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Nature & Science

Understanding Itchy Eyes And Its Treatment

Image Source: Adam Gregor / Shutterstock

Many of us have felt the urge to rub our eyes when they itch. While it may provide temporary relief, this habit can lead to wrinkles, redness, and other issues. Whether caused by allergies or changes in the seasons, itchy eyes can disrupt your day. Identifying the root cause of your discomfort is crucial before seeking remedies.

One common cause of eye irritation is weather-related allergies, affecting about ten to thirty percent of the global population. Dry and itchy eyes, along with symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing, indicate an allergic reaction. Histamine, a key component in allergies, triggers inflammation that affects the eyes. Over-the-counter antihistamine medication can help alleviate these symptoms, and avoiding outdoor activities during high pollen counts can also provide relief.

Prolonged screen time from devices like TVs, tablets, and mobile phones can strain your eyes, leading to discomfort. Staring at screens for extended periods or reading in dim light can cause eye irritation. To maintain eye health, experts advise taking breaks and resting your eyes when needed.

Eye discomfort is sometimes mistaken for an infection, but infections usually present more severe symptoms than allergies. Signs such as a gritty feeling in the eyes, sensitivity to light, and mucus discharge indicate a potential infection. If you experience these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional promptly to prevent any complications.

To reduce the risk of infections, practice good hygiene by keeping your hands clean and regularly cleaning or replacing makeup tools. Additionally, wearing contact lenses for extended periods can cause dryness and discomfort, so ensure they are kept clean. Other common irritants include smoke and dust, so maintain personal hygiene and have eye drops on hand for emergencies.

How Does Squinting Affect Our Eyes?

Contrary to common belief, squinting does not worsen eye problems, as noted by ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Pepose. Squinting can help adjust your focus on distant or nearby objects, indicating an existing vision issue that may require corrective lenses. If you find yourself squinting frequently, consider scheduling an eye examination.

When Should You See a Doctor?

While squinting may provide temporary relief, it is not a long-term solution for eye discomfort. Regular eye check-ups are essential for detecting and preventing potential eye conditions, even in the absence of symptoms. The CDC recommends eye exams for children above three years old throughout their lives to detect issues like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts early on.

Image Source: Adam Gregor / Shutterstock

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