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13 Effective Home Remedies For Itchy Eyes + Causes And Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Tsai, O.D.
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13 Effective Home Remedies For Itchy Eyes + Causes And Prevention Tips November 19, 2018

Your eyes are the windows through which you see the beautiful world around you. Any damage or irritation to them affects your daily life and makes you miserable. Itchy eyes have increasingly become a common problem for many out there – blame it on the changing weather or increased incidence of allergies. If you are looking for natural remedies to solve this problem, you have landed on the right page. In this article, we have listed 14 natural remedies to help relieve itchy eyes. Scroll down for more information.

Table Of Contents

Causes Of And Risk Factors For Itchy Eyes

This condition is medically known as ocular pruritus. It can be caused by various factors like allergies, infections, and a few underlying medical conditions.

The most common causes of itchy eyes are:

  • Dry Eye Syndrome: This condition is a result of lack of moisture and lubrication in the eyes.
  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: The meibomian glands are located in the upper and lower eyelids and are responsible for oil secretion. Clogging or abnormal development of these glands can result in an insufficient amount of oil in your tears, which causes them to evaporate quickly, resulting in dry eyes and irritation.
  • Blepharitis: This condition leads to inflammation of the eyelids and is caused by staphylococcal bacteria or eyelid mites.
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: Allergic reaction caused by contact lenses, resulting in itching.
  • Contact Dermatitis: Skin around the eyes coming in contact with an allergen the patient is allergic to.
  • Infectious Conjunctivitis: In some cases, the eyes can be infected by viral and bacterial infections, which cause infectious conjunctivitis.

Some factors can increase your risk of developing itchy eyes. They are:

  • Dust, pollen, animal dander
  • Spending long durations in front of the computer
  • Advancing age
  • Menopause
  • Environmental conditions like dry air, air conditioning, and smoking
  • Medical conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea

The condition is characterized by the following signs and symptoms.

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Symptoms Of Itchy Eyes

The most common symptoms of itchy eyes include:

  • Itching eyes
  • Constantly watering or dry eyes
  • Swelling of the eyes
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A burning sensation in the eyes

Itchy eyes can interfere with your day-to-day activities and hence need to be treated at the earliest. Given below is a list of natural remedies that can help relieve this condition.

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How To Soothe Itchy Eyes Naturally

  1. Cucumber Slices
  2. Cold Compress
  3. Tea Bags
  4. Cold Milk
  5. Water
  6. Witch Hazel
  7. Aloe Vera Juice
  8. Castor Oil
  9. Potato
  10. Rose Water
  11. Honey
  12. Essential Oils
  13. Vitamins

Home Remedies To Relieve Itchy Eyes

1. Cucumber Slices

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You Will Need

A cucumber

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a chilled cucumber and cut it into round slices.
  2. Place the slices over closed eyes.
  3. Leave them on until they turn warm.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Cucumber has powerful antioxidant and soothing properties that can help reduce itching in your eyes (1). It can also reduce swelling and redness.

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2. Cold Compress

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You Will Need

An ice pack

What You Have To Do
  1. Take an ice pack and place it on the affected eye.
  2. Leave it on for 1 or 2 minutes and take it off.
  3. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Ice packs are great for itchy eyes. They help relieve inflammation and irritation with their anti-inflammatory and cooling activities (2).

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3. Tea Bags

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You Will Need

Used tea bags

What You Have To Do
  1. After your tea is prepared, do not discard the tea bags.
  2. Instead, refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the chilled tea bags on your closed eyelids.
  4. Leave them on for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this whenever your eyes start itching.

Why This Works

Both black and green tea leaves are excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents (3), (4). Hence, the topical application of tea bags offers immediate soothing from itching and inflamed eyes.

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4. Cold Milk

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of cold milk
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Dip a cotton pad in cold milk.
  2. Close the affected eye and place the soaked pad over it.
  3. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then remove it.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Cold milk acts like a cold compress and relieves itchiness and swelling in the eyes (5).

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5. Water

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You Will Need

Distilled water

What You Have To Do

Wash your eyes with purified running water whenever it feels itchy.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Water not only cleanses your eyes but also soothes irritation almost instantly.

