The burning and stinging associated with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) may lead some to apply cold compresses habitually. Cold compresses generally are not recommended for MGD because the cold both slows the production of meibum and increases its viscosity, making it too thick to flow. Additionally, when the cold compresses are applied, the cold may not be treating any symptoms. Instead, the cold may simply take focus away from the burning sensation temporarily.
Burning, stinging, and itching may also be a sign of allergies. Cold compresses will only relieve the sensations temporarily, and will also risk increasing the viscosity of the meibum.
If you are applying cold compresses to your eyes daily, seek the care of a qualified ophthalmologist, so that your symptoms may be diagnosed and treated properly.