Irritated Eyes, Symptoms Treatment, Cure, Home Remedies

Sore or irritated eyes can be a symptom of a number of different conditions. This will often depend on the type and how severe the pain is. Generally, sore eye is a broad term that can describe a range of possible sensations.

Irritated Eyes
Irritated Eyes

With irritated eyes, one feels as a foreign object sensation, the eyes may feel dry, heavy tired and hard to keep open. This article provides an insight into some of the possible causes of these sensations, their symptoms and the best way to treat and get rid of the symptoms.

Irritated eyes causes

To prevent complications or wrong self-diagnosis, we recommend you see your eye doctor (Ophthalmologist) as soon as possible. He or she will be able to assess the symptoms and establish the exact underlying cause or causes.

As said, there are countless reasons your eyes could be irritated.  Some of the common reasons for sore eyes will however include but not limited to the following conditions:

1. Allergies

In humans’ body, the eyes are among the most sensitive organs. Itchy, watery or swollen eyes can be clear signs of an eye allergy. The symptoms could also result from an inflammation of the membrane conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the whites of your eyes.

Allergies are your immune system’s response to substances. Eye allergies can result from external contact of from ingesting something that causes your immune system to become hyperactive.

In cases of eye allergies causing the symptoms, over the counter antihistamine eye drops or allergy pills can be used to bring down the symptoms.

2. Irritated eyes from wearing contact lens

Your contact lenses can also irritate your cornea if you don’t look after them. Wearing contact lens for long can make your eyes dry, itchy and irritated. You should not wear the lens when your eyes are red or irritated.  For those with dry eyes, have your doctor replace the lens or recommend an alternative.

3. Blepharitis

This is the inflammation of the eyelids.  It involves the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. It affects both eyelids. This condition commonly occurs when tiny oil glands on the base of the eyelashes become clogged.

Blepharitis causes irritation and red eyes. It is a chronic condition that can be difficult to treat. It is however not contagious and does not cause permanent damage to the eyesight.

4. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis or pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid.

Irritate Eyes Causes
Irritate Eyes Causes

Conjunctiva can be caused by a virus, bacteria, allergens or irritants such as shampoos. When caused by bacteria or a virus, it is highly contagious and can easily spread from one person to another.

5. Dry eye syndrome

Dry eyes syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) this is a condition characterized by chronic dry eyes. Other symptoms include redness, discharge, and fatigued eyes.

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the tear glands don’t produce the correct quantity or quality tear. It is a common symptom in old people above 65 years. With dry eyes syndrome, artificial tears are often the first line of treatment.

6. Trichiasis

This is a common eyelid abnormality in which the eyelashes are misdirected and grow inwards toward the eye. The inward-turning lashes rub against the cornea, conjunctivitis and the inner surface of the eyelids irritating the eye.

7. Excessive exposure to the sun

Excessive exposure to the sun can also cause your eye to become red and irritated. UV rays and other radiation from the sun can harm your eyes. Research shows that extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to eye damage including:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Photo keratitis
  • Temporary vision loss

8. Subconjunctival hemorrhage

A subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when the tiny blood vessel breaks just underneath the conjunctiva. This layer of the eye does not absorb blood very quickly, this causes the blood to get trapped. This condition does not cause any obvious harm, at times it may even go on unnoticed.

It is a harmless condition that will often clear without treatment. The causes are unknown, but the following might cause these signs: violent coughing, straining, vomiting or powerful sneezing.

9. Blocked tear ducts

With a blocked tear duct, your tears fail to drain properly. This may leave you with watery, irritated eyes. The condition is caused by a partial or complete obstruction in the tear drainage system. Though it can occur in anybody, it is common in newborns, it tends to get better without treatment during the first year of life.

Blocked tear ducts can be shown by the following symptoms:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Recurrent eye infection
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Swelling inside corner of the eye
  • Crusty eyelids
  • Blurred vision

10. Fungal keratitis

Fungal keratitis is an inflammation of the eyes cornea. It is a fungal infection of the cornea, the anterior part of the eye that covers the pupil.

The symptoms of fungal keratitis include blurred vision, a red and painful eye that does not improve when contact lenses are removed. Those experiencing these symptoms are typically advised to immediately seek medical assistance.

Sore eyes in the morning

Sore itchy eyes can be very uncomfortable in the morning and at night when you’re trying to fall asleep. In the morning, sore eyes can be a sign or dry eyes syndrome, blepharitis, conjunctivitis or exposure to allergens among other causes.

A common cause of irritated eyes in the morning is eyestrain. Eyestrain can develop when trying to read, not having enough sleep or when tired or stressed out. For some people, the strain can develop from heating or air-condition in a room.

