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16 Natural Remedies That Will Relieve Itchy Eyes

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - collage: closeup of hands grating a potato; bottle of castor oil with small bowl and eye dropper; cucumber partially sliced on a wood cutting board

Spring Is Here And So Are Itchy Eyes

Spring has sprung, and seasonal allergies symptoms like itchy, watery eyes have sprung up right alongside it. My sensitive skin (which seems to be allergic to everything) notwithstanding, I feel pretty blessed to have avoided most common types of allergies. My husband and kids, unfortunately, haven’t been so lucky, and all experience seasonal allergies to some degree.

Oftentimes, their seasonal allergies manifest with irritated red, itchy, and watery eyes. So in order to help them and any of you who might be suffering from irritated eyes, I thought I’d share some great home remedies in today’s blog post!

Related: These Are The Best Simple Fixes For Puffy Eyes

We’ll start by exploring the various causes of itchy or irritated eyes, then we’ll dive into a list of effective itchy eye home remedies.

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - woman rubbing her eyes
Having itchy eyes can be so annoying!

What Causes Itchy Eyes?

There are many things that can irritate your eyes and leave them itching and looking swollen and bloodshot. Here are just a few of the most common causes of red, itchy eyes:

  • Allergens, including pollen, dirt, dust, pet dander, etc.
  • Air pollution
  • Indoor air pollutants
  • Smoke
  • Dry air, like in arid climates or airplanes
  • Chemical exposure, like swimming in a chlorinated pool
  • Overexposure to sunlight

Regardless of why exactly you’re struggling with itchy eyes, the remedies below can help stop the itch, reduce inflammation, and soothe discomfort fast.

How To Relieve Itchy Eyes: 16 Soothing Home Remedies

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - bag of frozen pomegranate arils
As with many itchy ailments, a cold compress can feel so nice!

1. Cold Compress

A cold compress can help relieve swelling around the eyes and reduce itching. Wrap an ice pack, bag of ice cubes, or a package of frozen food in a clean cotton towel, then splash some cold water over your eyes. Place the wrapped cold compress on your closed eyelids for several minutes, or until the itching subsides.

Related: 13 Easy Remedies For Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - bottle of castor oil, small bowl, eye dropper

2. Castor Oil

The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil can help with dry eye by improving lipid production, inhibiting tear evaporation, and reducing redness and irritation. You can apply castor oil drops to your eyes using a clean glass dropper, though it’s important to know that there’s a certain amount of risk to using non-sterile equipment to administer any kind of eye drops.

For sterile castor oil eye drops, consider Refresh Optive Mega-3 Lubricant Eye Drops, which are formulated with castor oil. Additionally, it’s best to only use castor oil drops before bed, as the oil can blur your vision slightly until it gets fully absorbed.

jar of water with chamomile flowers floating in it

3. Chamomile

Chamomile can be very soothing for irritated eyes. Add 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers or a chamomile teabag to 1 cup of boiled water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain, and let the tea cool completely. Pour the cooled tea onto a cotton pad and apply it around your eyes. You can also use the cooled tea in a cold compress!

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - partially sliced cucumber on cutting board
The second best use for cucumbers!

4. Cucumber Slices

Packed with soothing antioxidants, cucumber slices are a classic remedy for eye irritation and inflammation. Cut two slices of cucumber and place them in ice cold water for 10 minutes to chill them. Then place the chilled cucumber slices on your closed eyelids and relax for 10 minutes.

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - hand removing tea bag from a small bowl of water

5. Tea Bags

Tea contains tannic acid that can help soothe itchy eyes. Use a green or black teabag to prepare a cup of tea, then allow the teabag to cool completely. Place the cooled teabag over your eyes one at a time to help soothe itchiness and reduce inflammation.

Related: All-Natural Tea Treatments For Common Ailments

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - glass of water with lemon wedges in it

6. Stay Hydrated

If your eyes are irritated, your vision is blurry, or it feels like there is something in your eye, you may be experiencing symptoms of dry eye. And the best treatment for dry eyes is hydration! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep your eyes well hydrated and support your general health.

7. Eat More Omega-3s

Make sure you’re getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These fats are crucial for lubricating your eyes and reducing inflammation. Some good sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Related: Chia Seeds…Big Benefits In A Tiny Package!

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - glass of water and ice with two spoons in it
I was so happy when I discovered this neat trick!

