Question: I suffer from extremely itchy, dry eyes. What can be done for relief?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Dry, itchy eyes can be caused by allergies to something in the environment, makeup, or even lack of sleep. The symptoms may disappear completely, either when the allergy is treated with antihistamines, or when the allergen is removed.
Itching in the eye or around the margins can be treated with a variety of home preparations as well as a few medicinal, over-the-counter solutions. Ocular (topical) antihistamines reduce redness, swelling, and itching by blocking the actions of histamine, the chemical that causes these symptoms of allergy. They are available both over-the-counter and by prescription.
When other medicines fail, your doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops to relieve the symptoms of conjunctivitis. These must be used with the supervision of your doctor since they can cause elevated pressure inside of the eye, which can lead to vision damage. Mast cell stabilizers work best when started before symptoms occur. Sometimes oral versions of antihistamines are also advised.