Eye Pain

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Eye Pain (Symptom)


The eye is the organ of sight. Eye pain can be caused by conditions involving the eyeball (orbit) or be caused by conditions of structures around the eye.

Eye pain refers to any condition in which a person feels discomfort in or around one or both of the eyes. The pain may be sharp and stabbing or dull and throbbing. The eyes may feel irritated or gritty. Eye pain may be accompanied by blurred vision, itching, redness, dry eyes, or watery eyes.


Eye pain may result from trauma, allergies, and infections of the eye area, or from more generalized conditions, including migraine, upper respiratory infections, and sinus problems.

The most obvious cause of eye pain is a direct injury, such as a cut or blunt impact to the eye area. A foreign body in the eye, such as a stray eyelash, a speck of dust, or a misaligned contact lens, is another common cause of eye pain. If the foreign body is just on the surface of the eye and not embedded, it can be washed away by your tears or artificial tears, and the irritation should resolve quickly. More serious trauma or embedded objects require treatment from a health care professional.

Some causes of eye pain can be dangerous to the vision or health, such as acute angle-closure glaucoma, optic neuritis, fracture of the orbital bones, and a severe infection called cellulites.

Because the eyes are so important to the quality of life, it is always a good idea to contact a health care provider for any bothersome eye symptoms.


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