Understanding Eye Pain and Knowing When to Seek Help


Every person, regardless of age or vision, experiences eye symptoms at some point.

Whether redness, dryness, blurriness, or a host of other issues, our eyes will periodically drift away from perfect condition. However, one symptom that merits immediate action is eye pain. Unlike other symptoms, eye pain can be an indicator that you need medical treatment or an eye exam. Here is what you need to know.

Is Eye Pain Normal?

First and foremost, eye pain is not normal. Muscle soreness can be a sign that your body is healing from a difficult workout, and this type of pain is completely normal. Your eyes don’t operate in the same fashion, however, and pain or discomfort could mean that an issue needs to be addressed.

In general, if you or a loved one is experiencing eye pain, it’s best to consult a local eye doctor as soon as possible. If the pain is severe or occurs outside of normal business hours, call or visit an emergency treatment center.

Types of Eye Pain

Eye pain can be variable, originating from different locations depending on the issue. Here are some basic guidelines as to causes and treatments based on the location of your eye pain:

Within or on the eye

If the pain seems to be stemming from the eye itself, a physical issue might be to blame. Sand, slivers, eyelashes, or foreign liquids can cause a stinging or throbbing sensation in the eye. A minor scratch, also known as a corneal abrasion, could be the cause as well. Small particles can generally be safely extracted, and minor cuts may heal on their own, but always consult a vision care specialist to be safe.

Dry eyes, an eye infection such as pinkeye, or poorly fitting contact lenses can also cause a painful sensation. If the cause of your pain is not obvious, your eye doctor should be able to help identify it.

Behind the eye

Pain that feels to be coming from behind the eyes is often attributed to non-vision related issues, namely migraines and sinus infections. While these can be extremely painful, your eyes are generally not at risk, and a general practitioner should be able to advise on treatment options.

Around the eye

If the pain is located in the vicinity of the eye, but not on the surface itself, it could be a sign of eye fatigue from too much screen exposure. Blue light glasses, nighttime computer filters, and more frequent breaks can help remedy this issue.

It’s also possible a stye has formed on the eyelid, causing the area to swell and experience pain. In serious and rare cases, eye pain could indicate the onset of optic neuropathy. Again, if you are unsure of the origin of your pain, consult a vision care specialist right away.

Eye Pain Treatment

When it comes to treating eye pain, the specific regimen recommended by your local eye doctor will depend on the results of an eye exam. Upon further investigation, it may be possible you need to be fitted for new contact lenses, invest in eye drops to prevent dryness or infection, or even undergo a procedure. Schedule an eye appointment with your vision care specialist as soon as possible if you or a family member is experiencing any type of eye pain, and be sure to describe the type, location, and severity of the pain in as much detail as possible.

Connect with a Local Eye Doctor

The local vision care specialists at Complete Eye Care of Medina have the technology and diagnostic experience to help treat eye pain and a variety of other vision issues. We take a consultative, one-on-one approach to family eye care, answering any questions or concerns while working alongside you to manage your vision eye health needs. Complete Eye Care of Medina’s comprehensive eye exams will keep you and your family informed and protected, so you can pursue the appropriate treatments for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment – we can’t wait to serve you.