What Causes Watery Itchy Eyes + Symptoms
You having burning, red, itchy or watery eyes is not a superstition or a mysterious thing to believe in. What are the causes? The most common reason is allergies. But there are more causes some of which come to show up in a complex manner such as headaches as you will see from the various symptoms.
What Other Health Problems Can Blepharitis Cause
Blepharitis can lead to other eye problems, including:
- Stye. A stye is a red, painful bump on the eyelid caused by a blocked oil gland.
- Chalazion. A chalazion is a hard, painless lump on the eyelid caused by a blocked oil gland. Often, this happens when you have a stye that doesnt go away. It can make your eyelid swell and turn red. A chalazion will often go away on its own.
- Dry eye. Oil and flakes can build up in your tear film . This can make your eyes feel dry. Or your eyes may feel watery or teary because your tears arent working correctly. Learn more about dry eye.
- Damage to the cornea. In severe cases, blepharitis can hurt your cornea . This can happen because of swelling or irritation in your eyelids or eye lashes that grow in the wrong direction.
- Chronic red eye. Blepharitis can make the white part of your eye look red all the time.
Yellow Or White Balls Of Eye Mucus
Possible cause: This is caused by dry eye syndrome and it occurs when your hormones decrease your tear production. Common causes include sun exposure, allergic reactions to medicines, dry windy environments, smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke and colds. A previous injury to the eye also may cause this infection as well as chemical burns and Sjogren syndrome.
Other symptoms: Symptoms include sensitivity to light, a gritty feeling within the eye, itching, redness, burning sensation and blurred vision.
When to see a doctor: Book an appointment with your doctor if your eye or eyelid is sore, red or painful. If you had an eye injury, swelling, bulging or droopy eyelid, flaking, discharge or have dry mouth with the above symptoms, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Recommended Reading: Almond Flavoring And Nut Allergies
What Causes Crusty Eyes
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, crusty eyelashes or eyelid occurs when discharge from the eyes dries on the lids and lashes of the eyes. This is common and, as mentioned, can occur in both children and grownups.
Persistent crustiness in the eyes can signal an underlying eye infection, which might include any of the following conditions.
What’s Causing Your Itching Teary Eyes
Do your eyes itch after youve been near a cat? Do they puff up or run with tears when pollen is in the air?
Allergies of the eye affect about 20% to 40% of Americans each year and are on the rise. The same inhaled airborne allergenspollens, animal dander, dust mite feces, and moldthat trigger allergic rhinitis can lead to allergic conjunctivitis . Both conditions are IgE-mediated allergic responses. Its not surprising that people with one of these conditions often suffer from the other as well. Some 95% of people with allergic conjunctivitis have allergic rhinitis, according to one estimate.
Allergic conjunctivitis, also called ocular allergy, is predominantly a disease of young adults, as symptoms typically decrease with age. More than half of eye allergies are seasonal the rest are perennial. The symptoms are itchy and red eyes, tearing, edema of the conjunctiva or eyelid, and a mucous discharge. Although it can be uncomfortable, you can rest assured that uncomplicated allergic conjunctivitis is not a threat to vision.
Recommended Reading: Zyrtec Allergy Relief
How To Prevent And Treat Allergic Conjunctivitis Symptoms
If the treatments mentioned above fail to provide relief from irritating allergic conjunctivitis symptoms, others can help relieve your allergies. Some of these treatments include:
- Antihistamine pills
- Prescription eye drops
- Allergy shots/immunotherapy
The best way to prevent symptoms is to determine your allergy trigger and do your best to avoid it. For example, if your child is allergic to pollen, keep track of daily pollen counts in your area, and have your child stay indoors and keep your windows closed when the count is high.
If your child is allergic to pet dander, dont keep a pet in the house, and have your child wash their hands every time they come in contact with a pet. Vacuum and dust often to keep your household dust-free.
You Might Also Enjoyâ¦
What Can I Do To Address Eye Swelling
Eye puffiness or swelling is a common symptom of allergic conjunctivitis, along with itchy, red eyes, a burning sensation and a clear, watery discharge.
During an allergic reaction, white blood cells attach to protective mast cells in the mucus membranes of the eyes and nasal passages, and fluid builds up. Tiny blood vessels in and around the eyes leak, leading to inflammation and swelling in surrounding tissues and the watery discharge. Rubbing or scratching the eyes only makes it worse and could lead to infection.
Recommended Reading: Fexofenadine Versus Loratadine
Itchy Eye Relief Drop
Alternatively, one may use eye drops as another means to get rid of allergy symptoms especially the acute symptoms. Let us briefly look at each one of them.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
A more effective option for these drugs is those that are prescribed by your doctor. Most of these include drugs that reduce swelling, inflammation, redness amongst other symptoms.
These are meant for short-term usage by patients who suffer from acute symptoms of eye allergy. Steroids must be used with a lot of caution and strict instructions from your eye medical doctor or ophthalmologist. This owes to the fact long-term use comes along with side-effects. An example of such drops is prescription corticosteroids.
