Eye Pain Causes

Eye Pain Causes


Injury most commonly causes eye pain, but many other factors may also cause it. It usually can be described as a sensation of stabbing, throbbing, burning, or aching in or around the eye. In some cases, patients feel a sensation that is like what is perceived when a foreign substance enters the eye. Eye pain that is not related to an injury is not a common complaint, but it may be a symptom of an underlying condition. As a result, it is important to have eye pain evaluated if it is severe, persistent, or causes changes in vision.


Injuries, Infections and Strain

Injuries are by far the most common cause of pain in the eye. Common injuries include corneal abrasions that occur when the surface of the eye is scratched, burns, and contact lens complications. Injuries to the eye may also occur during surgery and cause pain. Aside from injuries, numerous other disorders and complications can result in pain in or around the eye. Common causes include viral infections such as the flu, sinus problems, sties, glaucoma, migraine headaches, pink eye, inflammation of the upper or lower eyelids, or eye infections. In some cases, very mild eye pain may occur as the result of eye strain caused by improper prescription eyewear or extended periods of work.


Primary Physician or Ophthalmologist?

A primary care physician may be able to diagnose and treat eye pain, but patients are often referred to as ophthalmologists of severe injuries or disorders. The eye is carefully examined, and the patient's vision and eye movements are tested. To determine the potential causes your health care providers typically ask a series of questions to learn when the pain started, where it is located, and what factors seem to make the pain worse. Patients are also asked to describe what the pain feels like and if there are any other symptoms. Doctors may need to perform additional tests such as eye pressure checks for glaucoma, fluorescein examination, or slit-lamp examination.


Treatment Options

Because of the potential causes of eye pain vary greatly, there are numerous possible treatments. Antibiotics are often used in treating injuries and infections. Many conditions or injuries can be treated with various eye drops or oral medications. In limited cases, eye surgery may be needed to correct problems. Eye pain can usually be treated without significant complications. When left untreated, however, some injuries and disorders can lead to blindness.

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