General Question

ibstubro's avatar

How can I stop my eyes from itching around my tear ducts?

Asked by ibstubro (18770points) January 9th, 2016

It’s driving me mad!
The inside corners of my eyes where the tear ducts are itch like crazy. Rubbing them make the itch worse.
I’m afraid of applying any kind of anti-itch medication, and I don’t know if some sort of lubrication would help.
Rubbing your eyes is never a good idea, facial skin wise, and I’m over 50 so I feel like my face is racking up the years.

Yeah, I itch all over, in a general way, but I put a lot of that off to dry skin/winter weather. I’ve been applying Aveeno Anti-Itch lotion to the rest of my itches and they’re tolerable.
I take generic Zyrtec occasionally.


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26 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I’d say get some gel eye drops to use at night, and the regular watery ones during the day. I like refresh brand.

Consider getting your thyroid checked next time you go to the doctor. Dry eyes are an indication for me my thyroid isn’t in balance. Are you losing a lot of hair?

Could also be an allergy.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ll look into the gel drops for night, @JLeslie.

I’m not losing hair and my allergies are dormant for winter, as far as I know.

JLeslie's avatar

Is your sleep pattern different? Needing more sleep, less sleep, waking during your sleep, etc.

Can you see a lump on your neck, that’s not your Adam’s apple that moves when you swallow (watch in the mirror)?

Lots of things can cause dry eyes, or itchiness, so I’m not pushing the thyroid idea, just mentioning it, because if you go to the doctor for it, make sure they bother to test for it. Thyroid is a cheap test, and a common problem, especially near the goiter belt, even though the belt is said not to be significant anymore with iodized salt, but if you eat in restaurants a lot, and packaged foods, your iodine intake could be low. I’m not sure how affective MO is, but produce is moved so much around the country it might not matter.

There are rheumatological conditions too, but I really doubt you have any of them, and that is blood tests also.

Are you using a new laundry detergent or softener?

ibstubro's avatar

General dryness is all, though my nose want to run. lol

No lumps, no change in routine but for the cold weather. Next I’m in town I’ll look at the eye drops.
I do need new glasses badly, so some of it could be fatigue.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It sounds like your eyes are dry, so using some drops will be a good start. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to seek a medical opinion (I know you don’t have insurance etc. but better to be safe than sorry). Start with drops. Your pharmacist should be able to give you good guidance on which are the best for you to use.

flutherother's avatar

Central heating at this time of year will dry the air in your home. You might want to look at getting a humidifier.

msh's avatar

Suggestion- eye doc or gp. Soon. You could have a problem with the tear ducts. This is a find out from a pro – call on the play. Have care.

Pandora's avatar

Sounds like possibly allergies. Take a zertec or benadryl. You may also want to rinse your eyes with cool water, and be sure to wash your face and clean your eyelashes(since most of us have mites on our lashes) and then put allergy eyedrops. If the drops don’t relieve it quickly then try putting a cool ice pack around your eyes.

Your eyes and eye ducts are probably swollen and irritated by now so cool water and ice should relieve some of the symptoms. I would also suggest taking a bath and washing any pollutants and irritants that may be on your body.
Another thing I use to do was take a cotton swatch and pore Witch Hazel on it. Squeeze out any excess that would cause it to drip. Then close your eyes and gently clean the inside corner of your eyes.

Be sure not to get it in your eye. Get a clean cotton swatch again and do the same procedure again with the Witch Hazel and put it on your eye lids as your rest. It has a cooling effect as well. Make sure to press it down a little so it has full contact with your eye lids. Lay down and just kick back for 15 minutes with the cotton resting on your eyes. It should help relieve the itching.
Also change your pillow case for a freshly laundered one. You don’t want anything to come in contact with your face that can be the possible problem.

JLeslie's avatar

@msh A problem with both tear ducts at the same time? What are the chances?

msh's avatar

Congratulate me. I achieved it! Sometimes when eyes itch, you may rub one ( and ick contact) and then just brush at the other-without a second thought, especially if your hand(s) are full.. A two second swipe- infection check-in to second eye. Just like magic- really itchy, grawky, icky- looking magic. Euw. It was awful.
Eye Dr said Over-the-counter would not have made one iota of a difference. That RX felt like cool soothing snow on my eyes. **** But that was Me!
That’s why I said about seeing Eye Dr., such situations around eyes scares me to death.
Also kids at school and all the pink-eye that went around all the time. Wow.
(And no! @Ibstubro I know you don’t have that! Just have care, pls? Ask pharmacist is even better than guessing.- feel better!)
@JLeslie- thank you for reading my answer and asking.

