Eye pain is a common symptom for which an individual may consult a doctor. Eye pain characteristic can vary from burning, sharp, dull, gritty (feeling of something in the eye), aching, throbbing, or stabbing. Eye pain can be confused with symptoms, such as a headache or sinus pain as well.
Pain in or around the eye can be caused by several diseases. However if your eye pain is persistent, severe, or associated with decreased vision, consult your doctor immediately.
Some common causes of eye pain are:
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye) or any inflammation of the upper and lower lids
- Contact lens complications
- Foreign body in the eye
- Eye problems such infection, irritation, or injury
- Injury to the corneal (foreign body, abrasion)
- Eye surgery
- Glaucoma (rise of pressure in the eye)
- Migraine headache
- Sinus problems
- Stye (hordeolum)
Eye pain intensity is variable, and every person may interpret pain differently. The symptoms experienced by people with eye problems include:
- Pain in or around the eye
- Loss of vision (Partial or complete)
- Sensitivity to light
- Double vision
- Halos (coloured circles or halos around lights)
- Floaters (spots, strings, cobwebs, or shadows seen before the eyes)
- Limitation of eye movement
- Painful eye movement
- Feeling of flashes or streaks of light
- Severe headache along with eye pain
Consult your doctor if you have eye pain. A few measures at home that can ease pain include:
- Rest your eyes if the discomfort is due to eye strain.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses if you think the pain is due to lenses
- If the pain started after something entered your eyes wash your eyes thoroughly with water.
- If a foreign body is in your eye, avoid rubbing your eyes as this can increase the damage.
Eye protection is an important step in prevention of eye pain.
- Protect your eyes with goggles or safety glasses when you are working with hand tools, power tools, industrial chemicals, or when there is a chance of getting chemicals, debris, or small particles in the eye.
- Wear safety glasses may be used to protect eye when you play sporting activities, such as basketball, racquetball, and tennis.
- Use headgear such as a safety helmet at work if required or wear a helmet while playing baseball, hockey.
- In children close parental supervision can often prevent eye injuries.
- Be careful when you are doing activities that can potentially injure your eyes
- If you use contact lenses, practice good eye care to prevent contact lens-related eye injuries.