Welcome to Buoy Health

Learn about your eye itch, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your eye itch from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Eye Itch Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having eye itch.

Take a quiz
Your Eye Itch May Also be Known as:
Eye scratchiness
Eye scratching
Eye scratchy
Eyes are burning
Eyes itchiness
Eyes itching

Top 9 Eye Itch Causes

  1. 1.Inflamed Eyelid (Blepharitis)

    Blepharitis is an eyelid issue where the skin, lashes, or glands become inflamed from an irritant or infection.

    You should use an eyelid scrub and warm compresses. It's important to keep your eyelids clean going forward.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sensitivity to light, eye itch, eye redness, dry eyes, feeling of something in the eye
    Symptoms that never occur with inflamed eyelid (blepharitis):
    severe eye pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Bacterial Conjunctivitis

    Bacterial conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye problems. It occurs from an infection of the whites of the eye.

    You should visit your primary care physician or an urgent care clinic within the next 24 hours. The physician will examine the eye. Often, antibiotic eye-drops are prescribed.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, eye redness, eye itch, eye redness, watery eye discharge
    Symptoms that always occur with bacterial conjunctivitis:
    eye redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Non - Allergic Rhinitis

    Nonallergic rhinitis is a medical condition which involves chronic (persistent) sneezing and having a runny, congested nose without any apparent cause. While the symptoms of nonallergic rhinitis are similar to those of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), there is no allergic reaction. Nonallergic rhinitis can be triggered by certain odors, weather changes, medications, or foods.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own by avoiding triggers of the symptoms, and also taking steps to relieve the symptoms once they appear. Symptom relief can be helped by rinsing nasal passages using a squeeze bottle (included in saline kits), blowing the nose regularly, getting an air humidifier for home use, and staying hydrated. You should not overuse nasal decongestants, as this may actually worsen your symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    congestion, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, runny nose, frequent sneezing, eye itch
    Symptoms that never occur with non-allergic rhinitis:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Acute Allergic Conjunctivitis

    Itchy, red, swelling of the whites of the eyes can be caused by allergies to any number of things (like pollen, hay, etc).

    Seek basic advice at a retail clinic, via telemedicine or at your primary care physician. This condition is usually treated by using artificial tears, cold compress, and/or an antihistamine (only if over 3 years of age). Additional tests might be ordered to look for the specific allergen. Try to avoid rubbing the eyes, this will only make the symptoms worse!

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    eye itch, eye redness, watery eye discharge, eye redness, itch in both eyes
    Symptoms that always occur with acute allergic conjunctivitis:
    eye itch, eye redness
    Symptoms that never occur with acute allergic conjunctivitis:
    lump in front of the ear, vision changes
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

    Eye Itch Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having eye itch.

    Take a quiz
  5. 5.Viral Conjunctivitis

    Pink eye conjunctivitis is an infection of the whites of the eyes by a virus. It is extremely infectious and can spread from person-to-person easily.

    You do not need treatment. Viral conjunctivitis does not require any antibiotics. What you can do is have a clean cloth soaked in warm water held up to the eyes to soothe the itching. Some people get relief from over the counter medicines. If your symptoms do not start getting better within a week, seek advice from your primary care physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    eye redness, eye itch, sensitivity to light, watery eye discharge, feeling of something in the eye
    Symptoms that always occur with viral conjunctivitis:
    eye redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Sarcoidosis

    Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that most often affects the lungs and skin, but can als affect the joints.

    You should visit your physician to discuss your symptoms when convenient.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, joint pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Vernal Conjunctivitis

    Vernal conjunctivitis is long-term (chronic) swelling (inflammation) of the outer lining of the eyes due to an allergic reaction. Vernal conjunctivitis often occurs in people with a strong family history of allergies, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema.

    You should visit your primary care physician, where he/she will look at your eyes to inspect for the telltale signs of vernal conjunctivitis. Typical treatments are anti-histamine eye drops, which can be found over-the-counter.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    eye redness, wateriness in both eyes, eye itch, sensitivity to light, burning eye(s)
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Irritated Eye Causing Swelling

    Chemosis is a sign of eye irritation. The outer surface of the eye can look like a blister, filled with water or fluid. It can occur from infection or allergies, or as in this case, from rubbing the eye.

    You can treat this on your own with eye drops from the pharmacy. "Antihistamine" drops like Zaditor (ketotifen fumarate) or Optivar (azelastine hydrochloride) will sooth and reduce swelling.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    swelling of the eye area, eye itch, eye redness, swollen whites of eyes
    Symptoms that always occur with irritated eye causing swelling:
    swelling of the eye area
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  9. 9.Retinal Detachment

    The retina is a layer of tissue in the eye. When the retina detaches, its normal position is disrupted causing vision changes.

    You should visit the emergency room immediately as this can cause permanent vision loss. If possible, visit an eye hospital's emergency room.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    floating spots in vision
    Symptoms that always occur with retinal detachment:
    floating spots in vision
    Symptoms that never occur with retinal detachment:
    eye pain, eye redness, eye itch, wateriness in both eyes
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Eye Itch

  • Q.Is your eye itchiness constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How long ago did your eye first start to itch?
  • Q.How badly is your eye itching?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our eye itch symptom checker.

Take a quiz

Eye Itch Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced eye itch have also experienced:

    • 6% Congestion
    • 6% Frequent Sneezing
    • 5% Runny Nose
  • People who have experienced eye itch had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Week
    • 28% Less Than a Day
    • 15% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced eye itch were most often matched with:

    • 33% Inflamed Eyelid (Blepharitis)
    • 7% Bacterial Conjunctivitis
    • 4% Non - Allergic Rhinitis

Eye Itch Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having eye itch.

Take a quiz