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What Could an Itchy Eyelid Mean?

An itchy eyelid can mean many things. It could be an allergy, an infection, or—quite simply—an itch! However, if it happens repeatedly and over a long period, it’s likely to have some kind of clinical cause. 

The following looks at the common and not-so-common causes of an itchy eyelid.

Everything You Need to Know about an Itchy Eyelid



Less common causes


An infection of the eyelids is called blepharitis. While you can get it in a single eye, it usually occurs in both. As well as itching, other common symptoms include:

  • Stinging, burning, and feeling like there’s grit in your eyes.
  • Redness
  • Swelling 
  • Excessive watering
  • Being overly sensitive to light
  • Blurred vision that improves when you blink
  • Sticky, crusted eyelids or crusts on the eyelashes—especially when you wake up
  • Foamy tears

Blepharitis can be a chronic condition that requires treatment over the long term to solve. The root cause is that the oil glands that serve the eyelashes become blocked. There are many reasons this can happen—including excessive bacteria, dermatitis, a virus, hormonal issues, and rosacea.

Although the condition might be a little unsightly, rest assured that it’s not contagious and doesn’t usually pose any threat to your eyesight.


Allergies are the most common cause of itchy eyelids. The key to preventing the symptoms is to discover what it is that you’re reacting to. Hay fever affects many people, as does pet dander, makeup, and even certain types of eye drops. You might even have touched something with your fingers and inadvertently rubbed it into your eye.

If your itchy eyes are in conjunction with other issues, such as a runny and/or blocked nose, excessive watering, sneezing, or a scratchy throat, then it’s most likely that an allergy is to blame.

The first line of treatment is to avoid the trigger, although this is often easier said than done). Simple antihistamines, including oral over-the-counter remedies and eye drops, might work for mild to moderate cases. Severe allergies will require more specialist medical intervention.

Less common causes

While mild infections and allergies are the most usual cause of itchy eyelids, there are a ton of other—much less common—reasons that you might feel the need to constantly scratch your eyelids.

Some of these are:

  • Eczema around the eyes
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff that extends to the eyebrows)
  • Eyelash mites
  • An injury to the cornea
  • Dry eyes (a condition that, despite the name, causes your eyes to water excessively and can also cause itchiness)

The good thing is that most causes of itchy eyelids aren’t overly serious. However, if the itching becomes prolonged and/or severe, or you experience any sudden onset of symptoms, then you should seek expert help for a definitive diagnosis. Even if it’s “just” hay fever, it’s important to understand the reason behind your itchy eyelids.

An eye doctor will have far more options for treatment than the simple over-the-counter solutions that you can buy from the drugstore. If itchy eyes are causing you a problem, then it’s time to seek help.

Worried About an Itchy Eyelid? Call the West Boca Eye Center Today

Whether it’s an allergy, infection, or a medical condition, you’ll want to get to the root cause of your itchy eyelid. At the WBEC, our ophthalmologist team uses the latest clinical information and diagnostic tools to get a definitive diagnosis of why you’re suffering from itchy eyelids.

Once the cause is defined, then we can put the ultimate treatment plan in place to best manage the problem.

Don’t suffer a moment longer. Visit to start your journey and call today to book an appointment.

What Could an Itchy Eyelid Mean?
What Could an Itchy Eyelid Mean?

An eye doctor will have far more options for treatment than the simple over-the-counter solutions that you can buy from the drugstore. If itchy eyes are causing you a problem, then it’s time to seek help.

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Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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