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Why Do My Eyes Burn When I Wake Up?

Don't Worry; You Won't Be Blinded!

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Even if you’re a morning person, your eyes burning will ruin your day. This eye burning is not an insignificant matter by any means. Learn the cause of your morning eye burn and the available solutions.

Why Do My Eyes Burn When I Wake Up in the Middle of the Night or Morning?

Here are the seven most prevalent explanations for morning eye burn:

Dry Eye

Dry Eye
Dry Eye

A typical cause of morning eye pain is dryness. Roughly 5 million individuals in the United States suffer from dry eye.

If you wake up with regular eye pain, it’s probably because your eyes dry out throughout the night. This drying occurs when your eyes don’t completely shut during sleep, preventing tear production.

Your eyes may swell, feel scratchy, or become red, in addition to pain and discomfort.

Eye drops or medicine may treat morning pain. However, an alternative is a simple treatment that permanently blocks your tear ducts.



Morning eye discomfort might be a symptom of allergies, whether they are seasonal or brought on by your beloved cat. Common signs of eye allergy include redness, swelling, and irritation. Antihistamines or other medications can greatly prevent allergic symptoms.

Pink Eye

Pink Eye
Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” is an illness that causes inflammation of the transparent membrane that lines your eyes. Symptoms of red eyes include irritation, itchiness, and a gritty feeling. Not only do your eyes suffer when you wake up, but there are crusts on your eyelashes.

Pink eye usually gets better without treatment. However, bacterial infections may require antibiotics. Pink eye is very infectious, so please be careful. To save your loved ones the suffering you just experienced, please wash your hands promptly after touching your eye.



The cause of your morning eye pain may not be an issue with your eyes themselves. Possibly the problem is in your eyelid.

Blepharitis, often known as inflammation of the eyelids, typically affects both eyes. The symptoms include reddened skin, itching, pain, and crusting.

Eyelid inflammation, or blepharitis, lasts for a long time. The good news is that it won’t spread or harm your eyes. However, it may lead to more serious complications, including dry eye, cysts, and pink eye.

Angle Closure Glaucoma

Angle Closure Glaucoma
Angle Closure Glaucoma

The symptom of angle closure glaucoma is abrupt, unexplained eye pain upon waking up if the eye has previously been pain-free. If that’s the case, urgent medical attention is required.

A bulging iris obstructing the cornea’s drainage angle causes this condition. Due to the impaired tear fluid outflow, intraocular pressure rises.

Acute angle closure glaucoma can occur unexpectedly and requires immediate medical attention. However, it is possible to gradually acquire this illness if you already have naturally restricted drainage angles.

The discomfort in your eyes is only one of the symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma. Severe symptoms like these—headache, nausea, vomiting, and hazy vision—should alert you to the urgency of seeking medical help.

Recurrent Epithelial Erosion

Trauma to the cornea causes recurrent epithelial erosion syndrome. A blister may grow on the wound if the damage doesn’t heal properly. Some people find that the top of this blister sticks to their eyelids as they sleep and then rips open when they wake up.

You may find that this is the cause of your morning eye pain. Even if it has been months or years after your original injury, you may still have recurrent epithelial erosion syndrome. And as the term implies, it is sometimes an ongoing problem.

To prevent infection, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic eye drop. However, if you’re experiencing painful cramps in your iris, the doctor can prescribe a drop that dilates your pupils.

Pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen are available without a prescription and may be used to ease the pain. However, suppose you have a history of recurrent epithelial erosion. In that case, you should use medicated eye drops and ointments daily to reduce the risk.


Getting something stuck in your eye may be quite uncomfortable. For example, eye injuries may be caused by anything that shouldn’t be there, such as an extra eyelash or a bit of dust. You may find that you are hurt when you wake up after a night of sleep with your eyes open.

We should always address injuries to the eye seriously because of the potential harm they may do to one’s eyesight and overall health.

If the item remains after many attempts to blink it out, you should seek emergency medical treatment. However, self-extraction of large foreign things from the eye might cause further damage.

While these are some of the more prevalent causes of nighttime or early morning eye discomfort, they are by no means all that might cause such discomfort. Therefore, you need to see a doctor, specifically an optometrist, for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why Do My Eyes Water in the Morning?

Why Do My Eyes Water in the Morning?
Why Do My Eyes Water in the Morning?

Due to the brightness.

One of the reasons why your eyes water in the morning is the brightness. Your eyes, which have been closed for many hours, produce tears in response to the unexpected glow of morning.

Both dry eye syndrome and exposure to direct sunlight can also trigger watery eyes. Despite having a name that implies dry eyes, doctors characterize dry eye syndrome as increased tear production resulting from visual irritation, which may occur at any time.

Another probable explanation for watery eyes is that there is no place for the tears to go. When the punctum, the drain in the eye, is clogged, tears will spill out down the cheek instead of draining away.

Tears flow from the eyes via the tear glands and into the nose and throat through the punctum. Eye doctors may clean or probe to eliminate blockages from a cold or mild illness caused by simple things like mucus or other “gunk.”

How Do I Stop My Eyes From Burning in the Morning?

How Do I Stop My Eyes From Burning in the Morning?
How Do I Stop My Eyes From Burning in the Morning?

In addition to seeing a doctor, there are things you may do at home to relieve the pain and steer clear of the causes of your burning eyes:

  • Use warm compresses or artificial tears to clear the eyes and eliminate a moderate burning sensation.
  • Wear polarised sunglasses whenever you go outdoors, and don’t spend too much time outside.
  • Better quality contact lenses or daily disposables may help your eyes stay moist, which is important if you use contacts.
  • Examine your medication list to see if any of them have the potential side effect of dry eyes. There may be other choices that you and your doctor may explore.
  • Consume a healthy amount of vitamins and fish oil (which can help stimulate tear production).

Final Words

A restful night’s sleep benefits are useless if you wake up with burning eyes. Itching, an irritating sensation, or burning may be quite bothersome.

Some home remedies for eye pain include a warm compress and cleaning your eyelids.

Yet, if the pain persists for more than a few days, you should see an eye doctor. They can examine your eyes thoroughly and provide you with treatment options. They’ll mostly unclog oil-producing glands.

Also, since you’re already reading about eyes, why not check out “Why Do Eyes Shut When Sneezing?”

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo