Burning eyes refers to irritated, stinging sensations in one or both eyes. Home remedies like eye drops or cool compresses can be soothing for allergies or everyday dryness. But in some cases, burning eyes are a sign of a medical condition that needs treatment.
“Burning eyes” is a term that describes a burning or stinging feeling in one or both of your eyes. This symptom can be painful and get in the way of your daily life, making it difficult to work and drive.
Usually, burning eyes are a reaction to irritation or a lack of eye lubrication (tears). It might come on suddenly and go away quickly, or it can last for weeks or months.
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Causes of burning eyes include:
Treatment for burning eyes depends on what’s causing them. To determine the cause, a provider may:
As allergies or dry eye syndrome are the most common cause of burning eyes, your provider may suggest allergy tests. If at-home treatments don’t work, contact your healthcare provider.
If burning eyes aren’t caused by a health condition that needs treatment, you can often get relief at home. Remedies include:
You can’t always prevent burning eyes. For example, it’s difficult to avoid all allergens and viruses. But you can minimize your risk of burning eyes if you:
It’s important to find the cause of eye burning because you may need medical treatment. See a healthcare provider if your eyes sting or burn and you don’t know why. You should also contact one if you experience any kind of eye pain with:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
We use our eyes every day, so even mild burning can have a big effect on your life. If your eyes sting or hurt, it’s a sign that they need some extra care. While usually not serious, don’t ignore this symptom. Burning eyes can be a symptom of an illness that needs medical treatment.
You can try home remedies for mild eye stinging from allergies, dryness or allergic pink eye. But if your eyes don’t feel better within a day or two, contact your provider. Together, you can discuss ways to get relief and treat any underlying medical conditions.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/13/2023.
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