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Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes

Have you felt that irresistible urge to rub and rub your itching eyes till your eyes ache! Chances are high that you’ve experienced itchy eyes at some point in your life.

In fact, having an itchy sensation in and around the eyes is a very common problem and one that can be really frustrating and uncomfortable.

The symptoms associated with itchy eyes are: burning sensation in the eyes, watery eyes, inflamed eyelids, redness in the eyes, discharge from the eyes and increased sensitivity to light (1).

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Itchy eyes or ocular pruritis as it is medically termed is mainly due to an allergic reaction or some kind of infection.

Yes, our eyes too are prone to allergies just like the other parts of the body. Eye allergies occur when the body overreacts to some factor.

itching in eyes

The immune system produces antibodies that cause your eyes to release chemical substances like histamines. These substances are mainly responsible for all the symptoms mentioned above. Other causes include dry eyes, use of contact lenses, improper eye hygiene, use of expired eye cosmetics and some foreign substance in the eyes, such as dust or sand (2).

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The problem can be recurring for those who frequently touch or rub their eyes. Also, the itching sensation worsens in a high-polluted environment or during the allergy season. It is also important to find the source of the trigger as in most allergies so as to avoid its recurrence. Eye allergies can be seasonal or perennial. The treatment options and self help remedies recommended for eye allergies are similar to nasal allergies.

It is important to treat itchy eyes quickly, as leaving your eye untreated can lead to further complications and increase your risk of eye damage.

For instant relief, you can try some easy natural treatments. Many of these remedies use readily available ingredients from your kitchen. Just make sure whatever you put in your eyes is hygienic and clean.

However, if the problem is severe, recurrent or caused by an underlying condition, consult your eye care professional. Health experts recommend determining the cause of itchy eyes before looking for the solution.

itchy eyes home remedies

Here are the top 10 home remedies for itchy eyes.

1. Cold Compresses

This is a popular home remedy that is recommended by doctors for itchy eyes (3). Applying cold compresses over the affected eye can help you get instant relief.

cold compress for itchy eyes

A cool, moist clean washcloth is the best remedy for itchiness that is a result of some kind of allergy. It also helps alleviate dryness as well as irritation. Not only are cold compresses effective, but they are easy to do and very economical. You can alternate between warm and cold compresses also.

You can use either of the methods below 3 or 4 times a day.

  • The simplest way to do this is to soak a cloth in ice cold water, wring it out and place it over your eyes. Remove after 5 minutes and repeat a few more times.
  • Alternatively, wrap some ice cubes or a package of frozen food like peas in a clean cotton towel. Place it over your closed eyelids and remove it after 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat 2 or 3 times more.
  • You can dip the compress in warm water, wring it and then apply it over your eyelids for 5 minutes. This can be alternated with cold compresses for 20 minutes. Do this 3 or 4 times throughout the day.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile has been used in traditional medicine for many therapeutic purposes including eye infections and eye disorders (4).

chamomile tea for itchy eyes

Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic effects, chamomile tea can be used as a cold compress or as an eyewash to help relieve itchy eyes. It inhibits the release of histamine, which helps prevent an allergic reaction that can lead to itchiness in the eyes.

Chamomile also reinvigorates tired eyes and leaves them feeling fresh and sparkly.

  • Steep 1 chamomile tea bag in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag, then allow the tea to cool. Use the cool tea as an effective eyewash, 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Alternatively, put used chamomile tea bags in the refrigerator. Put the chilled tea bags over your closed eyelids for 10 minutes. Do this 3 or 4 times a day for fast recovery.

3. Cucumber

Cucumbers are real cool veggies as they have many medicinal properties and are also used as an active ingredient in many beauty products.

cucumber slices soothe itchy eyes

Cucumbers contain chemicals called cucurbitacins that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (5). Cucumbers are also rich in phytosterols that have antioxidant and skin healing properties. They also have antibacterial activity (6). These help reduce swelling and irritation associated with itchy eyes.

