17 answers

Feels like There Is Always Something in My Eyes

For the past several months my eyes have been feeling like there is something in there. An eyelash or a grain of dirt or something. Sometimes they weep and sometimes they itch. I went to my eye doctor, nothing is wrong with my eyes, lids or anything else. He reckons it's an allergy. He gave me some sample eye drops. They seem to help. When this first started I had a pretty new eyeliner (Clinique) and I noticed whenever I'd use it my eyes would itch and discharge tears so I threw it away and bought a new eyeliner. I didn't have any problems with my eyes for months after this but it's started up again a few months ago. So I just remembered about the eyeliner and stopped using it two days ago, just in case. I've never had allergies before but was wondering if anyone else has expirienced this too. It's really getting annoying.

I just wanted to add that I'm 99% sure it's the eyeliner AND IT'S NOT OLD. I haven't used it for 4 days now and my eyes have been fine. It's a BRAND NEW eyeliner and I don't use mascara, ever. The same thing happened with my other eyeliner when it was brand new. Does anyone know of a brand of make up for sensitive eyes? Or has anyone else reacted to eyeliner and found a product that doesn't irritate your eyes? This is what I'm looking for tips on. Thanks!

What can I do next?

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Had it happen with eyeshadow, and "smudge proof" mascara. Switching to different mascara worked, but I don't know if it was an industry wide change of ingredients thing or a gradual allergy building up that I hadn't noticed...but I STILL can't wear eyeshadow. I know it's a chemical in the shadows though, as opposed to the dust/particles, because I can wear blush or lipstick on my eyelids no problem. ;) Good thing for me blush and lipsticks come in so many different colors.

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Hi L., I had a slightly different problem, but I'll tell you about it just incase it helps. My eyes started bothering me too, right along the lash line would get red, itchy and flakey. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it, even went to the doctor and they had no clue. I thought maybe my mascara was old and bought a new one but it still happened. Finally I started doing some research on the internet about allergies and found that some mascara has pine tree sap in it, which I am allergic to now. I had my appendix out about 5 years ago and since then I have become allergic to latex, penicillin and pine tree sap which has a scientific name I forget, but it is used in a variety of products including some mascaras, adhesives on medical tape, and most brands of sanitary pads have something in them or the adhesive that gives me a rash also. What you have may be totally different, but if you have any questions let me know. Good luck! C.

2 moms found this helpful

Had it happen with eyeshadow, and "smudge proof" mascara. Switching to different mascara worked, but I don't know if it was an industry wide change of ingredients thing or a gradual allergy building up that I hadn't noticed...but I STILL can't wear eyeshadow. I know it's a chemical in the shadows though, as opposed to the dust/particles, because I can wear blush or lipstick on my eyelids no problem. ;) Good thing for me blush and lipsticks come in so many different colors.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.- your description sounds like my eye problem during allergy season. Does it seem to be linked to spring or fall? And have you tried changing products like lotions, shampoo, etc? You could talk to an allergist about it, but if you get testing done, check your insurance coverage first - I found out the hard way that testing isn't always covered. FYI: Opcon-A (an over-the-counter eye drop) works well for my eyes. Good luck figuring out this mystery!


My allergies that affect the eye got worse when we moved here. The eye doctor suggested using Zaditor drops (over the counter). They are GREAT. My eyes feel much the same as yours, and following the instructions by the doctor the drops dramatically improved my situation. I use the drops most for fall/winter.

The instructions I was given are:

1 drop each eye 2x daily (am/pm) for 2 weeks
1 drop each eye 1x daily (your choice when) for 2 weeks.
1 drop daily as needed...

If you wear contacts, use drops 15min before putting in to help make sure no problems with contacts and medicine.


I'm having the same problem right now. I haven't been to a doctor yet bc I hate to go to the doctor for something that seems to be so simple. My eyes always feel like they have something in them, both of them. So i'm always pulling on my eyelashes thinking that theres a loose lash somewhere or like u said a grain of dirt or something. And I have never had allergy problems so I really don't know what it is or what to do! I've used a whole bottle of visine to clear my eyes when this happens and it works for a while but then it starts back. This is so annoying, maybe I should see a doctor.

