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What Causes Itchy Eyes?

Well, the warm weather is finally here and the trees and flowers are starting to bud! Most of us welcome this time of year. But unfortunately, this time of year causes some of us to suffer from itchy eyes. Itchy eyes are usually caused by some type of allergens, but not always. Our blog article this week addressed the question of what causes itchy eyes? And gives some solutions to help alleviate eye itch!

Most of us have suffered from itchy eyes at one time or another! There are many reasons as to why someone might have itchy eyes. Our article is dedicated to answering the question, what causes itchy eyes?

What Causes Itchy Eyes?

Seasonal Eye Allergies – Allergic Conjunctivitis

Many people only tend to have problems with allergies during certain times of the year. These types of allergies are known as seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies usually coincide with the spring and fall months. During these times of the year, there are higher counts of pollens, dust, and molds in the air. For people who are allergic, exposure to an allergen causes a response from our immune system and the release of histamines. The release of histamines within the tissues surrounding the eyes causes the itching, redness, and swelling!

Product Allergy

Another common type of eye allergy is a product allergy. Soaps, make-up, skin-care lotions and creams, eye drops, and contact lens solutions are all products that come into or within close contact of the eyes. Often the allergy doesn’t appear after first-time use but can develop over a long period of time.

Should you find that a product you are using is causing your eyes discomfort such as itching, make sure to discontinue use immediately!

Contact Lens-Related Eye Allergy

Itchy eyes while wearing contact lenses is usually an indicator that you are either overwearing your lenses or you aren’t replacing them frequently enough! When overwearing contacts, proteins from within the tear film start to bind to the contact lenses. Itchy eyes occur as a result of the body developing an allergy to the protein on that coat the lenses. This problem is referred to as GPC or giant papillary conjunctivitis. Although common, us eye care practitioners are starting to see it less frequently as more people start to wear daily disposable contact lenses.

Not All Itchy Eyes Are Caused By Allergies

So even though most eye itching is caused by allergies it isn’t always the case. Chronic dry eye, MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction), and blepharitis can all cause symptoms of itchy, burning, red eyes.

Because eyes may itch for many reasons, it is best to visit an optometrist to determine what the cause of your itching are. And what the best course of treatment should be!

Should you find yourself suffering from constant eye itching, you can book an appointment at our office by calling (403)255-2826 or booking online!
Article was written by Trina Vanaalst, licensed optician and contact lens practitioner

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