7 Common Causes of Eye Irritation and Ways To Fix Them

Common Causes of Eye Irritation

Eye irritation is a common and unpleasant condition that affects many people and can manifest in several forms, ranging from mild discomfort to serious medical complications. Here are the 7 common causes of eye irritation.

To treat eye irritation effectively, it is important to first identify its symptoms and causes.

Symptoms of an Irritated Eye

The symptoms of an irritated eye depend on the source of what caused your eye irritation in the first place. However, these are the most common symptoms experienced:

  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Itching in your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness and pain in your eyes

Common Causes of Eye Irritation

There can be several reasons behind your irritated eye – the weather, pollution, or even an irritant. However, it’s essential to find the source for getting instant relief. Here are seven common causes of eye irritation and some ways to fix them:

1. Eye Allergies

You know it’s the allergy season when your eyes start getting irritated, watery, itchy, swollen, and red. You can develop an eye allergy when you come in contact with an allergen (something that causes an allergic reaction), disturbing the membranes of your eyes.

Several allergens could trigger your eye allergy. These may include molds, dust mites, pollens, and pet dander. Eye irritation is a major symptom of eye allergy; you may experience it if exposed to an allergen.

Solution: Major focus is planted on soothing the symptoms to treat eye allergies. Eye drops or OTC medicines might help. But if it persists longer, consult a doctor for a more prescription-based relief plan.

You may also read – Is there a Painless way to check Blood Sugar for managing Diabetes?

2. Other Objects

Objects as tiny as your eyelashes to as large as a glass piece can irritate your eyes and sometimes even harm them. If you feel any presence of a foreign object in your eyes, immediately show your doctor. They’ll throw a small light into your eyes to better see the object and even look under the underlid for any scratched eye symptoms.

Solution: The treatment to fix irritated eyes caused by foreign objects is focused on removing the object from your eyes. And further, depending on what went in your eyes, your doctor may even recommend an antibiotics course to avoid chances of infection.

3. Irritants

Chemical vapors, smoke, or even dust particles can act as irritants and cause eye irritation. Apart from being watery and red post-exposure to these things, you may even feel graininess in your vision.

Solution: If you think your exposure to irritants has caused the irritation in your eyes, make sure to thoroughly rinse your eyes with water (room temperature) for 15-20 minutes. Consult a doctor immediately if you don’t feel relieved after rinsing your eyes. Some irritants may even cause burns in your eyes, causing permanent damage. So, limit your exposure to them.

4. Dry Eyes

Another reason for eye irritation is dry eyes. This can happen when the quality and quantity of your tears are inadequate to moisten your eyes. Tears are why your eyes stay lubricated and moist, and when they are formed insufficiently, you develop dry and irritated eyes that may even seem scratchy sometimes.

Solution: OTC medications like artificial tears may help treat mild dry eyes. However, you need to visit the doctor for prescription-based medicines in severe cases. Some lifestyle changes like decreasing your screentime and quitting smoking may help.

5. Eye Infections

Fungal, viral, or even bacterial infections can cause eye irritation. When you get an eye infection, you may experience an urge to rub your eyes frequently, see swollen membranes around your eyes, have crusty eyelids, or have mucus/pus discharge.

Solution: Viral infections are usually mild and may resolve in a week or two. Bacterial infections must be shown to a doctor, who may prescribe some antibiotics in the form of eye drops. And fungal infections can be in the form of a pill or eye drop, where severe cases need medications to be injected directly into the eyes.

You may also read – What causes Sinus Problems & When to consider Sinus Surgery?

6. Contact Lenses

If you don’t properly look after your contact lenses, they can irritate the cornea of your eyes. Even wearing them for a prolonged period can cause irritation and red eyes. When this happens, avoid wearing contact lenses.

Solution: Disinfect the lenses or replace them as suggested by your doctor. Your doctor may advice you to wear them less often.

7. Digital Eye Strain

Using a phone, computer, or other electronic devices for an extended time period can also cause eye irritation. This can be referred to as digital eye strain. It also comes with other symptoms, such as headaches, shoulder or neck pain, or dry eyes. However, digital eye strain is not permanent, and you may feel relieved once you get off your gadget.

Solution: Following the 20-20-20 rule can help relieve irritated eyes caused due to digital eye strain. Take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away after every 20 minutes while working.

Bottom Line

Some causes of eye irritation, like digital eye strain, can go away on their own, while some causes, like irritant exposure or eye infections, need medical intervention. If an irritated eye is bothering you, consult your doctor for relief.

Author Bio:

Author Aaron Barriga

Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK. Aaron loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.


Spread the love


  1. blank
    Alpana Deo May 19, 2023 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    That is a much needed topic for our current lifestyle and habits. I get scratchy and watery eyes during Spring and Fall because of allergies. Luckily I am mindful about my screen usage. So that doesn’t make my eyes tired. But this post should be read by teenagers as well who spend a lot of time over their phone and laptops.

  2. blank
    Surbhi Prapanna May 19, 2023 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    eye irritation is a common problem and it can be caused by various reasons. digital eye strain is so common nowadays due to increased use of screen. the guest writer aaron has covered all aspects of eye irritation so well in this post. will help lots of people to know the cause and how to treat it.

  3. blank
    Harjeet Kaur May 20, 2023 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    All the reasons and solutions are shared in detail. I really liked the solutions. I used to see squiggles for a few months last year. I wonder what the cause is for them.

  4. blank
    Samata May 21, 2023 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    So far I experienced Digital eye strain and I have no choice other than accepting it as my style of work demands to be in front of lappy, mobile for the major part of the day. It turns painful when I experience headache due to this.

  5. blank
    Shilpa Garg May 22, 2023 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Reducing screen time and taking regular breaks is a great suggestion. 20-20-20 exercise is simple practice yet can significantly benefit our eyes and overall well being.

  6. blank
    Sindhu Vinod Narayan May 22, 2023 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    this is a very detailed post on causes of eye irritation. which can be worrisome at times. an insightful read . thanks for sharing this with us.

  7. blank
    Cindy D'Silva May 22, 2023 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    I actually wanted to know what causes dry eyes. I was joking with a friend about it the other day and told her she has to cry more. But I guess I was partly right… Will send this to her. Thanks.

  8. blank
    Varsh May 22, 2023 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Eye infections can be extremely discomforting and it’s important to deal with them in time. i often keep eye drops at home but if it doesn’t help then visiting a doctor is the best option.

  9. blank
    MeenalSonal May 22, 2023 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Eye irritation is very common during summer season. I frequently wash my eyes with cold water and it gives great relief. You have shared almost all causes of eye irritation.

  10. blank
    Tina Basu May 22, 2023 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    You have mentioned some really good pointers. I someties face eye irritation too due to long hours of working in front of a screen. A coated eyewear helps quite a lot.

  11. blank
    radhika May 23, 2023 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Eye Infection is another common problem in adults and in kids. You have shared good, researched insights on how we can save it for better eyesight.

  12. blank
    Jyoti May 23, 2023 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Eye infections are really discomforting. You have shared detailed solutions. Will definitely try to implement .

Leave A Comment