Burning eyes are an uncomfortable, irritating and stinging sensation in the eyes. Burning eyes is a symptom itself for any other underlying disease or disorder.

Symptoms of burning eyes

Symptoms include:

  • A painful or burning sensation in the eyes as well as 
  • Itching. You may also notice a 
  • White, yellow, or green discharge from the eyes.

What are the causes of burning eyes?

There are several causes of burning eyes:

  • Environmental: Exposure to pollutants such as tobacco smoke, dust, and smog
  • Medical conditions:  Burning eyes might be a symptom of the following underlying medical conditions:
    • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids often due to a blocked oil gland) 
    • Photokeratitis (overexposure to the sun’s UV rays, 
    • Ocular rosacea (redness and inflammation around the eyes) 
    • Pterygium (lump on the eyeball) 
    • Conjunctivitis (due to inflammation of the conjunctiva) 
    • Sjogren’s syndrome (immune system disorder) 
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    •  Lupus 
    • Scleroderma 
    • Thyroid disorders 
    • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Dry eyes: Poor lubrication
  • Eye strain: Too much screen time may cause double vision
  • Allergies: Pollen, dander, and dust
Burning eyes: When to see a doctor?

If the eye-burning persists for more than a week, if there is high sensitivity to light, or you are experiencing blurry or double vision, you need to consult an eye doctor. Yashoda Group of Hospitals has a team of ophthalmologists experienced in treating eye-related health issues. To book an appointment, contact Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, India.

Risk factors

The biggest risk factors for burning eyes are: dust, pollen, mould spores, and smoke. Perfumes, pet dander, and certain foods may also trigger burning eyes. Certain diseases can also put you at risk for burning eyes, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, allergic eye disease, lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis.

Possible complications of burning eyes

Possible complications of burning eyes include: 

  • Bleeding from the eyes, 
  • Discharge resembling pus, 
  • Blurry or double vision, 
  • Severe eye pain, 
  • High sensitivity to light, 
  • Loss of vision, and 
  • Seeing flashing lights or floating objects or spots, 

 These complications may require immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis of burning eyes

The diagnosis of burning eyes usually involves a comprehensive eye examination to check for signs of any underlying disease or disorder. This is done using a bright light and a magnification tool to examine eye tissues and the inner structure of the eye. 

Your doctor may order some tests too:

  • Visual acuity test for loss of vision

  • Fluid sample for allergens

  • Schirmer’s test for tear production

How to treat burning eyes?

Treatment to provide relief from burning eyes includes: 

  • Rinsing eyelids with lukewarm water to remove allergens and irritants 

  • Applying the warm compress over closed eyes 

  • Increasing fluid intake to increase eye moisture

  • Reducing screen time

  • Wearing sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun

  • Adding omega-3 fatty acids (sardines and flaxseeds) to your diet.

  • Medicated eye drops or antihistamines for instant relief. 
  • Sometimes over-the-counter artificial tears are advised. 
  • Surgery may be required if there is an underlying condition

  • In the case of chemical burns, topical steroids are used to reduce inflammation along with oral antibiotics

, but if the eye has been seriously damaged, you may require surgery.


Burning eyes are uncomfortable, but there are simple, natural remedies such as increased fluid intake and resting the eyes to provide fast relief. But if the eye-burning symptoms are severe and persistent and are accompanied by discharge and blurry vision, it is best to consult with an ophthalmologist.

Consult Our Experts Now


Frequently Asked Questions about Burning Eyes

Eye fatigue may be caused by stress, fear, or a lack of sleep. But if it lasts from a few hours to a day or two, then medical attention is urgently required.

Rinsing the eyelids with lukewarm water, increasing fluid intake to keep the eyes moistened and resting the eyes away from computer screens may reduce the burning sensation.

Eyes may burn when closed because they are dried out. Burning eyes are also a symptom of developing glaucoma. Another reason for the burning eye may be eye fatigue.

Red or irritated eyes have been recognised as a less common symptom of Covid-19. Burning eyes may be a side effect of a viral or respiratory infection or allergy.

sensitivity to contact lens solution and an accumulation of dirt, dust and allergens inside the lenses, can reduce the amount of oxygen exposure to your eyes, thereby causing sensation of irritation and burning.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.