What’s Irritating My Eyes? 8 Common Reasons Of Eye Irritation

Eye irritation

What Is Eye Irritation?

Do you often feel irritated in the eyes but never really find out why? Do you have red spots in your eyes? Do you have dry eyes and difficulty shedding tears (literally)? Do you think your visual power is extremely low in dim light?

These are all medical conditions related to the eyes. They occur due to pollutants and bacteria that our eyes land up catching.

Speaking of symptoms for eye conditions, most of them are common for any kind of eye disease. Irritation in the eyes even in controlled environments, random redness in the eyes, swollen eyelids, burning sensation in the eyes, etc are some common symptoms of there being some problem with your eyes.

Causes Of Eye Irritation

Often, eye irritation is caused due to some allergen such as animal dander, foreign particles, and dust. This leads to the release of a compound known as Histamine within the tissues in and around the eyes. It is due to histamine that individual experiences swelled, red, and itchy eyes.

1. Blepharitis

This is an eye disease that is temporary and can be treated, but it can also look really bad at the same time. An individual will develop flaky eyelids due to inflammation. This typically happens because of foreign bacteria or abnormal oil production near the eye.

An example would be the clogging of oil glands near the eyelids. Whether minors or adults, both will experience a loss of eyelashes.

2. Conjunctivitis

There is a collection of tissues throughout the lining of the eyelids and the rim of the sclera (white portion of the eye), it is known as Conjunctiva. When this section of the eye gets infected, the victim’s eyes begin to swell up due to inflammation of the blood vessels.

This is also called a Pinkeye as the sclera turns light red/pinkish in color. This is a contagious eye infection and can spread via cold and cough.

There is another form of this disease, known as Allergic Conjunctivitis. This is when a person’s Conjunctiva gets infected due to some external particles like dust or sand, not due to bacteria. For this reason, it is not a contagious disease. Swimming in chlorine water or exposure to chemical smoke can also lead to Allergic Conjunctivitis.

Also Read: Causes For Red Eyes

3. Trichiasis

This condition refers to an inaccurate and badly structured growth pattern of the eyelids. An individual may not even realize that their eyelids are prodding out in directions it should not be. This is why it must be treated as soon as detected.

The eyelids can prove to be really sharp and poke the cornea with every blink. If the dome-shaped structure of the cornea gets damaged, there can be a substantial loss of vision.

One must take a mirror and a tweezer and pull the protruding eyelash out. Do not worry about regrowth as the regrowth cycle of eyelashes is 45-60 days.

4. Environmental Pollutants

This is the most common reason for irritation in the eyes. We live in a progressive world where people are constantly on the move in vehicles and factories are producing at a rate they cannot sustain.

The vast amount of pollutants in this world, whether due to fires, garbage dumping, construction sites, storms, burning gasoline or poor quality rainwater – eventually the eyes are tasked to stay safe from them.

Even prolonged exposure of the eyes to the sun without proper UV-blocking glasses can damage the eyes.

Also, individuals smoking cigarettes not any make others passive smoke, but also risk the possibility of their cigarette ash going into somebody’s eyes.

5. Corneal Abrasion

This situation arises when any particle strikes the cornea of the eye and leaves a cut or wound, irrespective of its size. Dust particles, grains of sand, tiny metallic shreds, muck, and other such particles can easily damage the cornea. This also happens when wearing or removing contact lenses.

Due to this damage, the eyes go through a feeling of itchiness, redness, pain, irritation, and reduced sensitivity to light.

6. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that arises when the optic nerve connected to the eye is damaged in any way. This can lead to vision loss and major eye irritation on the upper half of the eye socket on the face.

The main cause of damage is usually due to high blood pressure in the eyes. This can happen because of alternative medications used to decrease or increase blood pressure on some other part of the body.

Dry eyes will be one of the most common side effects once a patient is prescribed medication for Glaucoma. As for dry eyes, cyclosporine eye drops can be used, not without consulting a doctor first though.

7. Corneal Ulcer

This happens to individuals who prefer to wear contact lenses, especially the ones who leave their lenses overnight. An open sore begins to develop in the middle of the cornea’s surface and this leads the over-watery, itchy and red eyes.

8. Restricted Tear Ducts

Whenever tears need to be shed from the eyes due to either pain, joy, yawning, or any other action, they come from the tear ducts. Also, whenever tears are being drained back, they go through the nose before being reabsorbed.

If you have a blocked tear duct due to any possible reason, the built-up pressure can lead to major eye irritation. The most common symptoms of blocked tear ducts are re-occurring eye infections, pain in the corner of the eye, and flaky eyelids.

If the condition is too bad then surgery has to be performed. But, if it is not, then the tear duct has to either be dilated or a tube needs to be positioned to allow the drainage of tears to take place.

Also Read: 10 Best Vitamins For Eyes

Eye Irritation: More Reasons

Another reason for eye irritation can be clustered headaches that occur constantly for 30 to 120 minutes – this leads to immense pain near the eye along with a red, teary, and swollen eye.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can also occur. It leads to the formation of several white spots (sclera) around the black section of the eyeball and also some on the white section. Although the spots in the white section are less visible. This can lead to color blindness, blurry vision, and greyed vision.

Few more possible reasons for eye irritation can be a brain tumor, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Ocular Rosacea (OR), Stys, dry eyes, excessive straining on digital gadgets, unhygienic behavior, etc. Remember, the eyes are a critical portion of all your senses.

Ensuring they are always in top-notch condition is a must. In case of any difficulties or abnormalities in your vision, simply head to a doctor and let them diagnose the problem. The doctor will study your eyes, take necessary tests, analyze the results, and accordingly state what the issue is along with a solution to resolve it.


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