Why do my eyes feel like they’re on fire?

eyes burn

Burning eyes are both unpleasant and alarming. In some situations, the reason is obvious, and the symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter drugs. Some causes of burning eyes, however, necessitate expert treatment.

Anyone having burning eyes should consult a doctor as soon as possible due to the wide range of possible causes. The therapy options will be determined by the origin and severity of this condition.

The causes, diagnosis, and treatment of burning eyes are discussed in this article.


eyes burn

Burning eyes is a term used to describe stinging or irritation of the eyes. The following are some of the most common causes of burning eyes:


Blepharitis is characterized by flaky, dandruff-like skin at the base of the eyelids, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Eye redness and swelling are also common symptoms.

Dry eyes

When the tear ducts don’t generate enough tears or the proper kind of tears, dry eyes might develop. Females and the elderly are more likely to experience dry eyes. Additional signs and symptoms include:

  • pain
  • eye redness
  • a gritty sensation as though something is in the eye
  • blurred vision

Allergies to the eyes

Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, arise when irritating chemicals enter the eye. Histamines are produced by the body in response to these substances, which can cause burning eyes.

Dust, pollen, mold spores, smoking, fragrances, pet dander, and foods are all common allergens.

Other signs and symptoms of allergies to the eyes include:

  • redness
  • tearing
  • swelling
  • itching of the eyes
  • sensitivity to light

Eye sunburn

Eye sunburn, also known as photokeratitis, is caused by excessive exposure to UV light from the sun’s rays.

The following symptoms, in addition to burning eyes, may occur:

  • light sensitivity
  • pain
  • a gritty feeling
  • watering
  • halos around lights
  • headaches

Ocular rosacea

Ocular rosacea is a condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It affects those who suffer from rosacea, a skin disorder that produces facial flushing.

Other signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea include:

  • pain
  • light sensitivity
  • red or bloodshot eyes
  • itching
  • the feeling of something being in the eye

A pterygium is a fleshy tissue development on the white of the eye. It most commonly affects the area of the eye closest to the nose, but it can also affect the outer section of the eye. It’s thought to be caused by a combination of dry eyes and UV light, according to experts.

The following are symptoms, in addition to the presence of a growth:

  • burning eyes
  • itching
  • redness and swelling of the eyes

The growth can sometimes spread to cover the cornea, impairing eyesight.

Home remedies and treatments

The underlying cause of burning eyes will determine the therapy options. If your burning eyes are caused by a bacterial infection, for example, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops to treat the illness.

The overall goal of treatment is to alleviate eye dryness.

  • Other treatments for burning eyes that a doctor might offer are:
  • taking supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed, which can help reduce the effects of dry eyes and are especially useful for people with ocular rosacea
  • applying lubricating eye drops to reduce redness and improve eye comfort
  • making a warm compress by soaking a clean, soft washcloth in warm water and then placing it over the eyes
  • using antihistamine eye drops or tablets — to reduce the effects of allergic reactions in the eyes
  • taking steps to avoid known irritants
  • drinking plenty of water throughout the day to help keep the eyes moist and reduce dryness
  • cleaning the eyelid margins near the base of the eyelashes using a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water and then gently patting the eyes dry
  • taking regular breaks from using a computer screen to help reduce eye dryness and irritation
  • wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV light and further irritation

A doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops or artificial tears if your eyes are really dry. If eye drops aren’t enough, eye ointments can aid with pterygia.

In some cases, a doctor may advise surgery. The insertion of plugs into the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away from the eyes and the excision of the pterygium if it interferes with vision are two examples of surgery.


It’s critical to figure out what’s causing your eyes to burn. People who have burning eyes should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Typically, the doctor will begin the diagnosis process by collecting a medical history and asking about the patient’s symptoms. They’ll probably want to know when the symptoms started, what makes them worse or better, and if the person has ever had any other eye problems.

The doctor will also go through the person’s current meds. Some medications, such as decongestants, might make your eyes burn.

The next step will be to perform an eye physical examination. The doctor will look for symptoms of abnormalities, dryness, and damage in the eyes. To see the eyes more clearly and closely, they may employ scopes or other specialized equipment.

Eye physicians may also administer drops to the eyes to monitor the flow of tears and the amount of moisture in the eyes.


Although burning eyes are uncomfortable, they are frequently curable. The treatments are aimed at addressing any underlying reasons as well as relieving eye dryness.

If a person is experiencing more severe symptoms, such as vision loss, they should consult an eye doctor right once.

  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/pinguecula-pterygium
  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-blepharitis
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321739
  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-dry-eye
  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/symptoms/burning-eyes
  • https://nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye
  • https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/dry-eye
  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/photokeratitis-snow-blindness
  • https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea/rosacea-treatment-eye-problems
  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/allergies