What can I do to relieve my itchy, burning, irritated eyes?

July 22, 2014

We all had them before for various reasons: burning, red, itchy eyes. But what causes them and what can you do to soothe the sting? Here are some smart remedies than could help.

What can I do to relieve my itchy, burning, irritated eyes?

Dry air and age

Redness and a burning sensation is a common symptom of dry eyes.

  • Sometimes eyes have difficulty producing enough tears to replenish moisture.
  • This results in dry eyes and may cause irritation and sensitivity to light.

Dry eyes can also be caused by environmental factors such as dry air, wind, and exposure to sunlight.

  • Aging, hormonal levels, and certain medications may also contribute to the condition.

To get relief:

  • The most recommended treatment is over-the-counter eye drops found in pharmacies.
  • Humidifiers, especially during the winter, add moisture to the air and will keep your eyes more comfortable.


Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a relatively new disorder caused by widespread computer use in the workplace.

  • Focusing on a monitor for hours every day is a common cause of eye fatigue.
  • Tired eyes are often accompanied by headache, dizziness and blurred vision.

To get relief:

  • If you have to be in front of a screen for long periods of time, rest your eyes.
  • Stop, look at a focal point outside or on the other side of the room for few minutes, and then close your eyes.
  • Take visions breaks as often as possible to prevent eye fatigue.
  • You can also decrease the brightness of the screen or install a glare filter.

Airborn pollutants

Smog, cigarette smoke and toxic chemicals worsen eye irritation.

  • More sensitive individuals may experience significant inflammation from everyday products like chlorine, dye, fragrances and makeup.

To get relief:

  • If possible, avoid situations where these odours abound: smokers tend to congregate in specific areas. And who hasn't had to dash through the perfume department in large store at least once in their life?
  • Minimize how much perfume or cologne you apply each day, and choose unscented deodorants.
  • If you swim, invest in a pair of goggles.
  • See if there is hypoallergenic makeup that you like to replace what you currently wear.


The severity of allergy season varies from one year to the next based on weather trends, but they seem to be getting longer.

  • People prone to seasonal allergies, such as hay fever or pollen, are all too familiar with itchy, scratchy eyes.

To get relief:

  • Controlling your allergies with an over-the-counter antihistamine tablet will help minimize your symptoms and, taken regularly, will help lessen your reaction throughout the allergy season.


There are several eye irritations that can be caused by infection:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Uveitis
  • Iritis
  • Blepharitis
  • Scleritis
  • Keratitis
  • Periorbital cellulitis

To get relief:

  • An infection in any part of an eye is guaranteed to cause irritation and discomfort.
  • The presence of an infection can also cause discharge, pain and vision problems so you must consult a specialist immediately. A good place to start would be with your family doctor or a walk-in clinic.
  • Left untreated, an infection can possibly lead to permanent blindness.
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