Red And Dry Crust Eyes
Red or dry crusty eyes are often signs of a possible eye infection. Depending on what the cause of the crusting is, one can also show the following symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Itchy crusty eyelids and eyelashes
- Painful sore around eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light and
- A burning sensation in the eye
Most of the above symptoms tend to clear on their own within an hour or two after you wake in the morning. If the symptoms, however, persist for a day, we recommend you have it checked out as soon as possible to avoid any complications.
Also Check: Xyzal Allergy Medicine Reviews
Mast Cell Stabilizers Otcs And Prescription
We shall look at how mast cell stabilizers work to counter the release of histamine later in the discussion. Samples of OTCs include Claritin and Refresh Eye Itch Relief.
Those prescribed by your doctor such as Cromolyn, Lodoxamide, Alamast, Nedocromil Sodium can be found in drugstores and pharmacist shops.
If you have problems with contacts especially itching, you can go for brands with more than one ingredient. The interesting bit is that they have multiple actions ensuring that they prevent and treat eye problems such as soreness, itchiness, and redness, watering or tearing and burning. Examples are Elestat, Patanol, Zaditor or Alaway.
You must take caution when it comes to duration of application. Most over-the-counter medicines should not be used for more than 3 days. As for many eyedrops, wearing contacts may impossible unless you have been given permission to do so.
What Causes Itchy Eyes
The most common cause of itchy eyes is an allergy. Itchy eyes can be triggered by exposure to pollen, animal fur, mould, dust mites, make-up or eye drops. The body reacts to the trigger by releasing histamine, causing the blood vessels in the eye to dilate and irritating the nerve endings so the eyes water. When the eyes get red because of an allergy, it is known as allergic conjunctivitis .
Allergic conjunctivitis is more common at certain times of the year, although you can still have it all year round. It also causes a runny nose, scratchy throat and sneezing.
Other types of allergy can give you itchy eyes. For example, a condition called atopic keratoconjunctivitis produces an inflammation of the surface of the eye because of an allergy to a specific substance. Another condition, vernal keratoconjunctivitis , produces inflammation in the membrane on the surface of the eye. This usually affects young boys.
If you have eczema, a form of dermatitis, around your eyes this too can cause itching.
Other causes of itchy eyes include:
- dry eye syndrome when you do not produce enough of the right kind of tears to keep the surface of your eye moist and comfortable
Don’t Miss: Are There Peanuts In Twix
What Is The Basic Anatomy Of The Outer Eye
Eye allergies mainly involve the conjunctiva, which is the tissue lining that covers the white surface of the eyeball and the inner folds of the eyelids. The conjunctiva is a barrier structure that is exposed to the environment and the many different allergens that become airborne. It is rich in blood vessels and contains more mast cells than the lungs.
The lacrimal glands are located in the upper and outer portions of the eye. They are responsible for producing the watery part of tears, which keeps the eye moist and washes away irritants. The tears also contain important parts of the immune defense such as immunoglobulins , lymphocytes , and enzymes.
The cornea is the transparent sheath in front of the lens of the eye. The cornea has no blood vessels and very little immune activity.
Allergic conjunctivitis, also called âallergic rhinoconjunctivitis,â is the most common allergic eye disorder. The condition is usually seasonal and is associated with hay fever. The main cause is pollens, although indoor allergens such as dust mites, molds, and dander from household pets such as cats and dogs may affect the eyes year-round. Typical complaints include itching, redness, tearing, burning, watery discharge, and eyelid swelling. To a large degree, the acute symptoms appear related to histamine release.
Giant papillary conjunctivitis
Inflammation Of The Cornea Can Also Be Associated With Allergy
The cornea has very few blood vessels , and is seldom involved in an allergic reaction. However, there are a number of causes of small pinpoint defects in the cornea, a condition called epithelial keratitis, which is usually due to drug and chemical exposure, for example:
- Drug toxicity and drug allergy.
- Vernal conjunctivitis.
- Contact sensitivity to topical eye medications such as neomycin, idoxuridine, atropine and derivatives, thiomersal and some topical anaesthetics.
Specific conditions involving the cornea, which are associated with allergy are listed below.
- A combined inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea, most often associated with atopic dermatitis/eczema.
- Usually results in red, scaly and weeping skin of the eyelids.
- Secondary infection with Staphylococcus aureus is common and may cause infection of the eyelash follicles.
- The conjunctiva may be swollen, red and with a tenacious clear or pus containing discharge.
- The condition can persist for many years and causes severe photophobia, weeping and itching.
- If the photophobia is severe, it can be difficult for people to open their eyes in direct sunlight.
- Conjunctival scarring may occur if the persistent condition is not treated properly.
- May be associated with the severe form of atopic dermatitis in about 8-10% of sufferers.
- Occurs in children and young adults, even in the absence of steroid therapy.
Read Also: Over The Counter Rash Pills
Conceal Eye Circles Carefully
If you are self-conscious about the appearance of dark circles, you can minimize their appearance with concealer. If the circles are blue, choose a concealer with a yellowish tinge to best hide the problem. If the circles are more brown, choose a concealer with an orange or peach tinge to mask the problem. Use no to minimal eye makeup as makeup may make symptoms worse. The less you put on your eyelids and around your eyes, the better. Instead, accentuate another feature, like your mouth. Put on a flattering shade of lipstick and you’re good to go.
