You’ve probably felt it at some point – a sting in the eye that starts from a pin-prick sensation but progresses to a burning across the whole expanse of your eye. Although the eye is a small organ, it is so delicate that the slightest bit of burning can prevent you from accomplishing the simplest of tasks. It can make you lose your focus completely, so disarming is the condition. Be alert to any kind if eye burning as it could lead to some pretty serious eye problems later on, including loss of vision. Learn the symptoms that you should look out for, the potential causes of the condition which you can proactively avoid, and what to do if you experience eye burning.
Symptoms of Eye Burning
Eye burning can sometimes be accompanied by other symptoms, especially if there is an underlying medical condition behind the problem.
- There may be a discharge from the eye along with the eye burning. Sometimes, even bleeding might occur. See a doctor immediately if this happens.
- The eyes may get watery. This is a common symptom that accompanies many problems related to the eyes as tears are the body’s way of cleaning and healing the eyes.
- On the other hand, the eyes may also get unnaturally dry.
- When the eyes burn, they can get sore and raw, especially if you rub them for relief. They can thus end up getting very red.
- You may also have trouble with your vision while the eyes are burning. For example, you may start to see double or things could get blurry. Some people even lose their vision when the eyes burn.
- When vision is compromised this way, it is possible to see spots or specks of light which aren’t really there.
- Sometimes, the eyes can feel itchy along with the eye burning.
- There may also be pain in eyes.
- Since the eyes and the sinus are quite close to each other, eye burning can affect the nasal passage too. The nose may get runny or overly stuffy. Sneezing may also occur.
Causes of Eye Burning
- Eye burning is mainly caused by exposure to some kind of pollution. It could be smoke from vehicles or tobacco, the smog that is so common in our cities, mold or dust.
- It could also be caused by some of the stuff in your household. Several cleaning and beauty products in particular are full of chemicals that are harmful to you and wreak havoc if they get into your eye. They include your shampoo, soap, makeup, bleach, toilet and kitchen cleaners, etc.
- Then, of course, there are allergies. Eye burning can occur when the eyes get inflamed after an allergic reaction to, say, pollen or dust.
- Eye infections can also cause eye burning. Pink eye – a serious form of conjunctivitis – is an infection that often causes eye burning.
- Those who have the flu may also suffer from eye burning. In fact, there are several diseases or disorders of the respiratory system which can lead to eye burning.
- If you have ever gone swimming in a pool and left your eyes open when you went underwater, then you probably noticed the intense eye burning that occurred soon after. This happens because of the chlorine in the pool. Pools are also subjected to human bodies all day and god alone knows what else could be in there. So always wear protective eye gear when you get in the pool. It is not uncommon for there to be fecal matter in public pools, contact with which can lead to pretty nasty eye infections.
- Eye burning can be a symptom of a very serious eye disease called periorbital cellulitis which is a severe infection of soft eye tissue.
- Another condition that eye burning may be a symptom of is uveitis – an inflammation that spreads throughout the eye.
Treatment for Eye Burning
If you do not get your eye burning checked out and just allow it to get worse, you could very well risk losing your vision in the long run. If your eye burning is due to an eye infection, you may very well pass it along to the people you come in contact with, thus facilitating its propagation. Mainly though, you should treat eye burning for the pure relief of it.
Begin by washing the eyes. Since most cases of eye burning result from contact with something that disagrees with your peepers, your first order of business should be to get that thing out or minimize its presence in your eyes. However, don’t just go splashing water in your eyes. There’s a safe way to wash eyes with water properly. Learn how to do it right so you do not cause further damage to your eyes. Washing the eyes out usually helps to reduce the eye burning to a considerable degree. If the burning is still very intense, see your doctor.
To bring further relief, try a cold compress. The water you dip your soft cloth into should be ice cold. Then dab on eyes gently and leave it there if you are comfortable.
Finally, you can resort to artificial tears to help your eyes to heal themselves. You don’t need much, just a drop or two in each eye. Know that even artificial tears will sting a little as you apply them, but it will bring relief right after to make up for the discomfort.
Prevention of Eye Burning
With eye burning, it is always best to avoid the situations that cause it in the first place. This may not always be possible, but it is worth doing all you can to prevent the painful symptoms.
- Some of us are more sensitive to environmental pollutants than others. If you know this is the case with you, then be loving towards yourself and steer clear of places, situations and people that will being you in contact with said pollution. For example, your eyes may be burning from the smoke of the cigarettes that all your friends indulge in. If you know that this is a problem for you, then either ask them to not smoke around you or find new friends to hang out with. Or maybe you have noticed that your eyes burn after you walk through the city. You can invest in a pair of sun glasses that cover your eyes and the sides of your eyes so you can get some level of protection when you are out.
- Be careful when handling cleaning products. When pouring bleach, soap, fabric softener, hold the product at arm’s length from your body and pour as close to the receiving receptacle as possible so as to avoid splashes.
- Be particularly careful when using cleaning products that come in the form of sprays. The liquid can spray in all directions and get into your eyes. Make sure the nozzle is facing away from you before you spray. Also ensure that you are downwind as a breeze in the opposite direction can blow that liquid into your eyes.
- When it comes to beauty products, it is recommended to use natural products wherever possible. However, if this is not feasible then take the utmost care when using them. Be mindful to keep your eyes shut when shampooing or using products on your face.
- Another tip with face makeup or lotions is to apply some lip balm on your eye brows. This will create a sort of barrier which will prevent your makeup or sunscreen from getting into your eyes.
- When applying your deodorant from a spray can, look in the opposite direction to the underarm you are spraying on.
- Use a hair spray shield when applying hair spray.
- Do not look right at the sun. It is strong enough to burn your eyes out. Not literally, but it will scorch your retina enough to make you go partially or fully blind in addition to some roaring eye burning.