Ocular Pruritus: What Causes Itchy Eyes?

What Is Ocular Pruritus?

itchy eyes

Ocular pruritus is the medical term for itchy eyes. Ocular pruritus is not a condition in itself, but rather the result of another condition or circumstance. Having itchy eyes is very common and in many cases, it is not typically regarded as a serious medical condition.


  • Allergies
  • Blepharitis
  • Dry Eye
  • Pink Eye
  • Reaction to eye makeup
  • Eye strain
  • Contact lens use


There is only one type of ocular pruritus.

ocular pruritus


  • Itchy eyes/eyelids
  • Dry eyes
  • Irritated eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurry vision


If you are suffering from ocular pruritus, your primary care physician will likely refer you to an ophthalmologist who can perform a thorough examination of your eyes. The ophthalmologist will assess the health and function of your eyes and check for underlying causes that could lead to itchy eyes. If it is suspected that allergies are leading to your ocular pruritus, you may be referred to an allergist to determine what you are allergic to.


Treating ocular pruritus depends on what the underlying cause is. If your itchy eyes are caused by allergies, anti-histamines like Benadryl can help ease the discomfort in your eyes. Medicated eye drops are a common treatment for itchy eyes because they can soothe and hydrate the eye. If your ocular pruritus is brought on by the use of certain products, such as eye makeup, you will need to stop using those products and find ones that do not irritate your eyes.

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