Blog Hero

5 Reasons Why You Have Red & Itchy Eyes

Book Appointment
Women experiencing red and itchy eyes by taking of glasses looking for relief by touching eye

Going through your day and unexpectedly running into a case of red and itchy eyes is never a good time. Understanding any eye care issues you may be dealing with and keeping consistent appointments with your optometrist can help alleviate immediate concerns. 

But for now, let’s get to the bottom of your red and itchy eyes by exploring 5 reasons why you have red and itchy eyes. 

5 Reasons for Red & Itchy Eyes

The appearance of red and itchy eyes can put a dent in your day and productivity. You’ll want to get to the bottom of why they appeared in the first place.

Let’s look at 5 reasons why red and itchy eyes may be affecting you. 

Allergy Season

Getting red or itchy eyes during allergy season can be confusing to some. Some people may think it’s an eye infection, but one way to tell is if you’re having other allergic reactions, such as sneezing and nasal congestion.

Some strategies to avoid contact with seasonal allergens include:

  • Paying attention to local weather reports and stay indoors when pollen counts are higher.
  • During the pollen season, keeping your home and car windows closed.
  • Taking showers and washing clothes more often to help keep pollen away from your airways
  • Wearing a mask when outside to prevent dust or pollen from getting to your airways. 

Dealing with allergies may also prevent you from wearing contact lenses to find comfort—however, special contact lenses can provide relief during this period. 

Acuvue Theravision can help provide long-lasting relief for your red and itchy eyes during allergy season and allow you to keep your ideal look.

Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye disease occurs when your eyes cannot produce enough tears, or you’re unable to maintain a normal layer of tears to coat your eyes. Your tear film consists of 3 layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. This combination keeps your eyes lubricated, and any interruption to these layers can lead to dry eyes. 

Some symptoms of dry eye disease include:

  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Watery tearing
  • Stringy mucus
  • Blurry vision

With dry eyes, you may notice your eyes feeling heavier from a lack of balance in your tear-flow system. Dry eyes can also bring on red and itchy eyes, so you’ll want to treat them as soon as possible.

Possible treatments for dry eyes include: 

  • Eye drops and artificial tears
  • Using a humidifier to increase moisture
  • Using a warm compress on your eyes
  • Avoiding cigarette smoke
  • Avoiding dry environments

Dry eye disease has some home treatments available. Still, if the condition persists, you should consult with your optometrist.

Women experiencing red and itchy eyes due to too much screen time using laptop in living room of house

Digital Eye Strain

Staring at a phone or computer screen for long periods, whether for work or personal use, can strain your eyes, making them itchy and red. The blue light from your devices can trigger eye strain, so frequent breaks are recommended. 

To combat this, practicing the 20-20-20 rule can help limit your screen time and give your eyes a rest. 

Blue light prescription eyeglasses are also a good option against digital eye strain.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

A subconjunctival hemorrhage is simply a broken blood vessel in your eye and can cause redness. While the condition may look serious, it’s often harmless, and you won’t even know it’s there until you look in the mirror. 

Some potential causes of a broken blood vessel in your eye are:

  • Rubbing your eyes too hard
  • Intense coughing or sneezing
  • Vomiting 
  • Eye injury

The redness is typically the only symptom—however, if your vision is decreased, get in touch with your optometrist for more treatment options. 


Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids and occurs when the oil glands at the base of your eyelashes are blocked. This blockage can cause red and itchy eyes, and keeping your eyelids clean is a potential solution.

While blepharitis won’t usually cause vision loss—it can be a chronic issue that leads to conjunctivitis or other complications. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications can be used to provide relief. 

Red and itchy eyes can be caused by several things, some more serious than others, and it’s important to keep your optometrist updated. 

Importance of Eye Care

Any potential vision issues are always a cause for concern, and staying on top of any possible symptoms is essential. Red and itchy eyes can be a gateway to other issues, and knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step in treatment. 

Book an appointment with your optometrist today to learn more about red and itchy eyes and discover your treatment options. 

Written by Dr. Miranda Ranieri

instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax