Eye Problems With Pain
Severe, aching eye pain is often a sign of a more serious condition, such as a buildup of pressure inside the eyeball (Reference glaucoma Opens New Window) or inflammation of the colored part of the eye (iritis). Call your doctor immediately to arrange for care that will prevent the condition from becoming worse and possibly causing blindness.
Some minor eye irritation is common with minor eye infections, such as pinkeye (Reference conjunctivitis Opens New Window). Allergies or dryness in the eye may cause your eyes to feel sandy or scratchy.
When you have a viral illness that causes fever, such as Reference influenza Opens New Window, it may hurt to move your eyes (such as when you look to the side without turning your head). This pain usually goes away as the illness improves.
A scratch on the Reference cornea Opens New Window from an object in the eye, a fingernail, or a contact lens can be very painful.
If you wear contact lenses, pain may be a sign of an ulcerated cornea or other serious problem. Remove your lenses.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light or reflected glare (such as skiing without goggles or welding without protection) can produce severe pain in both eyes. The pain may not start until several hours after exposure. If you think your eye pain may be due to UV light exposure, see the topic Burns to the Eye.
Pain in the eye area can be from other problems in the face or head. Some conditions that may cause eye pain include:
- Reference Headaches Opens New Window.
- Reference Sinusitis Opens New Window.
- Reference Giant cell arteritis Opens New Window.
- Reference Shingles (herpes zoster) Opens New Window.
- Reference Trigeminal neuralgia Opens New Window.
- Reference Temporomandibular joint pain Opens New Window.
- Skin (dermoid) Reference cysts Opens New Window.
- Reference Stroke Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: November 2, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine