Occasional burning and itching of the eyes is often the result of a foreign substance in the eye. Once the substance is removed, the burning and itching will subside and other symptoms will disappear relatively quickly. Sometimes these symptoms develop in response to temporary irritants such as cigarette smoke or dust. When burning and itching eyes persist or become chronic, there may be an underlying cause.
There are a variety of factors that can lead to burning and itching of the eyes. Eye irritation can develop as a result of environmental factors, allergies, underlying medical conditions, age or the use of medications. Common causes of burning and itching eyes may include environmental factors such as:
Allergies to certain irritants can cause the eyes to burn and itch. Common allergens include:
Individuals who experience chronic burning and itching of the eyes may have an underlying medical condition, such as:
Eye symptoms that do not go away or reoccur may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Symptoms that do not respond to treatment and home care remedies should be evaluated by a physician.
Here are two conditions that can result in burning and itching eyes, and should be evaluated by a physician:
Schedule an appointment with burning and itching in the eyes is accompanied by:
Treatment for burning and itching eyes will depend on the underlying cause for your symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops or ointments that contain antihistamines to help alleviate symptoms.
If the cause is a bacterial infection, antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed. If allergy or environmental factors are the cause, your doctor may suggest that you simply avoid the offending irritant, and use simple remedies such as artificial tears to improve symptoms. Artificial tears are available as over-the-counter eye drops that can be used as often as needed to bring relief form symptoms. They help to flush irritants form the eyes, keep them clean and restore tears to dried-out eyes.
Most cases of burning and itching eyes are the result of minor eye irritants and environmental factors. Home care remedies can be very effective in alleviating symptoms. Some simple home care techniques that can be used include:
The aging process can inhibit the amount of oil produced by the eyes. When oil production is reduced, tears often evaporate quicker, which can lead to the development of dry spots in the eyes. When dry spots occur, they can result in burning, itching and other eye symptoms. Using eye drops or artificial tears can be an effective way to find relief form dry eyes.
If you have already seen your doctor and your symptoms have not improved after two weeks of recommended treatment, you may need to be re-evaluated. Additional treatments may be needed to help you find relief.