Why Are My Eyes Burning and Watering? Understanding Eye Irritation

Why Are My Eyes Burning and Watering?

Do you experience the discomfort of burning and watering eyes? This sensation can result from a variety of causes, and finding relief is essential to prevent ongoing discomfort and interference with daily activities.

In this article, we’ll explore the common reasons for burning and watery eyes, offer solutions for relief, discuss when it’s time to see an eye doctor, and provide tips for preventing eye irritation in the future.

7 Common Reasons for Burning and Watery Eyes – and How to Find Relief

One of the most significant causes of eye irritation results from environmental factors. Common reasons include:

  • Exposure to smoke
  • Exposure to wind
  • Exposure to chemical irritants
  • Allergic reaction to pollen, pets, or other allergens
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Eye strain from computer use or reading

There are several ways to reduce the symptoms of burning and watery eyes. Consider the following tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses that can cause eye infections.
  • Avoid smoke and other environmental triggers that can cause irritation.
  • Wear glasses or protective goggles in situations where irritants, chemicals, or debris can come into contact with your eyes.
  • Use a cool compress or artificial tears to soothe irritated eyes.
  • Ensure to blink frequently during computer or screen use to prevent dry eye symptoms.
  • Avoid using eye drops that remove redness as the primary solution.
  • Remove contact lenses regularly to prevent dry eye syndrome.

Is It Allergies, Dry Eye, or Something Else? Understanding the Causes of Eye Irritation

Understanding the causes of eye irritation is essential to pinpointing the underlying issue and getting the right treatment.

Allergies are the most common cause of eye irritation. They can cause redness, itchiness, swelling, and watering. In comparison, dry eye syndrome can cause similar symptoms but doesn’t generally entail itchiness. Alternatively, it may lead to burning and stinging.

Other factors that can cause eye irritation include pink eye or conjunctivitis. This condition is highly contagious and can spread from person to person quickly.

Eye Drops and Home Remedies: Simple Solutions for Burning, Watery Eyes

The use of eye drops provides some relief for burning, watery eyes. Eye drops work by washing out any irritants that may be present in the eye.

Artificial tears will help keep the eyes moisturized, especially for people who suffer from dry eye syndrome.
Some prescription drops can also help to manage allergies.

However, eye drops aren’t the only solution. Consider these simple home remedies:

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, preventing dry eyes.
  • Avoid environmental irritants, such as smoke or wind.
  • Use a warm or cold compress to relieve the pain or swelling (depending on the type of eye irritation being experienced).
  • Blink frequently during prolonged computer or screen use.

When to See an Eye Doctor for Burning and Watering Eyes

Despite attempts at finding relief, you may need to see an eye doctor if the symptoms persist.

The following symptoms may indicate time to see a doctor:

  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe pain in the eye
  • Swelling in or around the eye
  • Yellow or green discharge from the eye
  • Development of a noticeable bump or blister on any part of the eye

Eye doctors specialize in evaluating and treating eye problems. Your general practitioner or emergency room can also offer help if the symptoms develop outside typical office hours.

The Surprising Link Between Screen Time and Eye Irritation

In the era of smartphones and technology, many people are spending countless hours every day looking at a screen. It’s concerning as extended screen time increases the risk of eye strain and eye damage.

There are many ways to reduce the negative impact including:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule – for every 20 minutes spent in front of a screen, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
  • Adjust the brightness of your screen to suit the environment.

Could Your Diet Be the Culprit Behind Your Irritated Eyes?

When a diet lacks the necessary vitamins and nutrients, the eyes can become dry, and vision can decline as a result.

Ensuring a healthy diet is an effective way to improve eye health. These on the list of foods that can improve eye health:

  • Fruits, such as oranges, strawberries, and grapes that provide Vitamin C
  • Vegetables like spinach and kale that are rich in Vitamin A
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, obtained from chia seeds, walnuts, and salmon to help eyes stay moisturized

Preventing Burning and Watery Eyes – Tips for Eye Health and Comfort

You can take several steps to maintain good eye health:

  • Remember to blink frequently to avoid dry eye syndrome
  • Ensure optimal lighting when reading or using a computer
  • Be aware of the risk of infection and eliminate practices that may lead to eye infection
  • Visit an optometrist on a regular basis to ensure optimal eye health


Burning and watering eyes can be difficult to deal with, but there are steps you can take to gain relief. Remember, prevention is always the best remedy, so take care of your eyes, stay hydrated, and protect your eyes whenever possible. By owning your eye health, you’ll enjoy improved vision, fewer irritations, and a better quality of life.

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