Plus, its cooling nature is effective at reducing puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.

  1. Thoroughly wash a cucumber and cut it into thin slices.
  2. Refrigerate the slices for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Put the chilled cucumber slices over your closed eyes for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat 4 or 5 times a day.

You can also blend a cucumber and strain the juice. Soak a cotton ball into the juice and apply it over your eyelids for 15 minutes.

You can use raw potatoes (peeled and sliced) in the same manner to combat itchiness in the eyes.

4. Cold Milk

Milk is another popular home remedy for itchy eyes. Milk is reported to have many bioactive molecules that are responsible for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (7). Cold milk soothes the burning sensation and eases discomfort of itchiness in the eyes.

cold milk eases itching in eyes

The fat in milk is very soothing and relaxing for tired eyes.

  • Dab a clean cotton ball in cold milk. Rub it around your closed eyes. Do this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • You can also place a cotton ball soaked in cold milk over your eyes as a compress for 15 to 20 minutes for an instant cooling effect. Do it 3 or 4 times a day.

5. Rose Water

Pure rose water is one of the most effective home remedies for itchy eyes. According to skin specialists, rose water has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and irritation. Its antioxidant properties help in strengthening and regenerating the skin tissue.

rose water treats itchy, tired eyes

It is soothing and cooling for the eyes and helps clear the itchiness.

Rose water even works as a natural relaxer for strained and tired eyes. Plus, it helps fade dark circles and under eye puffiness.

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  • Rinse your eyes with pure rose water at least twice a day.
  • You can also use rose water as eye drops for instant relief. Put 2 or 3 drops of rose water into the inflamed eye, twice a day.
  • Dip 2 cotton balls in rose water and place them over your closed eyes for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day.

6. Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits, including providing relief from itchy eyes. It soothes the eyes and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits (8).

green te reduces itching in eyes

This tea also helps fight viral and bacterial infections that may be causing the itchy sensation in the eyes.

  • Boil 1 cup of water. Dunk 2 green tea bags in it and allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, then let the tea cool completely. Flush your eyes twice a day with the solution until your symptoms subside.
  • You can also put a moist and cool green tea bag over your closed eyelids for several minutes. Repeat several times a day.

7. Saline Solution

Flushing out your eyes is another effective remedy if you get an allergen, such as dust or pollen, in your eye that is causing the itchiness.

All you need is water and salt to make a saline solution that is helpful in treating painful and itchy eyes. When used as an eye rinse, the combination is good for irritated and inflamed eyes and helps wash away any debris in the eyes.

saline solution reduces eye itching

Plus, salt is an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent that helps get rid of microbial infections (9).

  1. Boil 1 pint of filtered water.
  2. Allow it to cool down, then add 2 to 3 teaspoon of salt to it.
  3. Mix thoroughly until the salt dissolves completely.
  4. Use it to flush your eyes of all the allergens. Or, you could dip a cotton pad or a clean tissue in this solution and wipe your eyes with it.
  5. Repeat several times a day for 2 or 3 days.

Note: Always make sure the water isn’t too hot, or else it may damage your eyes. Also, use separate cotton pads or tissues for each eye.

8. Aloe Vera

Owing to its soothing and moisturizing properties, aloe vera is another effective home remedy for dry, sore and itchy eyes. Aloe vera has well-researched anti-inflammatory properties (10).

aloe vera soothes itching eyes

Aloe vera’s medicinal properties also make it effective for reducing eye puffiness and inflammation.

  • Rinse an aloe vera leaf thoroughly. Slit it open and extract the gel. Anoint the outside of your eyelids with this gel. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off. Do this 2 times a day or as needed.
  • Another option is to soak a cotton pad in aloe vera juice and place it over your closed eyes. Rinse your eyes after 15 minutes. Do this twice daily for a couple of days.

9. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is also good for relieving the itching sensation in your eyes. It contains tannins that reduce swelling and has antibacterial properties (11). Its anti-inflammatory and astringent nature helps reduce swelling and irritation in the eyes.

witch hazel for itchy eyes

  • Dip a cotton swab in witch hazel and wipe it along the edge of your top eyelid. Repeat on the lower eyelid with the other end of the cotton swab dipped in witch hazel. Use another cotton swab for the other eye. Do this 2 times a day for a few days.
  • Another option is to use any over-the-counter witch hazel wet tissues. Place them over your closed eyes for 15 minutes. Repeat 3 times a day to get effective results.

10. Castor Oil

Castor oil works as a great moisturizing agent. Hence, it is good for treating dry and itchy eyes. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help fight eye infections.

castor oil for itchy eyes

Interestingly, castor oil also nourishes your eyelashes and helps them grow thicker and longer.

  • Using a sterile dropper, put a drop of cold-pressed castor oil in each eye at night before going to sleep. If you have dry eyes, you can use it daily to lubricate your eyes.
  • When suffering from conditions like blepharitis, dip a cotton swab in the oil and wipe it along the outside of your eyelid to help clear up the infection. You can also place a warm towel over your closed eyelid for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this a couple of times a day for a few days.

Note: Make sure the oil you use is organic and hexane-free castor oil. Do not put castor oil in your eyes if it causes a lot of burning and redness in the eyes.

Additional Tips

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, as it can worsen the symptoms.
  • Do not wear contact lenses for an extended period of time. Also, clean them regularly.
  • Never use expired eye drops.
  • Do not share contact lenses or eye makeup with another person.
  • To control eye itching, avoid visiting areas where there are known allergens.
  • Include carrots and spinach juice in your diet to improve your eye health.
  • Consider taking vitamin A and beta-carotene supplements for overall eye health. Consult your doctor first.
  • Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes when going out in the sun.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
  • Take breaks during long tasks to let your eyes rest. Follow the 20-20-20 rule of gazing at a distance of 20 feet for 20 seconds every 20 minutes of eye straining work.
  • Avoid blowing air into your eyes while using hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans.
  • Try to remain indoors when the pollen count in the environment is high. Close the windows and use the air conditioner instead of the fan as there are more chances of pollen and spores being drawn inside.
  • Keep dust mites at bay by using fresh clean pillow covers. Also, expose mattresses, pillows, and other bedding to the sun to kill microbes. Replace very old bedding materials with new ones.
  • If you don’t get relief, consult an eye specialist immediately.

Resources:

  1. Itchy, Red Eyes? How to Tell If It’s Allergy or Infection – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/itchy-red-eyes-how-to-tell-if-its-allergy-or-infection/.
  2. The Itchy Eye: Diagnosis, Management of Ocular Pruritis – American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/itchy-eye-diagnosis-management-of-ocular-pruritis.
  3. Holly. Diagnosis and Management of Red Eye in Primary Care. 2010;81(2). www.aafp.org/afp.
  4. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future (review). Mol Med Rep. 2010;3(6):895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377.
  5. Kaushik U, Aeri V, Mir SR. Cucurbitacins – An insight into medicinal leads from nature. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(17):12-18. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.156314.
  6. Uzodike E, Onuoha I. The Effect Of Cucumber (<i>Cucumbis Savitus</i>) Extract On Acid Induced Corneal Burn In Guinea Pigs. J Niger Optom Assoc. 2010;15(1). doi:10.4314/jnoa.v15i1.55592.
  7. Visioli F, Strata A. Milk, dairy products, and their functional effects in humans: a narrative review of recent evidence. Adv Nutr. 2014;5(2):131-143. doi:10.3945/an.113.005025.
  8. Tipoe G, Leung T-M, Hung M-W, Fung M-L. Green Tea Polyphenols as an Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Agent for Cardiovascular Protection. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Targets. 2007;7(2):135-144. doi:10.2174/187152907780830905.
  9. Wijnker JJ, Koop G, Lipman LJA. Antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) used for the preservation of natural casings. Food Microbiol. 2006;23(7):657-662. doi:10.1016/J.FM.2005.11.004.
  10. Reynolds T, Dweck A. Aloe vera leaf gel: a review update. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;68(1-3):3-37. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00085-9.
  11. HMPC. Community herbal monograph on Hamamelis virginiana L., cortex. 2011. http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_Community_herbal_monograph/2010/04/WC500089244.pdf.

Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes was last modified: September 6th, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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139 thoughts on “Home Remedies for Itchy Eyes”

  1. Comment:oh my God the cold water n milk really work,its extra ordinary n its like magic,decided to try it bcoz of d multitude comments on it n my eye itching stopped immediately, tnkz for sharing,God bless…

  2. My left eye is so sick this morning omg! Have crusty stuff along the lid, had it wash it off to even open it, it’s green in color. My vision is super blurry, light hurts my eyes and they are very sore, expecually the left one. Watery too so itchy and it burns too. That salt water flush is from heaven it got rid of the itchy/stingyness is still there. Calling clinic asap!

  3. Do we have to let the milk drip in the eyes or rub the wet cloth on the eyes whilst closed? Help me i am experiencing, itching, pink, swollen, watery eyes.

    Your prompted reply is highly appreciated… Thanks to the Milk remedy.

  4. I had never thought of this before for adults. When nursing my babies, decades ago. I was told by a midwife, when the baby got infection, in it’s eyes, to squirt the baby directly in the eye. The milk is body temperature. They seem to clear up, and I don’t remember the baby being highly alarmed. Before trying this ask your functional or natural medicine doctor. They are more educated in natural remedies.

  5. I had been suffering all day with red itchy eyes. Then I thought…maybe there is a home remedy for this…came across this site…I only had almond milk but it worked…I am not suffering anymore! Thanks so much!

  6. RAN IN THE KITCHEN WHILE READING THESE POST ABOUT THE RESULT OF THE MILK FOR ITCHY EYES. DABBED A COTTON BALL WITH A ”LITTLE” MILK, DOUBTING ALL THE TIME THAT IT WASN’T GOING TO WORK.
    WRONG!!!!!…IT DID. I WILL APPLY MORE LATER ON. THANKS EVERYBODY!

  7. I have two weeks suffering from itchy eyes. I tried medication with no relief. Thank you guys for the advice. Going to the kitchen right now and try some Salt and Water. Thank you. ELLEN FROM SOUTH AFRICA

  8. really this tips very useful for us thanks a lot.. i have one doubt plz give suggestion i have eye irritation & itching problm few days how to control the prolm and plz give varies tips. already i checked my eyes doctor said no eye problm only allergy …but i cant control the pain

  9. I have severe dry eyes and they have been itching, tearing and burning for the past 2 weeks. I tried using cucumbers this morning. Even though it felt great, the effect lasted only a short time. I will try the milk now.

  10. My eyelid itching and burning has been a problem since shingles near my left eye a couple of years ago. It gets worse with stress and last night it was unbearable. I tried a used teabag cold compress, eye drops and coconut oil but temporary relief was all I could get. Just to touch eyelids with a cotton swab inflicted serious pain. Although skeptical I decided to try cold milk on a swab. Much to my surprise I got immediate relief. I did a couple of applications to clear stringy matter from eyelids then a wet application just before bed. I woke up this morning with eyelids stuck together but no pain or itching. I used a cool wet (water) compress to open eyelids and nothing all day. I will use milk again before retiring tonight as I am now sold on its effectiveness. I wish I had known about it back when I had shingles.Many thanks for the tip!

  11. I have had allergies all my life and my eyes would not stop itching for the past few days, Tried all the remedies I knew and nothing worked. I just went out and got milk! AMAZING… Thank you. Happy New Year!

  12. Oh my goodness! In all my 5 decades, I’ve never heard of using milk for itchy water eyes but I just tried it and instant relief! Thank you!

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