Why do my eyes sometimes burn?

Burning eyes can be both uncomfortable and worrisome. In some cases, the cause is clear, and people can use over-the-counter medications to treat the symptoms. However, some causes of eye burns require specialist treatment. Due to the variety of possible causes, anyone suffering from eye burns should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The cause and severity of this symptom will determine treatment options.

Here are the main causes, diagnosis and common treatment of burning eyes

Main causes of burning eyes

People often refer to itchy or irritated eyes as burning eyes. Common causes of burning eyes include:

– Blepharitis

Flaky, dandruffy skin at the base of the eyelids characterizes blepharitis, which is usually the result of a bacterial infection. Other symptoms are redness and swelling of the eyes.

Dry eye

Dry eye can occur when the tear ducts don’t produce enough tears or the right kind of tears. Dry eye is more common in women and the elderly. Other symptoms may be:

– pain
– redness of the eyes
– a grainy feeling as if something is in the eye
– blurred vision

Eye allergies

Also known as allergic conjunctivitis, eye allergies occur when irritating substances enter the eye. The body reacts to these substances by producing histamines, which can cause eye burns. Common triggers for eye allergies are dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke, perfumes, pet dander and food.

Other possible symptoms of eye allergies are:

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– redness
– tearing
– swelling
– itchy eyes
– sensitivity to light

Eye sunburn

Overexposure to UV rays from the sun can cause eye sunburn, also known as photokeratitis.

In addition to burning eyes, symptoms may include:

– sensitivity to light
– a pain
– a lumpy feeling
– tearing
– halos around the lights
– headaches

Ocular rosacea

Ocular rosacea is a condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It affects people with rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness on the face. Other symptoms of ocular rosacea may include:

– pain
– sensitivity to light
– red or bloodshot eyes
– itching
– sensation of something in the eye


A pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue on the white part of the eye. It usually occurs on the part of the eye closest to the nose, but it can also appear on the outer part of the eye. Experts believe it results from a combination of dry eyes and UV rays.

In addition to the appearance of a growth, the symptoms are as follows:

– eye burn
– itching
– redness and swelling of the eyes

In some cases, the growth can grow to cover the cornea, which can affect vision.

Burning Eye Treatments and Home Remedies

Burning eye treatment options depend on the underlying cause. For example, if burning eyes are due to a bacterial infection, a doctor may recommend antibiotic eye drops to treat the infection. However, the overall goal of treatment is to relieve dry eye.

Other interventions a doctor may recommend for eye burns include:

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– cleanse the edge of the eyelids, near the base of the eyelashes, using a mild cleanser and lukewarm water, then dry the eyes by patting them gently

– apply lubricating eye drops to reduce redness and improve eye comfort

– make a warm compress by soaking a clean, soft washcloth in warm water, then placing it over the eyes

– use antihistamine drops or tablets to reduce the effects of allergic reactions in the eyes

– take steps to avoid known irritants

– take supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed, which can help reduce the effects of dry eyes and are particularly useful for people with ocular rosacea

– drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep eyes moist and reduce dry eyes

– take regular breaks when using a computer screen to reduce dryness and eye irritation

– wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV rays and further irritation.

For very dry eyes, a doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops or artificial tears. Eye ointments can also help treat pterygia if eye drops aren’t enough. In rare cases, a doctor may recommend surgery. Examples of surgery include inserting plugs into the tear ducts to prevent tears from flowing out of the eyes and removing the pterygium if it interferes with vision.

Diagnosis of burning eyes

It is important to identify the underlying cause of burning eyes. People with eye burns should see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will usually begin the diagnostic procedure by taking the person’s medical history and asking about their symptoms. He will likely ask when the symptoms started, what makes them worse or better, and whether the person has a history of other eye conditions.

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The doctor will also review any medications the person is taking. Certain medications, such as decongestants, can contribute to burning eyes. The next step will be to perform a physical examination of the eyes. The doctor will examine the eyes for signs of irregularities, dryness, and damage. He may use glasses or other specialized equipment to see the eyes more clearly and precisely.

Although eye burns can be painful, they are often very easy to treat. Treatments focus on correcting any underlying cause and reducing dry eye. If a person has more serious symptoms, such as loss of vision, they should see an eye doctor immediately.

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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