What causes dry, itchy eyes?

Itchy, dry eyes are a common and very bothersome irritation that can be caused by a variety of conditions and problems. Occasional dry, itchy eyes will affect many if not most people, but for some, the condition is a chronic, constantly uncomfortable problem. Fortunately, there are several remedies for dry and itchy eyes, although determining the exact cause of the symptoms may require careful observation and may even require medical attention.

The eyes are delicate organs composed primarily of fats and fluids. When irritants get into the eyes, they can present with many unpleasant symptoms, from vision problems and redness to dry, itchy eyes. One of the basic ways to prevent your eyes from getting irritated is to clean the inner corners of debris at least once a day and avoid excessive eye makeup. This can help reduce chronic irritation and keep your eyes clean.

Allergies are an extremely common cause of dry and itchy eyes. When the eye is exposed to dust, floating pollen or pet dander, the particles can easily irritate the eyes and cause allergic symptoms. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine can help reduce general allergies, while eye drops can help clear your eyes of any allergens. When you're outdoors during hay fever season, consider wearing glasses or sunglasses to further protect your eyes.

For many different reasons, the eyes can stop producing enough tears to properly moisturize and clean surfaces. This can be caused by dehydration, certain medications, prolonged contact use, or simply age. Dry, itchy eyes are often a major symptom of inadequate tear production. If the tear ducts are underproductive, certain drops can be used to artificially moisturize the eyes. However, be careful when purchasing artificial tear drops as they are different than the traditional form of eye drops used to reduce redness. Some experts suggest that regular eye drops, while removing redness, may actually contribute to dry, itchy eyes.

Dry, itchy eyes can also be a symptom of certain diseases, such as conjunctivitis or conjunctivitis. These eye infections are typically bacterial or viral in nature and can be treated with prescription medications such as antibiotics or antiviral medications. People diagnosed with conjunctivitis should be very cautious during treatment as the condition is highly contagious and easy to spread. Avoid touching your eyes and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.

In some cases, malformation of the eyes or eyelids can contribute to dry, itchy eyes and other symptoms. For minor cases, eye drops can lessen symptoms in some patients. Cosmetic surgery is often required to correct the condition and allow the eyes to function normally.

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