What It Really Means When Your Eyes Itch

We all know that rubbing our eyes can cause wrinkles, the dreaded red eyes, and more — but it can feel so good, especially when your eyes have been feeling itchy. From seasonal shifts to other sources of irritation, itchy eyes can derail an otherwise perfect day. It's best to know the cause of your issue first before you start with any type of solution, however.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons for itchy eyes comes from the most uncontrollable of all elements — the weather. Seasonal allergies affect between 10 to 30 percent of the population each year, Healthline notes. When your itchy, dry eyes accompany other classic allergy symptoms like sneezing and a running nose, you can likely thank your body's reaction to histamine for your eye discomfort. Histamine creates inflammation that can, in turn, impact your eyes. To counteract this issue, opt for an over-the-counter antihistamine medication or spend more time indoors whenever the pollen count is high, the outlet suggests.

Another common reason for eye irritation comes from looking at our screens for too long. Anytime your eyes are overly focused on a specific point for a long time can lead to eye strain, Healthline explains. Reading in dim lighting, staring at a computer screen for too long, or just keeping your eyes open when they really want to shut can cause this issue. According to Healthline, to take better care of your eye health, make time for breaks and close your eyes whenever possible.

If you're noticing more symptoms than just a little discomfort, it's time to see an eye doctor

While many worry that their eye discomfort may be an infection, the symptoms of this issue are pretty unmistakable. For instance, the Cleveland Clinic notes that an infection has a lot more symptoms than allergies do. Discharge or mucus, feeling sensitive to light, having a coarse sensation inside the eyelid, and more can signify a bigger issue. When you're noticing more symptoms than just a little discomfort, it's time to head to the eye doctor.

To mitigate your risk of coming down with an infection, wash your hands often and regularly clean or replace your makeup brushes, the outlet suggests. Since bacteria and fungi can live on objects, it's important to be careful with what you put near your eyes.

Beyond the larger issues like infection, eye itchiness can stem from daily experiences — like wearing contacts. When they've been in place for too long, it can lead to dryness and irritation, Healthline explains, so it's important to replace and cleanse them regularly. Otherwise, various environmental irritations may be to blame like dust or smoke. Practicing good hygiene and keeping eye drops on hand can be beneficial.