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Eye Pain (EP) : Causes, Treatments, Common Conditions & Prevention

Team AckoJan 23, 2023

Do you have frequent or recurring Eye Pain (EP) that seems to appear out of nowhere? Many people suffer from this condition due to a variety of causes, such as dry eyes, infection, and even genetics. This article covers everything you need to know about EP, including identifying the causes, prevention tips, and treatments. With the right knowledge and care, you can reduce the occurrence and severity of your EP so you can enjoy your life free from discomfort.

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Contents

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Signs of Eye Pain

Listed below are some common symptoms of Eye Pain.

  • Squinting or closing one eye

  • Tearing

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Blurred or reduced vision

  • Pain or soreness

  • Dryness

  • Pressure or heaviness

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Discharge from eyes

  • Painful or itchy eyes

  • Burning sensation

  • Excessive blinking or spasms of the eyelids

  • Inability to move the eyes in all directions

Causes of Eye Pain

Eye Pain can be caused due to a plethora of different conditions. Some of the most common causes include the following.

  1. Foreign object: A foreign object, such as a piece of dirt, an insect, or even a contact lens, can get into your eye and cause pain. This type of EP usually goes away quickly when the object is removed.

  2. Dry eye syndrome: It is a condition in which the eyes don't produce enough tears to keep them lubricated. Symptoms include redness, itching, burning, and a gritty sensation in the eyes.

  3. Eyestrain: It is the most common type of EP. It is caused by using the eyes for long periods of time without taking breaks, or by looking at something for too long without blinking. Symptoms include eye fatigue, burning or aching eyes, sensitivity to light, and headaches.

  4. Corneal abrasion: A scratch on the cornea, the outer layer of the eye, can cause pain, tearing, and light sensitivity. A corneal abrasion can be caused by rubbing or hitting the eye or by a foreign object entering it.

  5. Infection: Eye infections can cause inflammation and pain, as well as other symptoms such as redness, watering, itching, and discharge. Some common eye infections include conjunctivitis (pink eye) and styes. 

  6. Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an increase in pressure inside the eye, which can cause pain and vision loss. It may be caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye, which can be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and advanced age.

  7. Uveitis: It is a serious eye condition that causes inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. It can cause pain, redness, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision.

  8. Optic neuritis: It is an inflammation of the nerve that leads from the eye to the brain. It can cause sudden vision loss, as well as pain, when you move your eyes. 

  9. Orbital cellulitis: It is an infection of the tissue surrounding the eye, which can cause swelling, redness, and severe pain. In some cases, the infection can spread to the brain, which can be dangerous.

  10. Migraine: Ophthal moplegic Migraines, which are migraines that affect the eyes, can cause intense Eye Pain as well as other symptoms such as blurred vision, light sensitivity, and nausea.

Diagnosis of Eye Pain

Eye Pain is diagnosed by asking the patient about their symptoms, and a comprehensive eye examination. Apart from these, your doctor may order the following tests.

1. Ultrasound

It is common and is used to check the structures inside the eye, such as the lens, retina, and optic nerve, to diagnose any underlying problems. If a tear duct is blocked, an ultrasound can be used to detect the obstruction and to monitor how well it responds to medication or treatment.

2. MRI

It is used to diagnose certain conditions, such as tumours or nerve damage. An MRI can also provide detailed images of the retina, optic nerve, and other parts of the eye.

3. CT scan

It detects any foreign objects in the eye, as well as checks for signs of infection or inflammation. It can also help to diagnose eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or retinal detachment.

4. X-ray

An X-ray can help diagnose certain conditions, such as cataracts or intraocular tumours. It can also detect foreign objects in the eye.

5. Blood tests

Blood tests are used to check for infection or inflammation of the eyes. The tests measure the number of white blood cells in a sample of blood, which can indicate an infection or inflammation. The tests can also measure the number of antibodies created by the body to fight the infection or inflammation, which can help the doctor determine the best course of treatment. According to the severity of the pain, your doctor may suggest a referral to an ophthalmologist or emergency treatment.

Treatment of Eye Pain

Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, the most common treatments include eye drops, warm compresses, cool compresses, prescription medications, and in some cases, even surgery.

1. Eye drops

They can be used to treat allergies, infections, and dry eyes. Many over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops contain anti-inflammatory or lubricating ingredients that can relieve symptoms of discomfort and dryness.

2. Warm or cool compresses

A warm compress helps to improve circulation and reduce swelling. A cool compress can reduce inflammation and provide a soothing sensation.

3. Medications

Prescription medications, such as corticosteroids and antiviral drugs, may be prescribed to treat more severe forms of Eye Pain. These medications can help reduce inflammation, infection, and provide pain relief.

4. Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat Eye Pain. For example, it may be essential to treat a detached retina, traumatic cataracts, or a growth in the eye. In this case, a doctor will be able to suggest the most appropriate treatment option.

Other treatments, such as acupuncture, natural treatments, and lifestyle changes may also be recommended to reduce EP. For example, some people find that wearing sunglasses when outdoors can reduce discomfort and protect their eyes from the sun’s harsh rays. 

Also, dietary and lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, getting enough rest, and eating a balanced diet, can all help improve the overall health of the eyes. 

Prevention of Eye Pain

Here are some effective tips that will help you keep Eye Pain at bay.

  1. Reduce your screen time: Try to reduce the amount of time you spend looking at screens such as televisions, computers, phones, or tablets. Take at least a 20-second break after every 20 minutes, and focus your eyes on something else at least 20 feet away.

  2. Change screen’s brightness: Adjust your monitor’s brightness so that it’s similar to the brightness of your surrounding work area.

  3. Blink often: It’s easy to forget to blink when you’re staring at a screen, but try to blink often. It will help keep your eyes lubricated and relieve some of the strain.

  4. Use artificial tear drops: To provide extra lubrication to your eyes, you may want to consider using artificial tear drops. It can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes, which can be a cause of Eye Pain.

  5. Wear eyeglasses with protective coatings: If you wear spectacles, you may want to invest in lenses that have protective coatings, such as anti-reflective and blue-light filtering coatings. It will reduce the amount of harsh light that reaches your eyes.

  6. Choose the right lighting: The lighting in your work area should be bright enough to see what you’re doing, but not so bright that it causes glare or causes your eyes to strain. So, choose the right type of lighting and adjust the brightness if needed.

  7. Remove eye makeup: Make sure to remove any eye makeup before going to sleep. Doing this will help minimise irritation and dryness in your eyes.

  8. Wash eyes with cold water: Washing your eyes with cold water can help reduce Eye Pain and provide relief. Try to do this twice a day.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a series of some common queries with answers related to Eye Pain.

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When is Eye Pain serious?

Any sudden or persistent EP should not be ignored and should be seen by an eye doctor. It could be a sign of a serious eye condition that needs to be treated immediately.

Can Eye Pain mean a Brain Tumor?

Eye Pain is not typically associated with a brain tumour but it could be a symptom in rare cases.

What are the symptoms of serious eye problems?

Symptoms of serious eye problems may include blurred vision, pain or pressure in the eyes, sensitivity to light, floaters or flashes of light, seeing halos around lights, and distorted vision.

What is pressure in the eye?

Eye pressure is the build-up of fluid in the eye caused by the eye's inability to drain the fluid out. This can lead to damage to the optic nerve, which can eventually lead to vision loss.

What does it mean when your eyes hurt when you look around?

This can be a sign of eye fatigue or eye strain. It can also be a sign of a more serious problem such as glaucoma, uveitis, or iritis. It is imperative to talk to an eye doctor if you experience this type of pain or discomfort.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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