Itchy eyes are a cruel side effect of having hayfever. When you're exposed to allergens (such as pollen), your body releases chemicals that essentially tell your body to turn on its inflammatory response, explains Brenda Pagán-Durán MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This can cause your nose to run, your throat to feel ticklish, and it "produces the redness and inflammation in your eyes that include itching, watering, and puffy eyelids," she says. Translation: your eyes freak out.
Even though you want to itch your eyes, that's pretty much the worst thing you can do for allergy eyes. The sheer force of your rubbing will irritate your eyes and make them even more inflamed, Dr. Pagán-Durán says. "That's why we say, please don't rub, but I totally get it," she says.