Take Chamomile tea bags and act like you are going to make tea with warm water. Then let the tea from the bags drip into your eye. There is something in the Chamomile that kills the bacteria in your eye. When I was younger as a child, my mom used to do this when we would wake up with our eyes closed with goopy stuff. So, you never know...maybe this will help with the irritation. Good luck.

I have always had this problem especially in my right eye. When I would wear contacts it was worse and my eyes would get dry quickly. I have a new eye doctor and she told me that even though I don't have allergy symptoms that the combination of the dry eye and the plastic lenses are causing a reaction that can creates small bumps under the eyelid. These bumps can feel like dirt, sand or rocks. I use a prescribed allergy eye drop called Pataday daily regardless of wether I'm going to wear glasses or contacts. She also has me use Optive lubricant eye drops (Green bottle found at Costco. Two bottles in the box) throughout the day. The combination has been wonderful.

If you are having a reaction to the eyeliner, I suggest switching to another brand, throwing it out every few weeks or monthly or not using any at all.

Best of luck.

I have this all the time. Mine is from both allergies and my Rosacea. Once I got medication for my Rosacea, it helped with the daily issues. But allergies can still flair up and I take a Zyrtec. Within 30 minutes they're fine. :-)

I've had the same thing on and off and always seems to be when my mascara is getting old. I usually notice when I replace it (I use Almay and Arbonne) it gets better. I hope you figure it out, I'll be watching to see what responses you get that might help me too!

L., I experienced the same issue when my thyroid was hyper and caused incredibly dry eyes. Use some lubricating drops. The Refresh brand someone else suggested works well. These are more than plain old eye drops and should help a lot.

I have alot of allergies and get that feeling alot. Have you tried Naphcon A eyedrops? It's available over the counter and that usually clears things up for me. I don't use liquid eyeliner or mascara and found an eyeliner pencil at the beauty supply shop that goes on like a creamy crayon. Liquid make up has more chemicals in it to preserve it and keep it from separating so the more "solid" products tend to be less allergenic.

my eyes are very sensitive to when my mascara goes bad. You may be experiencing this with your eyeliner. However, you may just need to clean it really well by sharpening it or wiping it clean. Also try cleaning all of your makeup brushes with shampoo. And wipe all of the surfaces of your eyeshadow and other powder makeup off with a tissue. If your colors are more than two years old it may be time to toss them and get new. Mascara is only good for 3-4 months. If you think you need all new colors - Aloette is having a Two for One Sale this month. www.myaloette.biz/jenistutz

for eye liner, try using something natural like a mineral liner from bare minerals. since you are sensative be dilagent to clean the brush after each use or if using a pencil wipe off on a tissue after each use, maybe even each eye. Bacteria from your eye gets on there and can fester. also be sure to use your mascara for no longer than 3 months and never share your liner or mascara with others. I am sure you knew that already.

If it is alergies, try some benedryl at night and see if it helps you during the day. it could be indoor household alergies so me sure to have someone vacuume more often or daily to control the dust. you should not do it if possible due to your allergies.

It sounds like an allergic reaction. I have the same reaction from some of the mascaras. I'm not sure which ingredient causes my allergy as sometime I would buy the same mascara I was OK with and have a reaction. I guess they keep changing the ingredients or theirs amount. My advice is after every reaction just toss away the one you are using and try another one. First try the new product just by it-self. Once I had to toss away few mascaras before I did realize that the irritations was caused by my liner. Good luck!

Maybe dry eyes? I had that same feeling and saw an opthamalogist. She did a test with drops and a test where she put a test paper to see how wet it got. The results were very low. She told my I had dry eyes and gave me some steroid drops and lubricating drops to take.

sounds like chronic dry eyes. try eye drops called refresh. your eye doctor can do a simple test to see if chronic dry eye is the cause.
good luck.

My eyes get like this if I touch a cat and then touch my eyes. I lived with cats my first 18 years and now don't and just recently found out I became allergic to them. You might want to figure out what is triggering this reaction.

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