Burning eyes: a ruptured tear film is often the cause

Dry eyes are a common reason for burning eyes. If there is insufficient lacrimal fluid and the film of moisture on the surface of the eye breaks up, the eyes become irritated. Alongside burning eyes, there could also be redness, swelling or foreign body sensation in the eyes. The symptoms can often be reduced with simple remedies and changes in habits. Lubricating eye drops, sufficient sleep and fresh air can alleviate the accompanying symptoms of burning eyes.

How burning eyes come about

People who swim underwater with their eyes open in chlorinated water, slice an onion or stand directly in the smoke at a barbecue know the feeling of burning eyes. In these situations, there is a short-term irritation of the surface of the eye, caused by external irritants. The burning sensation serves as a warning in order to protect the eye from harmful substances. Allergy sufferers, especially those who suffer from hay fever, know only too well the painful feeling of burning eyes. Substances which are otherwise harmless, like pollen, cause irritation of the eyes.

 

But many people suffer frequently or very often from burning eyes – dry eyes are usually the cause then. The tear film, which is constantly produced by our lacrimal glands, covers and protects the surface of our eyes from environmental factors, drying-out and friction. If the eye is lacking lacrimal fluid, the tear film could rupture. Areas which are not lubricated appear which then react extremely sensitively and are irritated by such things as the rubbing produced when we blink. The consequences are a burning sensation as well as itching, redness or swelling.

Try the following to help with burning eyes

If dry eyes are the cause of burning eyes, then you should address the cause directly. For this, there are various lubricating eye drops available as well as eye ointments: people who only occasionally suffer from burning, dry eyes can simply apply artificial tears when the situation arises and thereby support their own tear film. In the case of severe problems, intensive lubricating eye drops can be used regularly throughout the day. For severely irritated eyes, the application of eye ointments before going to sleep is a good option. These can additionally facilitate the regeneration of the eyes during the night.

Simple ways to prevent burning eyes

This is how you can avoid dry and burning eyes: