Possible causes of itchy eyelids, which are often accompanied by redness or swelling, include allergies, infections, sleep deprivation and other conditions that irritate or infect the eyelid, according to Healthgrades. These conditions are typically not harmful to a person’s vision or overall health.
A person with itchy eyelids may also experience eye lumps, a gritty sensation in the eye, discharge or unusually teary eyes, says Healthgrades. Allergies, such as those caused by eye makeup, are localized, whereas allergic reactions, such as hay fever, are more generalized. Allergic conjunctivitis is a type of allergy that affects the membrane that covers the whites of the eyes and lines the interior part of the eyelids.
Conditions that infect or inflame the eyelid margin tend to cause itchy eyelids, explains Healthgrades. Blepharitis refers to an inflammation of the eyelid margin, while chalazion is an inflammation of the eyelid margin’s oil gland. Hordeolum is a bacterial infection that affects the eyelid margin’s oil gland or eyelash follicle.
Conditions that cause itchy eyelids often improve naturally without medications; however, a person who experiences troublesome eye symptoms should consult a doctor as itchy eyelids can indicate the fatal allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, notes Healthgrades. An individual can use cool compresses or antihistamines to relieve itching. Rubbing the eyes and scratching the eyelids should be avoided.