That Irritating Feeling: Exploring Why You Feel Like There's Something in Your Eye

That Irritating Feeling: Exploring Why You Feel Like There’s Something in Your Eye

Whatever the cause, the feeling of irritation in your eyes can be very discomfiting. Having to tell people around you continuously, “it feels like something is in my eye,” can be quite embarrassing, especially when these episodes have become constant.

These feelings, also known as foreign body sensations, can be accompanied by itching, tearing, and sometimes severe pain. Hence, it’s important you know what causes this irritating feeling and how it can be relieved.

What Could be the Cause of These Irritating Feelings?

Foreign sensations in your eyes can be caused either by external or internal factors. External causes include dirt, dust, and eyelash contact. The most common internal causes of eye irritation are dryness and inflammation of the eyelid.

Dryness and Inflammation Of The Eyelid

Whenever you blink your eyes, a film of tears is left over on the surface of your eye. This ensures you have a clear vision, prevents infection, and helps your eyes stay healthy.

However, if the tear film fails to work as it should, it results in dry eyes. Dry eyes mean that there are not enough tears to keep your eyes moist, or your tears evaporate quickly. This causes an irritating feeling, like the feeling of something in your eyes.

The dryness of the eyes and inflammation can make you feel very uncomfortable and could sometimes be frustrating. Some other symptoms that accompany dry eyes include excess tearing, redness of the eye, constant itching, and stinging or burning in the eyes.

Other Causes of Irritating Feelings in your Eyes

  • Conjunctivitis:

There’s a clear tissue that covers the white part of the eye and upper eyelid called the conjunctiva. Any inflammation on this tissue is known as conjunctivitis, also called pink eye.

Either bacterial, viral or allergic conjunctivitis can make you feel like there’s something in your eye. Other symptoms associated with conjunctivitis include excessive tearing, redness, itching, gritty sensation, discharge, stinging, and burning eyes.

  • Corneal Abrasion:

The cornea is a clear dome that covers the colored part of your eye, and if it gets injured, it leads to corneal abrasion. It could either be a cut or scratch caused by an unknown particle entering your eye, rubbing or poking your eyes very hard.

Such injury on your cornea can lead to sensations that give the feeling of something in your eyes. Other symptoms that accompany corneal abrasion include blurry vision, headache, pain, redness, watery eyes, and loss of vision.

  • Chalazion:

When you have a blocked oil gland, it causes a lipid-filled growth within the eyelid that is often painless yet can become inflamed and affect your vision. The inflammation can make you feel there’s something in your eye.

  • Corneal Ulcer:

This is an open sore in your eyes. It’s usually caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. It has a sensation of the feeling of something in your eyes when you blink your eyes. Symptoms accompanied by this feeling include light sensitivity, pus, redness, blurry vision, severe pain, white spotting on the cornea, discharge, and swelling.

  • Blepharitis

This is an inflammation specifically on your eyelid, which causes irritation on your eyelid, redness, and itchiness with dandruff-like scales hanging on the eyelashes. These reactions can cause the feeling of foreign sensation in your eyes.

Other signs that come alongside blepharitis include burning, tearing, crusting of the eyelids, skin flaking, and eyelids that look greasy.

Other causes of this feeling that are not so common include eye infections with HSV, also called herpes keratitis, fungal keratitis, pterygium, pinguecula, etc. These may be severe and may require immediate attention.

How Can These Feelings Be Relieved?

Various causes of irritating feelings in the eyes can be relieved in a variety of ways. Common things you can do to help relieve that feeling of discomfort include:

  • Opt for over-the-counter eye drops to help relieve the irritation.
  • Healthy habits like taking long breaks from your computer
  • Wash your eyes immediately with clean water to remove any dirt, dust, and makeup residues that could pose a threat to your eyes.
  • Constant use of a humidifier to moisturize the atmosphere could help keep away dust or dirt particles from your eyes
  • Staying away from self-help medications that are not professionally prescribed.
  • Regular check with your eye doctor for immediate detection of any eye issues.

Any irritating feeling that makes you very uncomfortable and always gives you that sensation of something in your eyes should be checked immediately. This can be done by proper examination by an eye doctor.

With a proper eye exam, your eye doctor can give an accurate diagnosis and give you the best form of relief.