Burning Eyes Causes
A burning sensation in the eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Dry eyes: A burning sensation in the eyes can be caused by a lack of lubrication in the eyes, which can be caused by dry air, certain medications, or a condition called dry eye syndrome.
- Eye strain: Prolonged use of computers, smartphones, or other screens can cause eye strain, which can lead to a burning sensation in the eyes.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions to things like pollen, dust, or pet dander can cause a burning sensation in the eyes, along with other symptoms such as redness, itching, and watering.
- Infections: Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), can cause a burning sensation in the eyes, along with other symptoms such as redness, itching, and discharge.
- Environmental factors: Exposure to certain chemicals, smokes, or pollutants can cause a burning sensation in the eyes.
- Ocular surface disorders: Some ocular surface disorders such as keratitis, iritis, or corneal abrasion can cause a burning sensation in the eyes.
- Medications: Certain medications such as certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antibiotics can cause a burning sensation in the eyes as a side effect.
The diagnosis of a burning sensation in the eyes typically begins with a comprehensive eye examination by an eye doctor, also known as an ophthalmologist or optometrist. During the exam, the eye doctor will likely:
- Take a medical history: The eye doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and any medications you are currently taking.
- Perform a visual acuity test: This test will measure how well you can see at different distances.
- Perform a visual field test: This test will measure your peripheral vision.
- Perform a slit-lamp examination: The eye doctor will use a special microscope to examine the front of your eyes, including the cornea, iris, and lens.
- Perform a fundoscopy: The eye doctor will use an ophthalmoscope to examine the back of your eyes, including the retina and optic nerve.
- Additional tests: Depending on the suspected cause of the burning sensation, the eye doctor may perform additional tests such as a Schirmer test to measure tear production, or a test to measure the volume and quality of tears, such as a non-invasive tear breakup time (NIBUT) test.
Based on the results of these tests, the eye doctor may be able to determine the underlying cause of the burning sensation and recommend appropriate treatment. In some cases, further testing or referral to a specialist may be necessary.
Treatment options for a burning sensation in the eyes will depend on the underlying cause, but some common treatments include:
- Artificial tears: If dryness is the cause of the burning sensation, using artificial tears can help to lubricate the eyes and provide relief.
- Resting the eyes: Give your eyes a break by taking regular breaks from screens and other activities that cause eye strain.
- Adjusting the environment: Reduce glare by adjusting the lighting in your environment or using an anti-glare screen on your computer or phone.
- Wearing glasses: Wearing glasses or special glasses with a yellow tint to reduce the amount of blue light entering your eyes.
- Treating underlying conditions: If the burning sensation is caused by an infection or allergy, the underlying condition will need to be treated.
- Medications: Depending on the underlying cause, certain medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, or topical ophthalmic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to help relieve symptoms.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary if the burning sensation is caused by an underlying condition such as dry eye syndrome or certain ocular surface disorders.
Here are some ways to prevent or reduce the risk of a burning sensation in the eyes:
- Practice good eye hygiene: Blink often, look away from screens every 20 minutes, and make sure to take frequent breaks while working on a computer.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help to keep your eyes lubricated and reduce the risk of dry eyes.
- Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help to add moisture to the air, which can help to prevent dry eyes.
- Wear glasses: Wearing glasses or special glasses with a yellow tint to reduce the amount of blue light entering your eyes.
- Avoid certain environmental factors: Try to avoid exposure to certain chemicals, smokes, and pollutants that can be harmful to the eyes.
- Manage underlying conditions: If you have an underlying condition that may be contributing to a burning sensation in the eyes, such as allergies or dry eye syndrome, it’s important to manage those conditions properly.
- Regular eye exams: Regular eye exams can help to detect any underlying conditions that may be contributing to a burning sensation in the eyes and address them promptly.
- Be mindful of medications: Be aware of the side effects of any medications you are taking and consult with your doctor if you experience burning sensation or any other symptoms that concern you.
If you are experiencing a burning sensation in your eyes, it is important to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
Avoid self-medicating with over-the-counter eye drops as this can lead to more harm than good. It’s best to consult with an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Protecting your eyes from bright light, taking regular breaks, and getting enough sleep can help to prevent a burning sensation in the eyes.