Why do my Eyes Burn when I Wake up?

Hey, sure you have woken up with uneasiness in your eyes right? That should not cause alarm, because here in this content, we are looking at the question: “why do my eyes burn when I wake up”.

Why Do My Eyes Burn when I Wake up?

Even if you’re a morning person, feeling pain when you open your eyes for the first time in the morning can completely derail your day. 

It’s also not something to be taken lightly. Learn why your eyes hurt when you wake up and what treatment options are available to you.

Reasons Why Your Eyes may Hurt when You Wake up

While these are common causes of morning eye pain, this is not an exhaustive list of all eye-related conditions. 

A medical professional, particularly an optometrist, is best suited to diagnose and treat your condition. However, if you’re curious, these are the most common causes of morning eye pain

1. Dry Eye

The most common reason your eyes hurt when you wake up is that they’re dry.  Dry eye is a condition that affects almost 5 million people in the United States.

If your eyes hurt when you wake up every day consistently, it’s very likely that your eyes dry out during the night. 

This happens because your eyes aren’t closed fully when you sleep, and you’re not producing enough tears to hydrate your eyes.

Apart from pain and discomfort, your eyes may also be swollen, itchy, or bloodshot.

2. Allergies

Whether you have seasonal allergies or the cat you love so much is flaring it up, allergies can definitely contribute to eye pain in the morning.

Redness, swelling, and itchiness are common symptoms of allergies in the eye. Taking antihistamines or prescription medication can significantly reduce your allergy symptoms.


3. Pink Eye

Pink eye (conjunctivitis)is an inflammation of the transparent membrane of your eye caused by infection. 

Redness, itching, and a gritty sensation are common symptoms of red eye. Besides your eyes hurting when you wake up, you also find crusts on your eyelashes.

Usually, pink eye improves on its own. If it’s a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotics. Please be aware that pink eye is highly contagious. 

Wash your hands immediately after touching your eye to help your loved ones avoid this discomfort.

4. Blepharitis

If your eyes hurt when you wake up, it may not be a problem with your eye themselves. The issue may be in your eyelid.

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids, and it usually affects both eyes. Redness, itchiness, discomfort, and crusting are common symptoms.

Blepharitis is a chronic condition. Luckily, it’s not contagious, and it shouldn’t affect your eyesight. However, it does increase your risk of dry eye, cysts, and pink eye.

5. Angle Closure Glaucoma

If your eye never hurt before, and it suddenly does when you wake up, you may have angle closure glaucoma. 

This is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.

Angle-closure glaucoma happens when your iris becomes bulged, and it blocks the drainage path of your cornea.  This results in increased pressure in your eye thanks to insufficient fluid drainage.

Although acute angle closure glaucoma can happen suddenly and should be treated as an emergency, if you have narrow drainage angles naturally, you may also develop this condition gradually.

With acute angle closure glaucoma, eye pain isn’t the only symptom you’ll feel. 

Severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision will let you know that you need immediate medical attention.

6. Recurrent Epithelial Erosion

Recurrent epithelial erosion syndrome happens as a result of an eye injury to your cornea. A blister may form on the wound if this injury doesn’t heal well. 

During sleep, the top of this blister can stick to your eyelid, and when you open your eyes in the morning, the blister tears open.

This is sometimes the reason why your eyes hurt when you wake up. Recurrent epithelial erosion syndrome can happen months or years after your initial injury. 

And as the name suggests, it can be a recurring issue. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic drop to avoid infection, and a pupil-dilating drop to stop painful iris spasms. 

You can also take over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen. The only way to really avoid this if you’re prone to recurrent epithelial erosion is regular use of eye drops and ointments.

Why are my Eyes Burning?

The most common cause of morning eye irritation is dry eye. Dry eye is when your eyes either don’t produce enough tears, or your tears evaporate too quickly.

In addition to burning, your eyes may be itchy, bloodshot, or swollen.

Why do I Wake up with Dry Eyes?

If you’re experiencing dry eyes when you wake up, it’s likely because your eyes aren’t closed tightly enough when you sleep, you aren’t producing high-quality tears, or you aren’t producing enough tears.

How do I Treat Dry Eyes?

Dry eye treatments include artificial tears, prescription dry eye medication, or even minor in-office procedures that temporarily or permanently close tear drainage channels to maintain more moisture on the surface of the eyes


In this article, you have learned about the numerous reasons why your eyes burn when you wake up in the morning. As explained above, dry eyes, allergies, and pink eyes are some of the major reasons why your eyes burn when you wake up. Please, kindly share this content on all social media platforms.

CSN Team.

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