By Medicover Hospitals / 03 Mar 2021
Burning eyes can be both uncomfortable and worrying. In many cases, burning eyes can be diagnosed quickly and treated with over-the-counter medications. However, there are rare causes of eye burns that may require specialized treatment.
- What is Burning Eyes?
- When to visit a Doctor?
- Home Remedies
What is Burning Eyes?
Burning eyes describe a burning sensation and irritation of the eyes. Burning eyes may be accompanied by itching, tearing, or discharge from the eyes.
Burning eyes have many possible causes. One of the most common is exposure to environmental pollutants such as tobacco smoke, smog, or dust. The chemicals in household cleaning solvents, such as bleach, soap, and shampoo, can cause eye burns. Chlorine in swimming pools can also burn your eyes. Extremes of dry or cold air can also cause eye burns. Wearing your contact lenses for a long time can burn your eyes.
Allergies can cause inflammation resulting in burning eyes. Your eyes may react to airborne allergens, such as pollen or animal dander, or to localized allergens, such as makeup and moisturizers. Conjunctivitis, which describes the inflammation of the membranes that line your eyelids and cover the whites of your eyes, can be caused by allergies or infection with bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Upper respiratory tract infections, such as the flu (flu) or the common cold, can be accompanied by burns to the eyes.
Treatment for burning eyes varies depending on the cause. In many cases, the combustion goes away on its own when you move away from the irritant, such as smoke. In other cases, using over-the-counter artificial tears or antihistamines can relieve burning eyes. If you have conjunctivitis caused by bacteria, your health care provider may prescribe eye drops or antibiotic ointment. Because your eyes are so important to the quality of your life, it is always a good idea to contact your health care provider with any bothersome eye symptoms.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have burning eyes accompanied by bleeding or pus-like discharge from the eyes, or if you have a sudden change in vision, severe eye pain, or sensitivity to light.
Understanding the underlying cause can prevent future problems. Eye conditions that can cause burning or stinging include:
Blepharitis causes inflammation of the eyelids. A blocked sebaceous gland at the base of your eyelashes can trigger this condition. Other associated symptoms include watery eyes, itchy eyelids, peeling around the eyes, sensitivity to light, and you may lose your eyelashes. Blepharitis is not contagious, but it can develop into a chronic disease.
Poor lubrication contributes to dry eyes. This not only causes burning but also eye redness, sensitivity to light, mucus around the eyes, and eyestrain. Depending on the severity, dry eyes can make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. Different factors can trigger dry eye. These include exposure to wind and smoke, allergies, and working at a computer. You can also develop dry eyes if you have certain conditions like arthritis, or if you are taking an antihistamine, decongestant, or antidepressant.
Eye allergies that can trigger eye burns include pollen, dander, smoke, and dust. Besides eye discomfort, you may experience other allergy symptoms. These include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, cough, and a sore throat.
Snow blindness (photokeratitis):
Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause sunburn to your eyes. This can lead to eye burns, redness, sensitivity to light, headaches, blurred vision, and temporary vision loss.
This condition causes inflammation around the eyes, and eye burning, itching, and redness. A blocked eyelid gland or eyelash mites can lead to this condition. Ocular rosacea can occur in people with rosacea of the skin, and in those who do not.
Pterygium (surfer's eye):
With pterygium, a lump develops on the eyeball. Sometimes it can invade the cornea and interfere with vision. Although this is a benign growth, the surfer's eye can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from burning eyes to the sensation of a foreign body in the eyes. A doctor can surgically remove the growth, but it can grow back.
Conjunctivitis (pink eye):
It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin layer of clear tissue covering the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis is a contagious disease caused by a viral or bacterial infection. You may also get pink eyes from an allergic reaction to chemicals, pollen, and smoke.
If your eyes burn after looking at a bright computer screen, you could be eye strain. Other symptoms such as double vision, watery eyes, dry eyes, and sensitivity to light. Eye fatigue can also develop after walking long distances and after exposure to dry air.
It is important to identify the underlying cause of burning eyes. People with burning eyes should see a doctor as soon as possible.
A physician will diagnose eye burns by taking a medical history and asking the person about their symptoms. They will ask questions about when the signs started, what makes them worse or better, and if the person has a history of any other conditions affecting the eyes.
A physician will also review the medications the person is taking. Certain medications, such as decongestants, can help burn the eyes.
In addition to taking a medical history, a doctor will also do a physical eye exam. They will examine the eyes for signs of irregularities, dryness, and damage. They may use glasses or other specialized equipment to see the eyes more clearly and closely.
Ophthalmologists may also apply drops to the eyes that allow them to observe the flow of tears and the moisture levels in the eyes.
If you have a chemical burn, doctors will work quickly to restore the chemical balance in your eye. They will continue to rinse your eyes with water and check the pH of your eyes every half hour. They may use a special tool to hold your eyelid open.
If you have a thermal burn, physician will work quickly to cool your eye tissue. They will continue to rinse your eyes with water. They can also place a cold compress on your eye to lower the temperature.
You will probably have a lot of pain, so your doctor may give you medicine for it. You can also get prescription antibiotic ointment for any infection. If the burn has affected your tear ducts, you may need artificial tears or an ointment to keep your eyes moist as they heal.
The emergency doctor will have you have a vision test to see if the burn has affected your vision. You should meet with an eye doctor shortly after to check for any long-term damage to your vision.
When to visit a Doctor?
If your burning eyes are accompanied by pain or excessive sensitivity to light, or if you have eye discharge, blurred vision, eye floaters or flashes of light, double vision, or other unexpected symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately for immediate attention.
Even if none of these additional symptoms appear, contact your ophthalmologist if your eyes continue to burn for more than a few days.
Apply cool compresses to soothe the itching.
Apply a warm compress to soften any scabs if they have formed. Washing the eyelids with baby shampoo on a cotton applicator can also help remove scabs.
Using artificial tears 4-6 times a day can be helpful for almost any cause of burning and irritation, especially dry eyes.
If you have allergies, try to avoid the cause as much as possible (animals, herbs, cosmetics). Your health care provider may give you antihistamine eye drops to relieve allergies.
Pink eye or viral conjunctivitis causes a red or bloodshot eye and excessive tearing. It can be very contagious during the first few days. The infection will run its course in about 10 days. If you suspect a pink eye:
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching the unaffected eye
Frequently Asked Questions:
Burning eyes may accompany other signs related to the eye including:
- Discharge from the eye
- Red, sore eyes
- Watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Bleeding from the eye
- Blurred or double vision
Burning eyes can occur for many reasons, but today we are talking about when they occur as a direct result of dehydration. You might experience a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes, blurred vision, or a scratching sensation, which suggests that there is not enough moisture in your eyes.
Sleep deprivation will also cause sight and hearing problems. An affected person may experience a burning sensation in the eyes, stinging and redness of the eyes, flashes of light, and even hallucinations.
Burning eyes: diagnosis and management - https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/INFORMIT.533114608472515
Burning Eyes - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/353714