The Top Causes Of Itchy Eyes


Itchy eyes can be a persistent and bothersome condition, affecting people of all ages. The discomfort and irritation associated with itchy eyes can significantly impact one's quality of life. Understanding the underlying causes of this condition is crucial for effective management and relief. In this article, we will explore the top causes of itchy eyes, ranging from environmental factors to various medical conditions. By gaining insight into these causes, individuals can take proactive steps to prevent and alleviate itching, leading to improved eye health and overall well-being.


One of the most common causes of itchy eyes is allergies. Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold can trigger an immune response in sensitive individuals. When the eyes come into contact with these allergens, the body releases histamines, leading to itching, redness, and swelling. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, commonly known as hay fever, is a prevalent form of eye allergy. It occurs during specific times of the year when plants release pollen into the air. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis, on the other hand, can occur year-round due to exposure to indoor allergens. Check out the Allergen Outlook for Edmonton.

Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Syndrome occur whens the eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. This condition can result from various factors, including aging, certain medications, environmental conditions, and prolonged screen time. Insufficient lubrication causes the eyes to become dry and irritated, leading to itching and discomfort. Individuals with dry eyes may also experience a gritty or burning sensation, excessive tearing, and blurred vision.

Eye Irritants

Exposure to irritants can cause itching and redness in the eyes. Common irritants include smoke, smog, chemicals, and strong odours. These substances can cause irritation and inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. Additionally, contact with chlorine in swimming pools, certain cosmetics, and eye drops can also lead to eye irritation and itching. It is essential to identify and avoid these irritants to prevent ongoing discomfort.

Eye Infections

Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), can cause itching along with other symptoms like redness, discharge, and blurred vision. Bacterial or viral infections, as well as allergies and irritants, can contribute to the development of eye infections. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact or by sharing contaminated items. Prompt medical attention and appropriate treatment are necessary to prevent the spread of infection and alleviate itching.


Blepharitis is a common condition characterized by inflammation of the eyelids. It can result from bacterial or fungal infections, clogged oil glands, or certain skin conditions. The inflammation causes itching, redness, swelling, and a gritty or burning sensation in the eyes. Regular eyelid hygiene, warm compresses, and prescribed medications can help manage blepharitis and alleviate the associated symptoms.

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a popular choice for vision correction, but they can also contribute to itchy eyes and discomfort if not properly used or maintained. Here are some contact lens-related issues that can cause itching:
  • Allergic Reactions. Some individuals may develop allergies to the materials used in contact lenses or the solutions used for cleaning and disinfecting them. Allergic reactions can cause itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes. Switching to hypoallergenic lenses or changing to a different solution can help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Dryness and Irritation. Contact lenses can lead to dry eyes due to reduced oxygen flow to the cornea. This can result in eye irritation, redness, and itching. Using lubricating eye drops specifically designed for contact lens wearers can help moisturize the eyes and reduce discomfort.
  • Poor Hygiene. Inadequate cleaning and maintenance of contact lenses can lead to the accumulation of debris, protein deposits, and bacteria on the lenses. These deposits can cause eye irritation, itching, and even infections. It is crucial to follow proper hygiene practices, including regular cleaning, disinfection, and replacing lenses as recommended by the eye care professional.
  • Improper Fit. Ill-fitting contact lenses can cause friction and irritation on the surface of the eye. This can lead to itching, redness, and discomfort. It is essential to have a proper fitting by an eye care professional and follow their instructions regarding lens selection and usage.
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC). GPC is a condition that can occur due to an allergic reaction or mechanical irritation caused by contact lens wear. It is characterized by the formation of small bumps on the inner surface of the eyelids, leading to itching, redness, and mucus discharge. Switching to daily disposable lenses or changing the lens material can help manage GPC.

Itchy eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from allergies and dry eyes to eye infections and irritants to improper contact lens wear. Identifying the underlying cause is essential for appropriate treatment and relief. Consulting with an optometrist an help determine the specific cause of itchy eyes and guide individuals towards the most effective solutions. Preventive measures, such as avoiding known allergens, maintaining good eye hygiene, and minimizing exposure to irritants, can significantly reduce the occurrence of itchy eyes.

Schedule An Appointment

Adult Eye Exams At Our Edmonton Eye Clinic

Our advanced eye exams consist of 25+ modern tests and digital scans to assess eye health, function, and visual acuity.

Adult Eye Exams »

Child Eye Exams At Our Edmonton Eye Clinic

Give your child a clear future with an annual eye exam from our experienced Edmonton optometrists.

Child Eye Exams »

Senior Eye Exams At Our Edmonton Eye Clinic

Maintain your vision through your golden years with gold standard eye care from the optometrists at our Edmonton eye clinic.

Senior Eye Exams »

Contact Lens Eye Exams At Our Edmonton Eye Clinic

Our eye exams for contact lens wearers include test and digital scans to assess eye health, function, visual acuity, and lens fit.

Contact Lens Eye Exams »

Diabetic Eye Exams At Our Edmonton Eye Clinic

Managing diabetes requires regular eye exams to ensure that diabetes is not causing irreversible vision loss.

Diabetic Eye Exams »

Dilated Eye Exams At Our Edmonton Eye Clinic

Dilating the eyes enables our Edmonton optometrists to see more of the eye so that you many never see less.

Dilated Eye Exams »

Exam Pre-Testing: Tonometer

Corneal Thickness | Intraocular Pressures | Visual Field

Pre-testing is a detailed process that gathers all necessary information for the optometrist in advance of the optometrist-administered eye examination. This process involves completing a detailed patient history, as well as a series of standard tests. Pre-testing is an essential part of the comprehensive eye exam process, providing valuable information and visuals for both the optometrist and the patient.

More About Pre-Testing »
Exam Advanced Eye Testing: Optical Coherence Tomography

Retinal Photography, OCT, Topography

eye-deology Vision Care differentiates itself from other clinics by having the most advanced modern diagnostic specialty testing equipment. Specialty equipment, such as a wide-angle high-resolution retinal imager, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer and corneal topographer, ensures that patients receive the best comprehensive eye care.

More About Advanced Testing »
Optometrist-Performed Examination: Refraction

Health Assessment & Disease Diagnosis

eye-deology Vision Care Edmonton optometrists perform a multitude of tests and assessments to evaluate ocular health, eye coordination, and visual acuity. In addition, they also evaluate the results of the tests and scans performed during pre-testing. As part of patient education, our optometrists also take the time to show and explain results to patients.

More About Doctor Exam »
Prescription Eye Glass Consultation and Measurements

Prescription | Lens Selection | Digital Fitting

If you require corrective lenses to improve your vision, our licensed opticians will customize their fit to your unique attributes, needs, lifestyle, and budget. Our opticians are happy to provide you with information about the latest eyeglass frame and lens technologies available so you can make informed decisions and begin seeing and looking your best.

More About Eyewear Consult »

Preservative-free formulations have been shown to significantly improve symptoms in patients with severe dry eye symptoms while showing little to no adverse effects.

Yess, rubbing your eyes can result in broken blood vessels, dark circles, and wrinkles. Additionally, rubbing your eyes can put pressure on the cornea, the transparent dome covering the front of your eye. This rubbing can cause a condition called keratoconus, where the cornea thins and bulges into a cone shape, making it difficult to achieve clear vision.