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Why do my eyes sting when I cry

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The eyes have a close relationship with the lacrimal glands since the production of tears is essential to maintain the eyes’ health. During each blink, the eyes are moistened due to a passive and constant flow of tears, forming a protective layer over them that prevents foreign particles from entering while sweeping those that have managed to enter. Likewise, this flow lubricates and lets the eyelids slide over the eyes. In addition, the tear flow provides moisture to the cornea, oxygen, and adequate nutrition. For some people, tearing is related to a stinging sensation in the eyes, which can be highly annoying and even more so when regularly. This FastlyHealarticle will explain why my eyes sting when I cry.

Eye dryness

One of the leading causes of the appearance of this condition is dry eyes. This unpleasant sensation can even be painful and is due to a deficiency in the eyes’ natural moisture. This means that the body will not produce enough tear flow, and it can be due to multiple factors, such as environmental, disease, or medication.

Among the common symptoms of the dry eye could include:

  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • The sensation of foreign particles on the surface of the eyes.

To control this situation, you must use the necessary accessories, such as applying artificial tears through eye drops to provide your eyes with the required moisture.

Eye irritation and foreign bodies

Eye irritation often occurs due to continuous rubbing on the surface of the eyes, which can trigger the stinging sensation when crying. Suppose you are calling and performing this action. In that case, you may irritate your eyes, and the symptoms appear, especially if you are wearing makeup, which allows its particles to enter the eyes’ surface, irritating and, in turn, itching.

Eye irritation is closely related to a foreign body in the eyes. An example of this could be when a particle is present in the environment, such as dirt. When entering, you feel the need to scratch or rub, producing an intentional tearing and triggering the stinging sensation.

Eye allergy

An allergy is a reaction of the body when it is exposed to some aspects that, in general, should not cause a reaction. Within the chain of events that accompanies allergic processes, there is the release of a mediator called histamine, which produces an inflammation that helps the body fight against the foreign element. Inflammation of the eyes is usually accompanied by increased tear production and a stinging sensation.


It consists of inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin layer that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. It is caused by multiple factors; the best known are bacterial, viral, or allergic infections. The symptoms will depend on the cause that caused it, and thanks to them, the type of conjunctivitis you have can be diagnosed. However, in general, it could be said that conjunctivitis produces:

  • Redness of the eye.
  • Ardor.
  • Tearing
  • Feel that there is a foreign body in the eye, so when you cry, your eyes sting.

We recommend that whatever the cause that produced it, the first thing you should do is clean your eyes to remove secretions using a clean cloth soaked in warm water or preferably sterile physiological saline. To relieve symptoms, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers and place cold compresses on the surface of your eyes.

Finally, you can apply eye drops or some gel with an antibiotic composition if it is produced by a bacterium, and in case it is due to an allergy, eye drops with corticosteroids. However, you cannot use it for herpes, as it exacerbates the condition.

We leave you the following article about conjunctivitis, its types, symptoms, and treatments for more information.

Contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses or lenses, they will likely sting your eyes, especially if you are starting to wear them or if they are damaged. When using them, you can hurt your eyes and produce a minor wound when it comes into contact with the sodium chloride from tears. When you cry produces this sensation.

We recommend you wear thinner lenses and change the ones you use because they will probably give you an allergy or they are fissured. Likewise, you must have a proper cleaning on the surface of your lenses to reduce the risk of infection.

In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will discuss the best contact lenses for dry eyes.

corneal ulcer

A corneal ulcer is an open lesion located on the outside of the eye, usually caused by infections. It can be due to viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. Sometimes it can be caused by other conditions such as allergies, dry eyes, injuries to the outer layer of the eyes such as scratches, severe allergic eye disease, foreign objects on the eyes, or eyelids that do not close properly. Typically, corneal ulcers trigger characteristic symptoms such as:

  • Redness
  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • White spot on the surface.
  • Inconvenience.
  • Feeling of a foreign body and tearing.

Likewise, the eyes sting when crying due to the unpleasant discomfort caused by a corneal ulcer. You can attend an ophthalmologist because depending on the cause that originated it, it will be who determines the treatment to follow. However, the treatment of choice in most cases is usually antibiotic, antifungal, or antiviral eye drops.

What to do if my eyes sting when I cry

As we have seen in the previous sections, almost always, the stinging of the eyes is due to some element in a said organ or to some irritating wound. There are pretty simple ways to alleviate this sensation, and in most cases, they are compelling enough, such as washing the eyes with warm water with the help of a clean towel or applying eye drops known as eye drops.

In cases in which the itching becomes constant or very frequent, it may be necessary to visit an ophthalmologist to diagnose the condition causing the discomfort and indicate the most appropriate treatment for the case. Treatment depends on each topic but usually involves using a specific medication in the form of an ointment or drops with anti-microbial or moisturizing properties, two very effective actions to treat many of the problems that cause stinging of the eyes. Also, in the following article, we will talk about home remedies to relieve dry eyes.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do my eyes sting when I cry, we recommend that you enter our Eyes and Vision category .

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