Eye Anatomy: What Do Eye Allergies Actually Effect
The eye is commonly involved in allergic reactions. The conjunctiva is the part of the eye that is most frequently affected during common allergic reactions involving airborne allergens. The conjunctiva consists of a clear membrane covering the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. It begins at the eyelid edge and covers the inside of the eyelid, including most of the white of the eye up to the limbus. The limbus is the point where the conjunctiva ends and the cornea begins. The cornea is the most outer portion of the eye, and it is made out of a tough transparent tissue that is needed for vision. For a complete view of the eye anatomy, see Figure above. The conjunctiva is loose tissue, rich in fluids, blood vessels and cells. Some of the cells like mast cells are rich in chemical mediators involved in allergic reactions. Bound to the mast cell surface are hundreds of thousands of IgE antibodies which can attach to allergens such as pollen, dust mite and animal dander. When airborne allergens contact the conjunctiva, they can attach to IgE antibodies on the mast cell surface, triggering an allergic reaction in the eye. Once mediators are released from mast cells, the conjunctiva blood vessels respond by opening and leaking fluids. The eye becomes red, inflamed, swollen and very itchy.
Allergic conditions of the eyes or tissue around the eyes include the following:
Recommended Reading: 24 Hour Allergy Medication
Eye Discharge Causes Symptoms And Relief
Eye discharge is a yellowish, sticky, crusty, substance that can sometimes make your eyes feel like they have been glued shut. It can be temporarysuch as when you wake up in the morningor persistent, in which case medical attention should be considered.
Usually eye discharge is a harmless part of your bodys natural defense system, but some cases are serious. Eye discharge can be present in both children and adults, and it affects males and females equally.
Itchy Eyes: When It’s Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies such as hay fever in the spring or ragweed in late summer and fall can cause an allergic reaction in the eyes, Dr. Lazzaro says. People with a dust mite or mold allergies can experience symptoms year-round, with combined exposure at home, at work, and outside.
Eye allergies can also be caused by insect stings and by household products cosmetics, soaps, or other chemicals that you may have had on your hands when you rubbed your eyes. If you take glaucoma medication, the preservatives in the eye drops may even cause an eye allergy.
In addition to itchy eyes, allergies can cause tearing and make your eyes red, and you may notice a burning or stinging sensation. An acute allergic reaction, usually caused by an insect sting, will result in severe eyelid swelling and eye discharge, Lazzaro says.
Antihistamine drops will help get rid of the itch when allergies are the cause, but the effects don’t last very long. Doctors may recommend mast cell stabilizers, allergy medications that block the release of chemicals that cause eye irritation, or other types of eye drops.
Recommended Reading: Allergies Cause Tiredness
Quick Remedies For A Swollen Eyelid
For eyelid inflammations, these quick tips can help prevent infection and improve most symptoms.
- Wash hands regularly and avoid touching the affected eye. Conditions like styes are contagious, and you risk it spreading to the other eye with excessive touching or rubbing.
- Apply a warm compress multiple times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time.
- Wash bedding and towels often and when you notice symptoms.
- Avoid lotion or other cosmetics near the swollen eyelid
- Eye drops can help combat eye dryness or flush out any irritants
If conditions dont improve over a few days, consult your doctor for recommended treatment options.
What Is Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common type of ocular allergy. As its name suggests, it is related to specific pollens that release spores during specific seasons: May and June and August and September . Itching is a dominant symptom in seasonal allergic conjunctivitis diagnosis, as well as watery/mucus discharge, burning, and redness. If you are affected by hay fever and other seasonal allergies, you may also experience symptoms involving the nose and throat.
Perennial allergic conjunctivitis is a year-round allergic condition. These allergic responses are often related to animal dander, dust, or other allergens present in the environment year round. Symptoms are similar to seasonal allergic conjunctivitis but tend to be milder.
Also Check: Zyrtec Or Claritin
Treatments For Eye Allergies & Eye Itching
Itching and tearing may cause you great distress, interfering with your ability to read, concentrate, work, attend school or even sleep. If you experience these problems, the following treatments are available for eye allergies:
- HEPA filters can limit exposure to airborne allergens
- Encasement of pillow and mattress may be used for dust mite allergy control
- A cold compress over the eyes can give immediate but temporary relief of symptoms
- When environmental controls prove inadequate in the management of symptoms the following medications may help:
- Oral antihistamines are often helpful but not always adequate for relief of symptoms
- The use of topical antihistamines or mast cell inhibitors may be effective
- Dual acting antihistamine and mast cell stabilizers are a good initial choice.
- In severe cases, combinations of medications including adding a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or temporary use of topical corticosteroids may be necessary.
- Rarely oral corticosteroids are used for a short period when symptoms are extraordinarily severe. Nasal corticosteroids are often helpful in the chronic treatment of eye allergies.
- If you have persistent or troublesome symptoms and continuing allergen exposure, allergy injection therapy or allergy shots should be considered to lower your sensitivity to the offending allergen