Burning eyes isn’t a pleasant feeling, the sensation can often be accompanied by other symptoms including, eye pain, itching, discharge or watery eyes. There are several possible causes, ranging from the simple to the complex. Below we discuss some of the reasons your eyes may feel like they are burning.
Often the sensation of burning eyes can be due to environmental influences, such as high pollen counts, strong winds, smoke, dust and mould. These are typically unavoidable, and if you are allergic to any of these substances, then you are more likely to suffer from a burning eye sensation. However, even “clean” air can cause your eyes to burn, especially when it’s particularly cold or hot. Simple treatments, such as antihistamines can help relieve the sensation.
Your eyes may also burn due to chemicals, such as chlorine from a swimming pool, shampoo ingredients, soap, cleaning products or even makeup. The best treatment here is avoidance, by cleaning your hands before you touch your eyes, or protecting your eyes by closing them or wearing goggles. The use of contact lenses for a long period of time can also make your eyes burn.
Burning eyes is a symptom of dry eyes which is a chronic and typically progressive condition. Most cases of dry eye syndrome can be treated effectively with artificial tears and Restasis, however, in some cases, it may not be completely curable.
This could also be a symptom of ocular rosacea which is related to a common inflammatory condition which affects the skin of the chest and face, as well as the eyes. People often diagnosed with ocular rosacea typically have chronically bloodshot eyes, blepharitis and dry eyes.
Blepharitis is inflammation around the eyelid margin. It is a common condition and treatable. Common symptoms include the sensation of burning eyes.
When to see a doctor
In most cases a burning eye sensation is not a sign of anything major, however, in rare cases, burning eyes could be a sign of a more serious sight issue or life-threatening condition such as orbital cellulitis or uveitis.
If your burning eye sensation doesn’t clear within 24 hours, or your symptoms worsen, then it’s best to visit your optician. Often the symptoms that occur alongside your burning eyes will indicate the route of your problem and you can receive the effective treatment required to help your condition.