Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms & Treatment for Eye Pain

At some point, nearly all people has experienced sore eyes or eye pain. Sometimes these symptoms relieve themselves on their own, however they could be a sign of something more problematic. 

A diagnosis and treatment can be determined by your eye doctor.

The Causes for Eye Pain:

Pain or discomfort could be caused from eye problems or its surrounding structures, such as:

  • Conjunctiva: the covering that is ultra-thin on the eyelid’s inside.
  • Cornea: the front window of the eye used to focus light coming in.
  • Eyelids: continuously offers protections and moisture to the eye.
  • Extraocular muscles: eyes use these muscle to rotate.
  • Iris: the eye’s colored area.
  • Nerves: visual information is carried to the brain from the eyes.
  • Orbit: the cave that is bony where the eye muscles and eyes are located.
  • Sclera: the white of the eyes.

Problems of the Eye:

Blepharitis: and infection or eyelid inflammation causing pain or irritation.

Conjunctivitis (otherwise referred to as pinkeye): viral or bacterial inflammation of the conjunctiva. Could also cause discharge and itchiness.

Corneal abrasions: an abrasion on the cornea caused by a scratch that can be extremely painful.

Corneal infections: infected or inflamed cornea sometimes the result of shingles, wearing contacts that are not properly disinfected or cleaned, or wearing lenses overnight.

Foreign bodies: an irritant in the eye that, if not removed, could cause an abrasion.

Glaucoma: this condition typically has no symptoms early on. However, acute angle closure glaucoma does and it’s in the form of sudden internal eye pressure. To prevent blindness, treat immediately as an emergency situation.

Iritis or uveitis: an uncommon condition whereby the inside of the eye becomes inflamed.

Optic neuritis: inflammation occurs from the nerve leading from the eyeball’s back nerve to the brain.

Sinusitis: the sinus cavities experience an infection leading to pressure behind eyes.

Stye: localized infection on the eyelid due to inflammation or infection due to oil glands or eyelash hair.

Eye Pain: The Symptoms

Pain of the eye can occur solely or in addition to multiple symptoms, including:

  • Crusted eyes after sleep
  • Discharge, can be clear, colored or thick
  • Headache
  • Pinkeye or red eye
  • Sensation of foreign bodies
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tearing
  • Vision decrease
  • Vomiting or nausea

Diagnosing Eye Pain

If you have eye pain, see your eye doctor; particularly if you have headache, loss of vision, vomiting, or nausea.

There are a variety of tools used by eye care specialists for diagnosing eye pain, including:

  • Structures of the eye are viewed with a slit-lamp.
  • To see deep into the eye, dilating drops are used.
  • To detect glaucoma, a pressure gauging instrument is used.

Treatments for Eye Pain

Treatments for eye pain vary just as much as their causes:

Conjunctivitis: eye drops that are antibacterial, as well as antihistamines.

Corneal abrasions: ointments.

Glaucoma: pills or surgery.

Cornea infections: eye drops.

Iritis: eye drops.

Optic neuritis: corticosteroids.

Styes: warm compresses.

The best way to determine the causes for and determine the right treatment for eye pain is to see your eye doctor. Your vision should be treated as though it is precious, therefore all pain of the eye should be taken seriously.