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Why Are My Eyes Burning? -- Causes and
Top 7 Natural Remedies
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Last updated January 13, 2017 (originally published February 2, 2014)

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of
our Editorial Board.]





Are your eyes burning? Keep your hands away from your face and
don’t rub your eyes – you get short-term relief but rubbing or
scratching can make the situation much worse. If your eyes are
burning there are other remedies that help. But why are your eyes
burning in the first place? Can you prevent the pain and irritation of
burning eyes? Which remedies, exactly, help soothe sore eyes?

What are the Symptoms of Burning Eyes?

Burning eyes can feel like an intense itch around your eyes, or give
you a sensation of heat and pain in the eye sockets. You may also
experience excessive tears, watery eyes, a discharge, or sensitivity to
light. Many of these symptoms are connected to other conditions.
Burning eyes in itself is not a disease or condition, but rather the
product of another ailment.

What Causes Burning Eyes?

Your eyes can burn for three main reasons – environmental irritants,
allergies, and certain health conditions.

For example, dust, wind, and exposure to the sun are all
environmental factors that can cause burning eyes. In addition,
smoke, swimming pool chlorine, chemicals in the air, or household
items like air freshener, hair dye or make-up all contribute to the
sensation.  

Allergy-related causes include pollen, mold, pet dander, hay fever,
and fragrances. If none of these causes apply to you, you could be
suffering from a related health condition that causes burning eyes
like dry eye syndrome, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, Sjogren’s
syndrome, or photophobia.

Who Suffers From Burning Eyes?






























Burning eyes is a common condition and can affect anyone, of any
age. However, you are more likely to suffer from burning eyes if you
are older or if you suffer from certain health conditions.

For example, nine million Americans suffer from "
Dry Eye Syndrome",
according to Prevent Blindness America. As you get older you make
fewer tears and any tears you have evaporate faster, resulting in
increased chances of developing dry eyes and burning eyes. Burning
eyes can also be caused by medications.

[Of the top 100 most commonly prescribed medications, 22 cause dry
eyes and dry mouth, side effects which often are not mentioned by
doctors, according to the Physician's Desk Reference, as cited by a
2012 study led by Dr. Frederick T. Fraunfelder of Oregon Health and
Science University.  

The types of  medications likely to cause eye burning or dryness are
the following:

Adjuncts to anesthesia

Antipyretic agents

Analgesics

Antirheumatic agents

Antiandrogens

Antispasmodics

Antiarrhythmics

Antivirals

Anticholinergics

Anxiolytics

Antidepressants

Bronchodilators

Antiemetics Chelating agents

Antihistamines

Decongestants

Antihypertensives

Diuretics

Antileprosy agents

Neurotoxins

Antimalarial agents

Opioids

Antimuscarinics

Psychedelic agents

Antineoplastics

Retinoids

Antiparkinsonians

Sedatives and hypnotics

Antipsychotics 



Burning Eyes: When to See Your Doctor

Unfortunately many different factors can cause your eyes to burn. In
a lot of cases the reason is an environmental factor and removing
yourself from the location will bring improvements. In many cases,
use of eye mascara and eye liner can cause allergic reactions or
sensitivities that make your eyes burn. (Read more about
eye
mascara health dangers.)

If your eyes are burning and you also have a thick, pus-like
discharge, excessive pain, or a decrease in vision it is a good idea to
see your medic.

However, in most cases you can treat burning eyes at home with
natural remedies. Here are seven ideas for soothing and calming
burning eyes based on recent scientific studies into this distressing
condition.

1.
Apply Warm Compresses to Soothe Burning Eyes

Cool compresses may give some relief but it is warmth that makes a
difference when it comes to soothing burning eyes. Warm a
washcloth under the hot tap (don’t make it too hot – test before
application) and place it on your closed eyelids.

Use the cloth to gently massage the eyelids for five minutes. This will
clear out any blocked tear glands and remove bacteria that may be
contributing to the problem.

