What Could Cause Burning Eyes? 12 Possible Triggers (List)

Many people have a visual impairment. Some experience temporary loss of eyesight, while others permanently lose their vision. Eyes are essential. They are integral to a person’s body. Living daily without eyes is possible but difficult. Therefore, keeping the eyes healthy and in good condition is essential as a person matures and grows older. Burning eyes is a common eye issue that anybody can experience on any day in a lifetime. That familiar burning and stinging sensation inside the eyes make a person rub them aggressively. A person suffering from burning eyes may experience severe irritation, itchiness, dryness, and eye discharge which may lead to redness, swelling, and watering of tears. It is painful and uncomfortable, and the sclera surrounding the eyeball changes its color from clear white to red. 

Burning eyes are not usually a cause of health concerns that need medical attention (some may be immediately treated through water cleansing). Still, there are alarming cases that may require the attention of a healthcare professional. Severe eye damage may lead to other eye impairments or permanent loss of eyesight. Therefore, it is essential to protect the eyes from possible environmental or workplace threats.

Environmental Pollutants

The environment is exposed to pollution caused by humans, technological innovations, industrialization, and toxic materials. The clear and clean air has lost its purity and is replaced with environmentally harmful materials. Air pollutants can be hazardous to the body and the eyes. Effects of exposure may manifest short-term or long-term. Eye pollutants may include: vehicle exhaust (emitting toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen monoxide), smoke and wastes from power plants (releasing sulfur dioxide which turns into particles harmful to the eyes and the respiratory system), smog (smoke and fog, found in industrial areas formed by burning coals), dust (tiny particles, may scratch the transparent tissues of the eye in the cornea and cause severe damage), smoke from burning plastics (contacts the eyes, the particles dissolve into fumes which result to inflammation and irritation), and sand (which can cause friction to the soft tissues in the eyes.)

It is crucial to avoid them as much as possible, and if contact is made accidentally, cleanse them with clear water and use eye protection as often as needed.