Allergies and Itchy Eyes

  1. Home
  2. Allergies and Itchy Eyes

Itchy eyes can get in the way of your child’s school progress and daily activities.

Kids may not complain of itchy eyes, but you may notice them rubbing their eyes throughout the day. Sometimes their eyes can even start appearing red and puffy.

Itchy eyes can be a symptom of multiple conditions, ranging from allergies, dry eyes, anterior blepharitis to viral/bacterial conjunctivitis. The key to understanding why your child’s eyes are itchy is to make note of other associated factors and discuss them with our optometrist.

It is a good idea to think about the following:

  • When does my child complain of itchy eyes?
  • Is there any associated watering or discharge?
  • When does the itchy feeling get the worst?
  • What do I do to alleviate the itchiness?

Common Causes of Itchy Eyes

Allergic Conjunctivitis
Dry Eyes
Anterior Blepharitis
Viral Conjunctivitis
Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Allergic Conjunctivitis

The most common cause of itchy eyes in children and usually occurs in both eyes. If your child comes in contact with an allergen, it can cause the eyes to be red, watery, itchy and puffy. Sometimes there will be red papillae (bumps) on the inside of the lids that our optometrists can check for.

Dry Eyes

The lack of moisture leads to a feeling of sand or ‘grittiness’ in the eyes. This can often result in your child constantly blinking or rubbing the eye in an attempt to lubricate the eyes with tears. Our dry eye assessment can diagnose the type of dryness and treatment needed.

Anterior Blepharitis

A condition caused by inflammation (hyper-sensitivity) to bacteria. It causes stickiness, clumping and crusting of the eyelashes. It can also cause the eyelids to swell and become red. Our optometrist will help you identify whether your child has anterior blepharitis.

Viral Conjunctivitis

A virus that causes the eyes to be very red, sore and watery. There are follicles (white bumps) under the lid which can cause the eyes to itch. It is very contagious and often presents with accompanying cold/flu symptoms or exposure to someone who has been sick or has had a red eye recently.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Looks very similar to allergic conjunctivitis and anterior blepharitis, however has thick pus-like discharge around the lids and lashes, causing the eyes to stick together. Usually occurs in one eye. Also has papillae (bumps) on the inner eyelid which can irritate the eye upon blinking.

Signs and Symptoms Your Child Has an Eye Allergy May Include…

  • Itchy eyes with frequent rubbing
  • Increased tearing (watery eyes)
  • Red or pink eyes
  • Mild swelling of the eyelids
  • No discharge or a sticky, stringy mucus discharge
  • No pain or fever

Why Should Parents Be Concerned?

It’s important for parents to be aware if itchy eyes are caused by an allergy or a different eye condition so it can be treated accordingly. Allergies tend to be chronic and may affect other parts of the body. Whereas other eye conditions can have permanent effects on your child’s eyesight.

Kids who have itchy eyes will have a greater tendency to rub/scratch them. This can lead to bruising of the delicate skin on the front of the eye (cornea) and possible scarring. Many studies have also found a major correlation between extensive eye rubbing and development of a progressive eye condition affecting the front skin of the eye, keratoconus.

How Can We Help?

Finding the Cause + Management

We will help you identify the source of the symptoms and look for signs of the eye conditions listed above.

Treatment Options for Relief

We’ll discuss treatment options to help your child get relief from the discomfort of red, itchy, watery eyes. This can be in the form of prescription eye drops or lifestyle changes.

Advise +

We can also advise you if there is a need to bring your child to see a GP or ophthalmologist for multi-disciplinary care.

Does your child have red, itchy, watery or swollen eyes?

Book a Comprehensive Eye Test Today.