Most of the time, itchy eyes are caused by some type of allergy. An irritating substance (called an allergen) — such as pollen, dust and animal dander — causes the release of compounds called histamines in the tissues around the eyes, which results in itching, redness and swelling.
Man rubbing his itchy eyes
Rubbing won’t help your itchy eyes. In fact, it can make things worse.
Eye allergies come in lots of shapes and sizes and can be seasonal or perennial.
Seasonal allergies cause what’s known as allergic conjunctivitis. It’s most common in the spring and fall and is caused by high pollen counts and exposure to outdoor allergens like grass and weeds.
Perennial allergies, on the other hand, are present all year long and are caused by things like mold and dust.
in some cases, a product you’re using can cause allergy-related itchy eyes. For example, some people develop allergies to their contact lens solutions. Other products with ingredients that may cause your eyes to itch include: artificial tears used to treat dry eyes; makeup; and lotions, creams and soaps.
But allergies aren’t the only cause of itchy eyes. If (in addition to itching) your eyes are burning, the cause may be dry eye syndrome or meibomian gland dysfunction, not allergies.
Similarly, if your eyelids are red and inflamed, you may have a condition called blepharitis, which is caused by bacteria and in some cases by microscopic mites that live on the eyelids.