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Why Do My Eyes Burn When I Cry? Possible Reasons and Solutions

woman crying eye pain

Tears lubricate our eyes and help us see clearly. Lubrication keeps eyes healthy and allows them to eliminate foreign objects. Also, we show our emotions and release stress when we cry and release tears.

Yet, some people experience a burning sensation while crying. The burning sensation can make crying feel uncomfortable. If the sensation doesn’t go away after a few hours, it could be a sign of vision problems.

There are many possible causes of burning eyes. Some cases of burning eyes may require over-the-counter medications. Where the reason for the burning sensation isn’t apparent, you may need to seek specialized treatment.

This article examines the causes and remedies for burning eyes.

Causes of Burning Eyes

It’s normal to release tears whenever you’re happy or sad. It’s part of emotional stimuli. You might also experience mild symptoms like burning, itchiness, and stinging when you cry. A severe burning sensation after crying for a while can occur due to the following factors:

1. Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an eyelid inflammation characterized by red lids, irritation, itchiness, and crusty eyes. People with blepharitis usually feel like their eyes are in flames whenever they cry. One of the leading causes of blepharitis is a bacterial infection that attacks the eyelid. Other people experience blepharitis due to allergic reactions to their makeup.

2. Eye Allergies

It’s nearly impossible to prevent unwanted objects from getting into your eye, and some of these substances that get into the eye cause eye irritation or allergic conjunctivitis. Your body responds to the allergic reaction by producing histamine, a substance that may cause severe burning of the eyes.

Common substances that trigger eye allergies include dust, mold spores, perfumes, select foods, and pollen. If you have an eye allergy, you are likely to notice the following symptoms:

  • Tearing
  • Eye redness
  • Itching of the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

3. Dry eyes

Many people don’t know their eyes require tears to stay lubricated and healthy. Tears help to remove or flash out some substances that get into your eyes, like insects, dust, and pollen. If you have dry eyes, it means your eyes don’t secrete enough tears, or they evaporate quickly.

It’s not just about getting enough tears, but also the right kind of tears for your eyes. Without sufficient lubrication, your eyes may burn, sting, itch, or feel gritty. Dry eyes can affect anybody but are more common in females and may come with additional symptoms, including:

  • Pain
  • Eye redness
  • Blurred vision
  • A gritty sensation

4. Environmental Causes

If you live in a place with a lot of smoke, you might wonder why you often experience eye irritation. Smoke is an environmental irritant that forces the eyes to produce reflex tears to keep nuisances away.

The reflex tears contain antibiotics that fight harmful bacteria. You will experience a stinging sensation in your eyes as the tears remove the irritants. Your glands will relax, and the tears will stop flowing once the eyes have gotten rid of the smoke.

The more your eyes are exposed to environmental irritants, the more you will likely experience burning eyes. Also, too much exposure to UV light from the sun’s rays can cause eye sunburn. When you experience eye irritation, look out for environmental causes kike photokeratitis.

5. Ocular Rosacea

Burning eyes also occur when you have rosacea, which can affect your eyes in a condition called ocular rosacea. Rosacea, a chronic inflammatory acneiform skin disorder, causes erythema of the face and neck skin and frequently affects the eyes. Ocular rosacea hallmarks include bilateral chronic blepharitis and malfunction of the meibomian glands.

Some of the common symptoms of ocular rosacea include:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Light sensitivity
  • Gritty sensation
  • Red or bloodshot eyes

6. Dust Mites

Dust mites cause your eyes to develop burning, itchiness, wateriness, and redness. Dust mites are foreign substances that enter the eyes and may cause allergic reactions. If the dust mites get into your eyes, you should restrain yourself from rubbing your eyes. Rubbing the eyes aggravates a worse situation by causing other allergic symptoms like a stuffy nose.

7. Low Humidity

Imagine how dry air leaves your skin dehydrated and your lips dry. How worse could it affect your eyes? It’s time to inspect the air from your air conditioner if you spend most of your time indoors and yet get burning eyes.

Dry air causes seasonal dry eyes. To solve the dry air problem and stop the burning eyes, consider creating or locating to a more humid environment.

Eye Remedies for a Burning Eye Condition

Underlying health conditions cause not all eye-burning diseases. Some occur due to environmental conditions, and home remedies can help address them. They include:

  • Baby shampoo: It relieves eye inflammation caused by blepharitis. Clean the red and swollen eyelid gently with water and baby shampoo.
  • Eye drops: You can use artificial tears from over-the-counter to reduce eye dryness.
  • Eyewash: If foreign substances like pollen, dust, or irritants enter your eyes, you can use warm tap water to flash them. Also, there’s an eye wash kit that comes with salty water.

You can also minimize stinging eyes while crying by doing the following:

  • Be hygienic
  • Avoid any allergy trigger
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes
  • Minimize the use of perfumes
  • Wear safety goggles while working with tools
  • Prevent pool water from getting into your eyes
  • Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection when you’re outside during the day


Allergies, dryness, and infections are just a few of the things that might trigger burning eyes. You may also have other symptoms besides burning eyes, such as changes in eyesight, eye redness, or sensitivity to light. It’s a good idea to visit an eye doctor or other healthcare practitioner if you don’t know why your eyes are burning and you also experience other symptoms. Some remedies can help with alleviation.

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