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Why Do My Tears Burn? Possible Solutions

There are many different reasons we cry. We cry when we’re sad, happy, fearful, feeling sympathetic, or simply chopping an onion. All these things can trigger you and bring you to tears. 

Tears are important as they help us see clearly and maintain healthy eyes by lubricating our eyes, washing out foreign objects, and protecting them. They also help us show our emotions (whether we like it or not) and sometimes let us know when something is off in our bodies. Can you believe that studies show we cry an average of 15-30 gallons of tears every year? Wow!

Experiencing a burning sensation when you cry is not abnormal, but if you find that it doesn’t go away after a couple of hours and keeps happening, it could be a sign of something more. This is also your cue that it’s time to talk to a doctor. So let’s talk about possible causes of burning tears and what you can do if it does happen. 

Possible Causes for Your Tears Burning


There can be many reasons your tears are burning, clinical and non-clinical. These can include:

  • Dry eyes – due to medications, hormone changes, and contact lenses
  • Allergies – seasonal or environmental (smoke, mold, dust, pets, etc.)
  • Blepharitis – a condition of the eyelid
  • Sweat – sweat itself or sweat that draws chemical irritants into your eyes (makeup or other facial products)
  • Environmental irritants – smoke or other things

What to Do If Your Eyes Burn from Tears


The good news is that there are many home remedies you can try if you find yourself asking, “why do my tears burn?”. These remedies can include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Eye drops for eye allergy symptoms 
  • Cool compresses placed on your closed eyes
  • Using a warm cloth to remove any irritants from around your eyes (like makeup or sweat)
  • Using a moisturizer or gel that can treat the delicate skin around your eyes
  • Adding a humidifier to your room to increase moisture in the air
  • Antihistamines for allergies

When to Visit a Doctor?


If none of the remedies above seem to help after a few days, contacting a doctor should be your next step. A medical doctor or eye doctor can look at your eyes and make an educated diagnosis to properly treat you. For example, your doctor could prescribe antibiotic eye drops, steroid eye drops, or a prescription antihistamine to help treat your burning eyes. Allergy shots may even be the best option if allergies are found to be the culprit.

Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider or eye specialist if you notice that burning tears is a new occurrence or something getting worse and persisting even though you’re doing what you can to avoid it. Also, call us to schedule an eye exam if you have questions or concerns about your burning tears or other conditions. We look forward to caring for you and expanding on the healthy vision habits you have already established.

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