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Itchy And Scratchy Eyes Specialist

Inland Empire Dry Eye Center

Arthur Charap, MD, PhD

Ophthalmologist located in Corona, CA

While most people experience occasional temporary irritation of the eyes, resulting in itchy or scratchy sensations, when you experience this regularly, it’s a sign something may be wrong with your eye health. Dr. Arthur Charap of Inland Empire Dry Eye Center in Corona, California, can test and diagnose your eyes to find the underlying cause of the problem. Give the office a call to set up an appointment.

Itchy and Scratchy Eyes Q & A


What causes itchy and scratchy eyes?

There are many reasons why your eyes could feel irritated. Some of the most common include:

  • Hay fever and allergies: often accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, or hives
  • Allergic conjunctivitis: an allergic reaction affecting the eyes
  • Conjunctivitis: redness and swelling of the eyelid lining, commonly called pink eye
  • Sleep disorders: anything that interferes with restful sleep, incidental or chronic
  • Rosacea: the skin condition affects the eyes of some sufferers
  • Wind exposure: can dry both skin and eyes
  • Environmental conditions: dust, smog, and other irritants
  • Foreign objects: hair, eyelashes, or dirt
  • Dry eyes: a condition that affects the amount or composition of the eye’s tear layers

Does aging cause itchy and scratchy eyes?

While aging does contribute to conditions that may compromise eye health, there’s no reason to feel you must live with the sensation. Tear production does slow with age, and this may contribute to dry eye syndrome. In some cases, dry eye is due to reduced tear production, and in other cases, it’s due to changes in the composition of the tear layers. There are three components to your tears that need to be in balance for proper vision.

A person who is getting older and who also works with computers for long hours, for example, may experience more severe dry eye irritation than a person of similar age who doesn’t view digital screens as much. Digital screen use is associated with reduced blink rates, which allows the tear layer to dry faster. However, normal eyes should not feel itchy, scratchy, gritty, or burning on their own. If you’re experiencing these sensations regularly, it’s time to make an appointment with Inland Empire Dry Eye Center.

Can I care for itchy and scratchy eyes at home?

For occasional eye irritation, there are several ways to relieve these sensations. Compresses, applied three or four times a day, may provide relief. When allergies are the culprit, taking over-the-counter antihistamines will likely reduce any associated eye irritation. However, it can also aggravate other forms of dry eye. Rubbing your eyes typically aggravates irritation, so though the urge is strong, avoiding rubbing your eyes will help the worst symptoms pass. Once again, home treatment is for temporary eye irritation. If these symptoms persist, seek a medical opinion.