8. Chilled Spoons

Chilled metal spoons can help constrict the blood vessels around your eyes, decreasing redness and swelling. Place four metal spoons in a glass of ice water. When chilled, place one spoon on each eye. As the spoons begin to warm, switch them out with the spoons that are still chilling in the glass of ice water. Continue this cycle until the swelling subsides.

Remedies For Itchy Eyes -bottle of witch hazel and three cotton balls
No medicine cabinet should be without witch hazel!

9. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an astringent that can be incredibly soothing for irritated eyes, especially if it contains added moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera. Pour some witch hazel onto a cotton pad, and either wipe it over your eyes or rest the pad on your eyes for a few minutes. You’ll notice a difference almost immediately!

Related: 26 “Magic” Ways To Use Witch Hazel

10. Aloe Vera

And speaking of aloe vera, you can also use plain aloe vera gel or juice as a remedy for itchy eyes! Frozen aloe vera cubes in particular can soothe a variety of skin irritation, including sunburns. Check out my post about them at the link below to learn more!

Related: Soothe Summer Skin Woes With Frozen Aloe Vera Cubes

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - hand using an eye dropper to get some warm milk and honey out of small jar
Warm milk and honey is good for what ails you.

11. Warm Milk & Honey

Honey is a great remedy for many minor health issues, because of its soothing effects and antibacterial qualities. Combining honey with warm milk can make this remedy even more soothing! Just combine equal parts of honey and warm milk (which should be warm, but not hot), and stir until smooth.

Saturate two cotton pads with the warm milk and honey mixture and apply them to your closed eyelids. Rest for about 10 minutes or so to let the mixture work its soothing magic.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar with the “mother” can help soothe itchy eyes in two ways. First, the vinegar acts as an astringent to reduce swelling and irritation. Second, the mother is high in malic acid which has antibacterial properties that can fight infection.

To use apple cider vinegar as a remedy for irritated eyes, stir 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup of water. Dip a cotton pad or cotton ball into the solution and apply it around your eyes.

Related: 28 Surprising Ways You Can Benefit From Apple Cider Vinegar

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - closeup of hands grating a potato

13. Potato

Potatoes, as surprising as it sounds, have an astringent effect that can help reduce eye inflammation! Using it can be as simple as placing potato slices over your eyes for 10-15 minutes.

14. Rose Water

Rose water can be really helpful for soothing sore eyes. Just soak a cotton pad in rose water and place it over your eyes. This will provide immediate relief, and most of the soreness and burning should be gone after about five minutes.

Related: How To Make Your Own Rose Water For Beautiful, Healthy Skin

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - jug of distilled water and a container of salt
You can make your own “artificial tears” with distilled water and a pinch of salt.

15. Artificial Tears

Good old eye drops can soothe irritated eyes and help flush out whatever might be agitating them. Put two drops of artificial tears in twice a day to help moisten and lubricate your eyes. Twice a day should be your max though, as over-using eye drops can create a dependency.

Remedies For Itchy Eyes - two slices of white bread

16. Cold Bread

Believe it or not, a piece of cold bread will help reduce irritation, itchiness, and inflammation in irritated eyes. So toss a piece of bread in the fridge, and when it’s nice and cold, place it over your eyes! Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. :-)

Related: 7 Things You Can Do With A Slice Of Bread Besides Make A Sandwich

Wear Contact Lenses? Try These Tips

  • Don’t rub your eyes—it will only make them more itchy and irritated!
  • Clean your contacts frequently, especially if you have seasonal allergies.
  • Take allergy medicine daily, if needed.
  • Use a hypoallergenic contact lens cleaning solution.
  • Switch to eyeglasses when your eyes need a rest.
  • Talk to your optometrist if itching persists.

BONUS: Know When To See A Doctor!

The remedies throughout this post can help relieve minor eye irritations. However, you should absolutely see a doctor or eye specialist if the condition doesn’t improve or gets worse, or if you if you experience vision changes, eye pain, sensitivity to light, or mucus around your eyes.

More serious eye conditions and infections (including specific eye conditions like dry eye syndrome, allergic conjunctivitis, and blepharitis) are nothing to mess around with! Some are highly contagious, while others require the use of antibiotics and other doctor-prescribed medicines.

Do you have a go-to way to relieve itchy eyes?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Natural Remedies

  • I actually tried to find the Boric Acid Powder that Sue suggested. I asked the Pharmacy person and they didn’t have it. The store also didn’t have it on their shelves. It wasn’t a big deal for me – since I have other methods I can use.

