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Eye Pain – 11 Common Causes and Treatment

Eye pain

Eye pain is frequent, but it’s rarely a sign of something more serious. Most of the time, the pain goes away without the need for medication or treatment. Ophthalmalgia is another name for eye pain.

Eye pain can be classified as either ocular or orbital, depending on where the discomfort occurs. Ocular pain occurs on the eye’s surface, while orbital pain occurs within the eye.

Scratching, burning, or itching can occur when eye pain occurs on the surface.

Causes of Eye Pain

Foreign object

The most common cause of eye pain is simply having something in your eye. Whether it’s an eyelash, a piece of dirt, or makeup, having a foreign object in the eye can cause irritation, redness, watery eyes, and pain.


The conjunctiva is the tissue that lines the front of the eye and the underside of the eyelid. It can become infected and inflamed. Though the pain is usually mild, the inflammation causes itchiness, redness, and discharge in the eye. Conjunctivitis is also called pink eye.

Contact lens irritation

People who wear contact lenses overnight or don’t disinfect their lenses properly are more susceptible to eye pain caused by irritation or infection.

Corneal abrasion

The cornea, the clear surface that covers the eye, is susceptible to injuries. When you have a corneal abrasion, you will feel as if you have something in your eye.


Chemical burns and flash burns to the eye can cause significant pain.


Blepharitis occurs when oil glands on the eyelid’s edge become infected or inflamed. This can cause pain.


This condition occurs as intraocular pressure, or pressure inside the eye rises. Additional symptoms caused by glaucoma include nausea, headache, and loss of vision.

Optic neuritis

You may experience eye pain accompanied by a loss of vision if the nerve that connects the back of the eyeball to the brain, known as the optic nerve, becomes inflamed. An autoimmune disease or a bacterial or viral infection may cause inflammation.


An infection of the sinuses can cause pressure behind the eyes to build. As it does, it can create pain in one or both eyes.


Eye pain is a common side effect of migraine attacks.


While uncommon, inflammation in the iris can cause pain deep inside the eye.

Treatment of Eye Pain

The treatment of eye pain is often based on the cause. Some of the treatment options which are available include;

Home care

The best way to treat many of the conditions that cause eye pain is to allow your eyes to rest.


If you frequently wear contact lenses, give your corneas time to heal by wearing your glasses.

Warm compress

Doctors may instruct people with blepharitis or a sty to apply warm, moist towels to their eyes. This will help to clear the clogged oil gland or hair follicle.


If a foreign body or chemical gets into your eye, flush your eye with water or a saline solution to wash the irritant out.


Antibacterial drops and oral antibiotics may be used to treat infections of the eye that are causing pain, including conjunctivitis and corneal abrasions.


Eye drops and oral medicines can help ease the pain associated with allergies in the eyes.

Eye drops

People with glaucoma may use medicated eye drops to reduce the pressure building in their eyes.


more serious infections, such as optic neuritis and anterior uveitis (iritis), your doctor may give you corticosteroids.


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