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An Optometrist Discusses Some Causes of Itchy Eyes
Anyone can have itchy eyes. This annoying and frustrating experience can also affect your quality of life. It can prevent you from enjoying the activities that used to make you happy. This condition can lead to complications if you do not receive proper treatments. If you want to know some causes of itchy eyes, here are some explanations from an optometrist.
VKC (vernal keratoconjunctivitis)
Itchy eyes can result from VKC. This is the inflammation of the conjunctiva (the front membranous layer of the eye). The common symptoms include hard bumps on the upper eyelid that are raised and resemble cobblestones. Some people experience this seasonal eye condition the entire year. In other cases, people with severe VKC can develop corneal scarring and ulcers.
Pink eye causes a white or yellowish discharge from eyes and the pinkish color of the white of the eye. Itchy eyes from this condition can get relief from a doctor’s treatment. Another term for pink eye is bacterial conjunctivitis. Refraining from touching the infected eye can prevent complications and the spread of the condition. This could cause the infection of another person or the other eye.
The conjunctiva and the cornea suffer from inflammation if a person has this condition. A person with this eye ailment has a genetic predisposition to have an allergic reaction to a particular type of allergen. The body tends to produce a higher level of antibodies. Having itchy eyes is year-round suffering. Below are the common symptoms:
- The cornea thins out and develops a cone-shaped protrusion
- Corneal vascularization
Particles lodged in the eye
Tiny particles can get into the eyes while cleaning the house or during a windy day. Dust, dirt, or sand can lodge in the eye and cause irritation. Itchy eyes, pain, and tearing can result from this unexpected eye invasion. The eye will try to wash out the sediment with tears.
Rubbing the eye is not a good idea. Doing so may run the particles against the eye itself, causing injury. Scratches on the eyeball’s surface can introduce bacteria into the eye. Going to the ER or emergency eye doctor can provide better relief.
Using contact lenses every day
Daily contact lens wearing can also result in itchy eyes. Extended use can lead to dry eye syndrome. Some allergens also gather in the contact lenses. This triggers allergic reactions. Giant papillary conjunctivitis is also known as contact lens allergy or contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis. This type of allergy causes eye redness and itchiness.
This results from the constant rubbing of the contact lens against the conjunctiva. The friction irritates this thin membrane. A family history of eye allergies and poor lens hygiene puts a person at risk for itchy eyes. Conditions such as hay fever, asthma, ad eczema can make this condition worse as well.
Dry eye syndrome
This condition results from the eye’s lack of lubrication. The eyes have low protection against particulates. They become more sensitive to dirt and dust in the air. Inadequate tear production can cause stinging or itchy eyes, watery eyes, and blurry vision. It is a chronic eye condition in need of proper treatment.
This condition can also become worse because of Meibomian gland dysfunction. This condition affects the Meibomian glands that are in both upper and lower eyelids. These glands are responsible for oil production. The oil makes eye lubrication stay longer on the eyes, keeping them moist. A dysfunction in this gland will make tears evaporate right away. This results in dry eye syndrome.
Eye itchiness can occur after exposure to specific allergens. Grass, mold, dust mites, cosmetics, and animal dander can trigger an allergic reaction. There is often a steady pattern to the symptoms. Being aware of the allergen that triggers the itchiness can help prevent the onset of the irritation. Over-the-counter allergy eye drops or antihistamines can ease the itchiness.
Digital eye strain
Hours of staring into a digital screen can cause eye irritation. This is digital eye strain. Excessive screen time can cause headaches, fatigue, and eye itchiness. It can also make focusing difficult. This can impact long-term vision in a negative way. Having rest breaks will allow the eyes to recover throughout the day.
Itchy eyes need proper diagnosis and treatment to help you regain your eye health
It can be frustrating and disheartening to have eye irritation all the time. You should not live with this type of eye condition at all. Your eye doctor’s correct diagnosis and treatment can relieve your itchy eyes. This can improve your quality of life and eye health as well.
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