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6. Witch Hazel

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You Will Need
  • Witch hazel extract (as required)
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak cotton pads in witch hazel.
  2. Place them over closed eyelids.
  3. Remove the witch hazel compress after 10 to 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Witch hazel (Hamamelis) possesses natural anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that help in alleviating itchiness and inflammation in the eyes (6), (7).

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7. Aloe Vera Juice

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You Will Need
  • Unsweetened aloe vera juice
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend aloe vera juice and
  2. refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  3. Dip two cotton balls in it and place one over each eye.
  4. Leave them on for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Aloe vera is known for its natural soothing properties, which can be attributed to its rich composition of phytonutrients (8). It is also anti-inflammatory and can help relieve other symptoms associated with itchy eyes (9).

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8. Castor Oil

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You Will Need
  • Organic castor oil
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Dip cotton balls in a bowl of organic castor oil.
  2. Strain the excess oil and place the cotton balls on your closed eyelids.
  3. Leave them on for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove them and wash your eyes with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Castor oil exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties and is thus a great option for treating itchy eyes. It is also a great emollient and can help keep your eyes lubricated, thereby preventing further infection (10).

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9. Potato

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You Will Need

A raw potato

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a raw potato and refrigerate it.
  2. Cut it into circular slices and place one slice on each eye.
  3. Allow them to work for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the slices.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Potatoes are rich sources of glycoalkaloids that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties (11). Hence, applying potato topically can reduce itchiness and swelling in the eyes.

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10. Rose Water

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You Will Need
  • Rosewater
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak two cotton balls in a bowl of rose water.
  2. Wring out a little water and place them on your eyes.
  3. Leave them on for 15 to 20 minutes and then remove.
  4. You can also put a drop of rose water in each eye.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily for effective results.

Why This Works

Rose water acts as an astringent and can help relieve swelling and inflammation. It also reduces the itchiness with its soothing effects (12).

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11. Honey

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You Will Need

1 teaspoon of organic honey

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some organic honey and apply it under your eyelids.
  2. You can also use manuka honey for this purpose.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse off.
  4. Alternatively, you can put a drop of honey in your eyes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Honey possesses anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can alleviate the symptoms of itchy eyes (13). It also reduces inflammation and swelling caused by allergies.

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12. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

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You Will Need
  • 4 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix four drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  2. Apply the mixture gently under the eyes and around the eyelids.
  3. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of lavender oil promote the healing of itchy and inflamed eyes naturally (14).

b. Tea Tree Oil

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You Will Need
  • 3-4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three to four drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it all around your eyes.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes, after which you can rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You should do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil offers immediate relief from itchy eyes due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also protects the affected eye from microbial infections (15).

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13. Vitamins

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Deficiency in a few nutrients can aggravate the symptoms of itchy eyes. Vitamins A, C, and E are very important for the proper functioning of your eyes. Individuals suffering from itchy eyes are usually deficient in vitamin A (16). Supplementation with vitamins C and E is beneficial for the overall health of your eyes and can be used to reverse many eye infections (17), (18).

You can get the desired amounts of these vitamins by consuming citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, carrots, turnips, kale, mangoes, and cheese.

While these remedies help reduce itching in your eyes, there are high chances of its recurrence if you do not follow these prevention tips.

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Prevention Tips

  • Protect your eyes from direct sunlight as well as allergens by always wearing a pair of sunglasses.
  • Do not wear contact lenses for long durations.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Flush your eyes with cold water every now and then.

Taking good care of your eyes is very important to avoid itching and swelling. So, you must do whatever it takes to keep your them clear and healthy. However, if the itchiness persists, contact an ophthalmologist immediately.

Which of these remedies worked the best for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

When to see a doctor for itchy eyes?

You must see a doctor if you experience:
• Sudden eye pain
• Vision loss
• Pain
• Visual changes
• Bulging eyes
• Signs of infection
• Too much of tearing

What are the best eye drops for itchy eyes?

Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies, and in such cases, antihistamine eye drops can help.

How long does it take for an eye irritation to go away?

Normal itching in the eyes usually fades after a good night’s sleep. However, if the itching is due to an underlying infection, it may take one to two weeks to notice an improvement in your condition.

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