A person may develop itching eyelids for a variety of reasons, and among the most common are allergies. For example, a person may notice his eyelids itching when he is exposed to dust, animal dander, or pollen. Often, the itching is accompanied by other allergy symptoms, such as itching eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. There are also some conditions, such as blepharitis and ocular rosacea, that may cause or contribute to itching eyelids. Sometimes parasites may be at the root of this problem as well.
When a person has an allergy, he may experience itchy eyelids as one of his allergy symptoms. For example, a person may notice itchiness in the eyelid area along with such symptoms as a runny nose, itchy eyes, and a cough. In some cases, however, itchy eyelids may occur as an allergy symptom in the absence of other symptoms.
Some people develop itching eyelids that are caused by a condition rather than an allergy. A condition called blepharitis is marked by inflammation of the part of the eyelid from which the eyelashes extend as well as itching eyelids, reddened eyes, and flaking skin in the affected area. In some cases, an affected person may also experience a burning sensation in his eyes, and his eyelashes may appear crusted in the mornings. In some cases, a person may also lose eyelashes as a result of this condition. Typically, blepharitis is caused by oil glands that fail to function properly.
Another condition called ocular rosacea can also cause itching eyelids. This skin condition is often chronic and not only may cause itching of the eyelids, but also eye discharge, burning, redness, and swelling. The cause of this condition is unknown, but many scientists believe there may be both hereditary and environmental links to its development.
While it may not be as common as allergies, some people may experience itching eyelids because they have parasites in their eyelashes. For example, a person who has head lice may sometimes note that lice are on his eyelashes as well. This can cause itching eyelid symptoms.
When itching eyelids are caused by allergies, a person may use over-the-counter allergy medicines to treat them. If itchy eyelids are caused by blepharitis, on the other hand, symptoms can sometimes be lessened by gently wiping the eyelids with a warm, damp cloth. Often, however, a doctor's evaluation and treatment is required when the itching is caused by a skin condition or a parasite.