Help and frequently asked questions

Why is my eye red and itchy?


There are a number of potential causes of red and itchy eyes, including foreign bodies, infections or an allergic reaction. Dry eye and conjunctivitis are two common conditions that result in these symptoms.

Dry eye develops when the eye fails to produce enough tears or they evaporate too quickly, leading to soreness and blurred vision. Conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is inflammation of the conjunctiva. This is a thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eyeball (except the cornea) and lines the inside of the eyelid.

Allergies, infections and irritants - such as chlorine - can cause conjunctivitis and are likely to result in itchiness and reddening of the eye. Both conjunctivitis and red eye can be treated or prevented with eye drops and thorough eye hygiene.  It is important to visit your optometrist so they can examine your eyes and recommend an appropriate treatment.  

What else could be causing my red, itchy eyes?

Blepharitis often causes a burning or stinging sensation in the eye. While the condition largely affects the eyelids, you may irritate the eyes by rubbing them frequently during a flare-up.Treatments for blepharitis include removing contact lenses, applying a warm compress, massaging the eyelids and conducting daily eye hygiene exercises. You should also limit the use of eye make-up while suffering blepharitis. If just one eye is bloodshot and itchy, then a subconjunctival haemorrhage could be the problem. This is where blood leaks into the area between the white of the eye and the conjunctiva, giving the eye a bright-red appearance. Heavy lifting, straining and coughing are leading causes. While this may look alarming, it is usually harmless and clears up on its own after approximately two weeks.In some cases, frequent or prolonged subconjunctival haemorrhages could be the sign of a more serious problem, such as diabetes, so you may want to visit your local optometrist if symptoms persist.