JLeslie's avatar

@msh I agree with not playing around with eyes. Best to see a doctor to be sure. I know when I was having dry, itchy eye trouble, the ophthalmologist decided it was because I didn’t close my eyes very shut during sleep. A long time later my thyroid was diagnosed, and now I only need drops when I need to change my thyroid meds. If he had run the test, I might have been diagnosed earlier.

Probably, the drugs that work on reducing tear duct inflammation might have been indicated. Might have been something the doctor would consider, but Restasis wasn’t on the market back then I don’t think, I’m glad it wasn’t. I don’t know if there are older drugs with very similar compounds.

I wonder what Rx you were given? Do you remember the name? An antibiotic I guess. When I was younger I was an expert at getting eye infections. The up side was I was able to stay home from school.

msh's avatar

Oh! My thyroid tried to kill me also! Just in different ways.
I’m sorry that it hurt your eyes- ouch.
The best lesson for me was when I got contact lenses. – no touching and drops to keep the lenses floating.
I sounded like a parent at school-11and12 graders and I would holler ‘get your fingers out of your eye!’. Made them laugh, and I made whoever use a soft tissue to help. Yuck- With pink eye alerts- I brought in Clorox wipes and wiped every desk in-between classes. A kid shouldn’t have to worry about such things. The kids said that I was addicted to drinking Clorox behind my desk between periods the bleach smell was so strong.
What fun. – not the pink eye!!
I don’t know what RX it was. It stained if I got it on clothes- but that doesn’t help, does it!
It just felt so cool and nice.

JLeslie's avatar

@msh Dry eyes from thyroid trouble is extremely common. I wouldn’t say it “hurt” my eyes. I would say it affects my eyes when I’m hypo or hyper thyroid. I’ve always had dry skin, so I can’t gauge well if my skin is dryer than usual. My eyes I can tell, and my hair, but the eyes are the most obvious initially, because I wake up with my eyes sticking.

ibstubro's avatar

Taking A Zyrtec today. I’ll check OTC eye drops when there’s enough thaw to get out.

JLeslie's avatar

I think no matter what the problem the drops will help. You just might also need some sort of Rx with it, depending on what’s really going on.

Trying the allergy meds should give you some information.

Judi's avatar

My allergies are extra bad this winter and Claritin makes it tolerable. As much as I hate medication I would be totally miserable without it.

ibstubro's avatar

Any idea why your allergies are acting up, @Judi?

I don’t remember if you’re in cold winter weather.

Judi's avatar

@ibstubro , I think I’m allergic to the wood we’re burning in our furnace. I hope it’s not my fur babies.

ibstubro's avatar

Oh, man. I have zero tolerance for wood smoke, @Judi. I don’t know when that came about but I went to Cracker Barrel with friends one day, and would have left if I’d had my own transport.

JLeslie's avatar

I have trouble being around wood burning also. I can’t be very close to the flame. My eyes dry out. I feel like I’m harming them.

Judi's avatar

I’m no where her the flame or even the smoke most days. The furnace is outside and most of the time Jeff does the loading. I load it some tomes but that doesn’t seem to make things way worse. The smoke is all outside.

JLeslie's avatar


ibstubro's avatar

I’ve been taking my allergy medicine for a couple days, and that seemed to help.

Today I stopped at Walmart and bought some gel eye drops. I put some in as soon as I got home. Everything as smeary for a couple minutes (natch), then cleared up
It’s been about an hour, and OMG my eyes feel so good! I can’t wait to dose again just before sleep.

Thanks all for the commiseration and advice.

JLeslie's avatar


Just keep in mind if you continue to need the eye drops, eventually you might want to see a doctor, or mention it the next time you’re at the doctor.

Remember, something changed. It sounds like you never needed drops before and now you do.

ibstubro's avatar

The allergy medicine seemed to control the itch as long as I didn’t touch my eyes. If I touched them they itched like mad.

Just a bit ago I tried rubbing my eye (after drops) and….nothing.
Morning will be the test.

ibstubro's avatar

No morning itch.

Now I’ll let this dog have a nap, lol.

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