The sensations of menthol, acid, or gasoline may be present for any number of reasons, including:
- Residual medication that is trapped in the cells and released when the cells break down
- Saponified tear film that touches the conjunctiva, lid margins or skin of the eye lids
- Conjunctivochalasis, because the tear film is not spread evenly across the surface of the eye where the tissue is wrinkled or pinched.
Sometimes tear film that touches the lid margin or skin around the lids, when it is not diluted by emotional tears or reflexive tears, can feel like menthol, acid, or gasoline. Reflexive tearing, particularly when it is chronic, can feel like menthol, acid, or gasoline on the conjunctiva, lid margins, and skin of the eye lids.
Even a tiny drop of tear film outside the eye can cause the sensation of menthol, acid, or gasoline on the delicate skin of the lid margin, the eye lids, and the delicate tissue around the eyes.
The feeling of menthol is similar to burning, although there is a distinct cool sensation that is not comfortable. The feelings of acid and gasoline are similar, but without the cooling sensation typical of menthol.