The other common cause of the irritation is having dry eyes that often tend to get worse throughout the day. Dry eyes can be shown by grittiness, or a burning sensation in eyes in the night and when you wake up in the morning.

For proper medical diagnosis, we recommend you talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms when you wake up:

  • Yellow stingy mucus around your eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Redness, bloodshot eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurred vision

Irritated or Sore eyes symptoms

Depending on what the underlying cause of the irritation is, sore eyes may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Bloodshot eyes or puffy eyes
  • Watery discharge from the eyes
  • Sandy or gritty sensation in eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light or photophobia
  • Severe pain
  • Itchy and burning sensation in eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Swollen lymph nodes around the neck
  • Blurred vision or temporary loss of vision

How to Relieve Dry Itchy Eyes Video

Irritated or Sore eyes treatment, cure, relief, medicine

Treating sore or irritated eyes will often depend on the underlying causes of the symptoms. Treatment for sore eyes can begin one a diagnosis is made. Early diagnosis is therefore recommended to prevent further damage to the eyes.

Most effective treatment option used to cure, or alleviate sore eyes will often include the following:

1. Anti-inflammatories

When the soreness is accompanied by swelling or inflammation, your healthcare provider may prescribe some anti-inflammatory to try and bring down the inflammation. These medications are also available over the counter. Apart from bringing down the inflammation, these drugs might also help soothe the pain.

2. Artificial Tears

Artificial tears will help lubricate your eyes and keep them clean. For minor cases of sore eyes, you can use over the counter artificial tears to soothe the symptoms. For severe cases have your doctor prescribe an alternative

3. Antihistamine eye drops for allergy

In cases of allergic reactions causing the soreness, your doctor may prescribe antihistamine eye drop and pills in severe cases.

Antihistamine eye drops can also be used for:

  • Burning sensation in eyes
  • Itchy and gritty feeling in eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Swollen eyelids

4. Antibiotics

In cases of bacterial infection, antibacterial pills or eye drop may be prescribed to help clear the symptoms. Antibiotic eye drops are often prescribed for conjunctivitis, blepharitis among other bacterial infections.

How to cure Irritated, sore eyes with home remedies

At home, there are some effective remedies you can use to soothe the symptoms and speed up the healing of an infection that might be causing the sore eyes. The effectiveness of the remedies below will, however, depend on the specific causes.

With irritated eyes, you could try one or a combination of the following home remedies:

Cold compress

For sore eyes accompanied by swelling and inflammation around eyes, applying a cold compress will help ease the swelling and soothe the pain and itching around eyes. When applying a cold compress, avoid extreme temperatures like holding an ice cube directly on your skin.

  • Wrap 4-5 ice cube in a clean face towel
  • Now hold the  towel on around your eyes for 10 minutes
  • Do this repeatedly to reducethe swelling and irritation around your eyes

Hot compress

A Hot compress can also help relieve some of the symptoms and speed up the healing process of bacterial and viral infections around eyes. A warm compress works by increasing oil production on your eyelids that allows your eyes to be more lubricated.

This is what you will need to do:

  • Soak a clean face towel in warm water  and squeeze the  excess water out
  • Place the towel on your face eye for 10 minutes
  • N/B the skin around your eyes is very sensitive. Keep the temperature at reasonable levels

Cucumber pack

For swollen eyes, a pack made from chilled cucumbers can be a great way to soothe the symptoms of irritated eyes.

  • Wash a fresh cucumber and chop it into small slices
  • Put the slices in plate and place them in a refrigerator for 40 minutes
  • Laying down place a slice of cold cucumber on each eye for 5 minutes
  • Makes sure to replace the slices every now and  then

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel is one of those effective home remedies you need to try on dry, itchy and sore eyes. All you need to do is simply soak a clean piece of cloth in Aloe Vera juice and use it to wipe your eyes twice or thrice a day.

How to prevent sore eyes

Though it can be hard to prevent eyes soreness, the following steps will minimize your risk of having eye irritations:

  • Drinking plenty of water especially during the day so that your eyes and the entire body remains hydrated
  • At night, ensure you get enough sleep to avoid straining your eyes in the morning
  • Keep your eyes healthy by eating a balanced diet
  • Avoiding rubbing your eyes, when working in dusty areas, make sure you are wearing protective gear
  • When going out in the hot sun, ensure to wear UV blocking sunglasses
  • Avoid staring on computer and television screens for long hour, take some eye break every now and then
  • Too much make up around the eyes is a NO NO!
  • When the medication is a side effect of some medicine, then have your doctor prescribe an alternative as soon as possible


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