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What causes itchy eyes?

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Quick Answer

A number of conditions from allergies and dry eye syndrome to conjunctivitis and contact dermatoblepharitis can cause itchy eyes or ocular pruritis, explains the American Academy of Ophthalmology. To successfully treat itchy eyes, a person needs to have the underlying problem treated, not just the symptoms.

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Full Answer

One of the major causes of itchy eyes is allergies, an issue that results in not only itchiness but redness, inflammation of the eyes and congestion, states WebMD. Allergies that cause itchiness are either seasonal, occurring largely during high-pollen times of the year, or perennial, occurring when exposed to certain allergens such as dust mites or pet dander. Individuals with allergies can treat the itchiness with eye drops and oral antihistamines.

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes do not produce sufficient lubrication, causing irritation and itchiness of the eyes, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Using artificial tears or cyclosporine A can help individuals suffering from this condition to produce more lubrication. Several types of conjunctivitis can cause the eyes to itch such as contact lens-induced conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis and vernal keratoconjunctivitis. For the former problem, the contact lenses need to be disposed of and new lenses refitted. Antihistamines, corticosteroid injections and artificial tears can help treat the latter two conditions.

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