Burning Sensation in Eyes: When Should You See a Doctor?

Burning Sensation in Eyes: When Should You See a Doctor?

Have you ever felt like someone was lighting a small but fierce fire in your eyes? Then you have experienced burning eyes! If you noticed an unusual feeling, you need to have your eyes checked straight away. And that includes a burning sensation in the eyes or eye irritation. Burning eyes can be both uncomfortable and concerning. In some cases, it can be diagnosed and treated quickly. And in other cases, it may require specialized treatment. Read on to know more about it.

What Are Burning Eyes?

You have most probably suffered from burning eyes at least once in your lifetime. Burning eyes cause your eyes to turn red and produce tears. You’ll experience a burning sensation in your eyes and it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as eye pain, discharge, and eye irritation. 

What Causes Burning Sensation in Eyes?

Some common causes of the stinging, burning eyes include:

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are when the tear ducts do not produce enough tears or the right kind of tears. Tests like Schirmer’s test are sometimes used to diagnose dry eyes, which may be permanent or temporary. The temporary type may be due to wearing contact lenses too much, or a result of some medication. And chronic dry eyes can be due to a condition called dry eye syndrome. Either of them could cause burning eyes. 

One must also note that the drastic changes in hormones during pregnancy can change the quantity and quality of tear production in the eye, and may cause dry eye syndrome — leading to a burning sensation in eyes during pregnancy.

Eye Allergies

Also known as allergic conjunctivitis, eye allergies may occur when irritating substances get into the eye — and cause eye irritation. Some common allergy triggers include dust, smoke, pollen, certain perfumes, pet dander, pieces of makeup, etc.


Blepharitis is an eye condition that affects the eyelids. The occurrence of clumping or flaky, dandruff-like skin at the base of the eyelids — caused by a bacterial infection —  could cause burning eyes and redness.

Ocular Rosacea

Rosacea refers to a chronic skin disease of the face, where facial blood vessels enlarge resulting in a flushed appearance of the nose and cheeks. Sometimes, the disease spreads to the eyes leading to ocular rosacea. The eyes may get red, itchy, and have a burning sensation. 

How Do You Get Your Eyes to Stop Burning?

When your eyes are burning or experiencing irritation and you really want to stop the feeling, here are some steps you can follow — 

  • Rinse your eyelids with clean water — preferably lukewarm water.
  • Apply a warm compress over closed eyes for ten minutes —  and repeat this several times a day if the burning persists.
  • If your eye doctor prescribes, or has prescribed specific eye drops that can minimize the burning, use them.
  • Remember to stay hydrated — drink more water to increase eye moisture and reduce dryness.

When Should I See a Doctor for Eye Irritation or Burning?

If you think your eye burning or eye irritation is getting severe, you should see an ophthalmologist. If the irritation persists for a week or two, then you need to consult an eye doctor — even if you have plenty of other things to do. And if your eyes are getting sensitive to light or you are experiencing blurry vision along with those burning and irritating eyes, wait no further to head to your nearest eye hospital.

If you want to have your eyes examined — get your eyes checked and treated at Prasad Netralaya, Mangalore and Udupi’s most trusted eye care hospital. Our experienced staff is here to make sure that you receive the quality ophthalmological care that you deserve. Call us at +91 9513596565 or book an appointment if you wish to visit in person.