replaced daily.
Avoid rubbing your itchy eyes to avoid worsening the case.
Written by Christopher Ayo
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