  • I also use Alaway eyedrops for eye itch relief. They really help.l.also use the Refresh Relieva eyedrops when l use it. I wear contact lenses and it helps. You just need to wait 10 minutes after using the Alkergy eye drops.

  • LIVING IN THE CANARY ISLANDS WE HAVE OSSIES AND DRY HEAT MOST OF THE TIME,ALSO PEOPLE THINKING A GENTLE BREEZE I CANNOT BURN.
    HERE WE USE MATURAL YOGHURT AFTER A MED HOT SHOWER OR OVER RIPE TOMATEOES WILL TAKE THE STING OUT QUICKLY.
    IF YOUR FEET HAVE SWOLLEN WITH THE HEAT USE 2 CUPS OF VINEGAR IN WARM WATER ANDSOAK YOUR FEET. WHILST SOAKING USE CLOTHS TO SOAK IN THE WATER AND PLACE OVER TOP OF FEET AND ANKLES.

  • I also have a gel filled eye mask that I keep in the fridge. It’s great for when I’m desperate for relief and my eyes are having extreme problems.

  • I tend to have dry eyes, especially during sleep (my eyelids don’t close all the way, apparently, and that causes it), I always have a tube of vitamin A cream on my bedside. It is my ophtalmologist’s prescription, she was very worried about this dryness and eyedrops didn’t touch it, this solved it. Either squeeze a few drops in your eyes just before turning off the lights (it muddles your vision for at least an hour), or if needed during the night. Very effective, and on the long term too.

  • All interesting ideas, however; I have found out the hard way that I am allergic to cucumber slices and raw potatoes. It took me several days to get over the irritation caused by cucumber slices plus it made people laugh when they saw the distinct red circles on my eyelids and around my eyes. My mother was shocked when she saw what happened. Because my eye irritations are usually caused by allergens I use and recommend Similasan Allergy Relief drops. It is a homeopathic remedy that has worked for me in as little as one application. The company offers a full line of eye products on their website but I pick mine up at Walmart.

      • I’ve used Thera tears A pharmacist recommended them and then my eye Dr did. There great for dry eyes.

      • After having problems with dry irritated eyes I keep a small bottle of the Thera- tears around for this. My parents had a recent bout with an eye infection and wanted to use my drops. I ended buying another bottle and giving them my old one. It’s great stuff. The Refresh EyeDrops are great for when my allergies act up. I use the Anti-histamine eye drops and then the Refresh Drops to prevent the Dry eyes from my Allergy meds.

  • I’ve had an eye doctor recommend putting the artificial tears in the refrigerator before using them. That way you get the benefits of the lubrication plus some coolness to help relieve the itching.

  • I have had extremely dry eyes for months now to no avail. I’ve been to my eye doc several times trying different drops and nothing gives me relief. Fingers crossed your suggestion of those oil eye drops finally help. I’m so sick of spending money on things that don’t work and being left with my raisin eyes. Thank you.

    • I use a medical grade water spray, Natures Tears eye mist. I get it on Amazon. My eyes are so dry over night, in ac or heat. In a pinch I use filtered Brita water in a small spray bottle. I cannot use any eye drops, couldn’t wear contacts etc. The only brand I can use when pink eye symptoms occur is similansan.

    • Technically, yes. Here are the directions: Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of distilled water. Bring the mixture to a boil until the salt has dissolved completely. Once it has completely cooled, use it to flush out your eyes.

      I didn’t include them in the post because it’s very important that you sterilize all you containers and tools before working. Homemade eye drops can be a little risky, and store bought eye drops aren’t too expense. :-)

  • This is just what I needed. Allergy season is in full swing in the Midwest. The itchy eyes are about to drive me crazy. I have tried the tea bags when I’ve been desperate for relief. I am reluctant to try the camomile. I’ve heard if it’s seasonal allergies it might make the itching worse. Thanks I needed more ideas. I try not to take the meds very often because it can make my eyes dry – which makes it harder if you wear Contacts.

    • Buy boric acid powder from the pharmacy, mix in boiling water per label directions and allow to cool down enough to wash eyes thoroughly with this solution. If eyes are puffy or irritated lie back for 15+ minutes with cottonballs saturated in the warm solution over closed eyes and allow solution to drip into eyes while resting. Safe for contact lens wearers.

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