Does An Itchy Eyelid Mean You Have An Eye Infection?

Your eyelids have the important job of keeping your eyes protected and lubricated. However, eyelids are fairly thin-skinned and are full of nerves and blood vessels, so the slightest irritation can cause extreme itching. If your eyes become infected or inflamed, your eyelids will itch even more. So how do you determine if your itchy eyelid is due to an eye infection, allergies, or something else?

That can be a tricky question to answer without diagnostic testing, because itchy eyelids are a common symptom of several conditions affecting the eyes, such as:

  • An allergic skin reaction from contact with dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, perfume, cosmetics, or other products.
  • Eczema
  • Ocular Rosacea
  • A stye, which is a small, red, painful lump on the base of your eyelash or under the eyelid.

In addition, eye infections often cause eyelid or eye itchiness. Eye infections are often caused by many of the same bacteria and viruses that affect other parts of your body and may show up in various ways, including:

  • Conjunctivitis (or pink eye), which may be caused by either bacteria or viruses.
  • Blepharitis, which is an accumulation of bacteria and oily flakes at the base of your eyelashes.

Your eye doctor will take other symptoms into account when assessing whether your eyelid itchiness is due to an eye infection or not. Other symptoms your doctor will want to know about include redness, swelling, burning, an increase in tear production, and discharge.

Aside from eyelid itching, if you also have redness or swelling around the eyes, pus-like eye discharge, blurry vision or vision changes, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor right away. These could be symptoms of an eye infection, which could potentially damage your vision if left untreated.

However, if you suspect your itchy eyelids are a temporary nuisance due to perhaps allergies, eczema, or rosacea, here are a few things you can try at home to alleviate the discomfort:

  • Anti-allergy eye drops
  • Artificial tears for dry eyes
  • Eyelid cleaning wipes
  • Warm compresses
  • Antihistamine tablets

Above all else, avoid rubbing or scratching your eyelids as this could cause serious eye damage. And if eye drops, wipes, compresses, or tablets don’t soothe your symptoms, or if  your symptoms worsen, it’s time to consult with an eye doctor.

At Baptist Eye Surgeons, we have vast experience with a wide range of eye disorders, including eyelid itchiness and eye infections, and we can help you get to the root cause of your discomfort. With offices in Knoxville, TN and Morristown, TN, Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To learn about our specialities and our doctors, visit our website. We also invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted eye surgeons in Knoxville or Morristown, or call us at 865-579-3920.

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