Warm compresses increased the amount of tears produced by
patients with dry eyes, according to a 2003 study from Schepens Eye
Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dry eyes are a cause of
burning eyes so make sure yours are as moist as possible.

2.
Prevent Eye Fatigue to Stop Your Eyes Burning

Eye fatigue or eye strain is a common cause of both dry eyes and
burning eyes.

You will know when  you have eye fatigue because your eyes burn as
well as feel tired and itchy. Eye fatigue is caused by activities that
require intense use of your eyes like driving for a long time, reading,
and working on the computer.

Staring at your smart phone with its small fonts, especially at night,
can cause eye fatigue and burning eyes. When you look at a
computer screen you tend to blink less often than normal.

Blinking refreshes the eyes and prevents burning eyes – computers
have the opposite effect. In fact, you blink less than half as often
when using a computer, according to a 2005 study from Ohio State
University. Make sure your screen is at least 20 inches from your eyes
and positioned a little below eye level. Clean the screen regularly and
use a glare filter. And make sure you take regular screen breaks.

3.
Treat Burning Eyes with Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Primrose Oil

Burning eyes caused by dry eyes can be relieved by omega-3 fatty
acid supplements, according to a 2011 study from The University of
Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Omega-3s help increase tear production and raise tear volume,
helping to refresh the eyes. Evening primrose oil also helped improve
symptoms of burning eyes in people that wear contact lenses,
according to the results of a 2008 study by the Contact Lens
Department at Sussex Eye Hospital, UK.

4.
Use Eye Drops as a Burning Eyes Cure

Be careful when you choose eye drops to help your burning eyes
because some contain chemicals that may make the situation worse.
Check with your healthcare provider if you are unsure.

Eye drops containing castor oil helped relive the burning symptoms
of dry eyes according to a 2002 study from the Department of
Ophthalmology, Tokyo Dental College, Chiba, Japan.

Vitamin A eye drops also worked well, according to researchers at
The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul in a 2009 study.

5.
Treat Pink Eye to Help Burning Eyes

Viral conjunctivitis or "pink eye" is a condition causing red, bloodshot
eyes, excessive tears, and burning discomfort.

Pink eye generally clears itself up after around 10 days but you can
try to help things along by avoiding touching your eyes, cleaning
around the area with a warm cotton swab, and using sterile cold
compresses with herbs like calendula, chamomile, eyebright, and
Oregon grape.

A 1985 study by MP Popescu, E Palos, and F Popescu suggested bee
propolis was useful for treating conjunctivitis but this treatment is
not recommended because the substance was applied to the eye and
is not sterile.

[Editor's Note: You will have to take care to not re-infect your eye
when you have conjunctivitis. Throwaway all eye makeup (eyeliners,
pencils, mascara) used when your eye was infected. Never share
makeup with anyone. Avoid rubbing your eyes or cleaning the corner
of your eyes with your hands. And wash your hands thoroughly
throughout the day.]

6.
Treat Burning Eyes with N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a modified form of the dietary amino acid
cysteine.

NAC is suggested as a remedy for treating burning eyes brought on
by the condition blepharitis. Blepharitis is a common eye condition
affecting the eyelids and eyelash follicles that results in a burning
sensation along with itchiness, redness, and swollen or crusted
eyelids.

In a 2002 study from SSK Okmeydani Training Hospital, Istanbul,
Turkey researchers looked at the benefits of NAC for people with
chronic blepharitis and found the supplement significantly improved
symptoms of the condition.

7.
Treat Sjogren's Syndrome to Remedy Burning Eyes

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) has also been put forward as a remedy for
Sjogren’s syndrome.

In a 1986 study by authors Walters MT, Rubin CE, Keightley SJ, et al,
200mg of the supplement three times a day helped improve eye-
related symptoms of the disease. Sjogren’s syndrome is an
autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system destroys
moisture glands such as tear glands. Burning eyes is one of the
symptoms of this condition.

In addition to NAC, flaxseed oil may help reduce the severity of eye
symptoms in Sjogren’s syndrome sufferers, according to a 2007
study from the University of Brazil.










































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