What is itchy eyelid?

Itchy eyelids can result from any condition that irritates, inflames or infects the eyelid. Allergies, infections, and even lack of sleep can cause your eyelids to itch. Itchy eyelids are commonly associated with other symptoms like redness, swelling, a gritty feeling in the eye, irritation, lumps or bumps, increased tear production, or discharge.

Allergies are the most common cause of itchy eyelids. An allergy that affects your eyelid may be local, such as an allergic reaction to eye makeup, or more generalized, such as hay fever. Allergies that involve the membrane lining the inside of your eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes are called allergic conjunctivitis.

Infections or inflammations of the eyelid margin, the area near your eyelashes, are also frequent causes of itchy eyelid. These conditions include blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid margin), chalazion (inflammation of a blocked oil gland in the eyelid margin), and stye or hordeolum (localized bacterial infection of an oil gland or eyelash follicle in the eyelid margin).

Most conditions that affect the eyelids do not threaten your life or vision, and itchy eyelids usually get better on their own within a few days. You can reduce the itching with use of cool compresses and over-the-counter antihistamines. You should avoid rubbing your eyes or scratching your eyelids, which can lead to more irritation. In very rare cases, itchy eyelids can be associated with anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Because your eyes and vision are so important to your quality of life, be sure to contact your health care provider if you have any eye symptoms that cause you concern.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if your itchy eyelid symptoms are accompanied by more serious symptoms including sudden visual changes, difficulty breathing or wheezing, or sudden swelling of the face, lips and tongue.

Seek prompt medical care if your eyelid itchiness is persistent, recurrent, or causes you concern.


What other symptoms might occur with itchy eyelid?

Depending on the cause of your itchy eyelids, other parts of your body may also be affected. A variety of symptoms involving other parts of your body can occur along with itchy eyelids.

Common symptoms that may occur along with itchy eyelids

Itchy eyelids may accompany other common symptoms including:


What causes itchy eyelid?

Anything that irritates, inflames, or infects the eyelid can cause itchy eyelids. Even lack of sleep can cause your eyelids to itch. Your eyelids are very sensitive and well supplied with blood vessels and nerves, so even a slight inflammation can cause itchiness. The itchiness is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong with your eye or eyelid.

The most common cause... Read more about itchy eyelidcauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision

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