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Eye Pain

Eye Pain Symptoms and Causes

Eye pain that is not a result of injury might be manifested as a burning, throbbing, aching, or stabbing sensation in or around the eye. It may also feel as if there is a foreign body in the eye. Sometimes, discomfort can occur due to eye strain that can be resolved with proper eyeglasses. If eye pain is persistent, it can be a symptom of other conditions and causes of eye pain and should not be ignored.

Eye Pain Symptoms

Contact an ophthalmologist if you are having these eye pain symptoms:

  • Something got into your eye that caused the pain
  • Eye pain came after an eye injury
  • Eye pain is not due to a viral illness or eyestrain
  • Eye pain is associated with medical problems, such as a history of herpes infections or a new rash
  • Eye pain is severe (call doctor immediately), or it continues for more than two days
  • You have an immune system deficiency
  • You have had recent surgery
  • You have pain, redness, swelling, discharge or pressure in the eyes that does not go away —particularly if it affects your vision 

Eye Pain Causes

If the problem is eye strain, rest should relieve the discomfort. If you think your eye pain is due to wearing contact lenses, avoid wearing the lenses for a few days and see if the pain goes away. If the pain is severe, call your health care provider.

Some of the problems and causes of eye pain are:

  • Burns
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye) or any inflammation of the upper and lower lids
  • Contact lens complications
  • Eye problems (infection, irritation, or injury such as a corneal abrasion)
  • Eye surgery
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine headache
  • Sinus problems
  • Stye (hordeolum)
  • Viral infections such as the flu