Eye pain can be caused by a number of things. It is usually split into three categories: disorders affecting the cornea, conditions affecting other parts of the eye, and conditions involving other parts of the body that produce pain in the eye area.
The most common causes of eye pain usually revolve around certain parts of the eye. The cornea, the white of the eye (sclera), and the conjunctiva, a thin covering that covers it, are among them. The iris is the colorful portion of the eye.
Eye pain can also be caused by the muscles that regulate the eye, nerves, and the eyelids.
Glaucoma is caused when there is an imbalance in the production and outflow of fluid in the eye, resulting in dangerously high pressure in the eye. This increased pressure causes the optic nerve to suffer damage, which might eventually result in irreparable vision loss.
People may report eye redness, irritation, blurred vision, or headaches, but glaucoma causes gradual vision loss that can go untreated for years. Because vision loss is irreversible, early diagnosis is crucial.
However, once detected, visual loss can be avoided with the right therapy. Eye drops containing beta-blockers or other substances may be administered to lower eye pressure.
The type of therapy you receive is determined on the severity of your glaucoma. If the eye pressure is exceptionally high or if eye drops are ineffective, surgery may be necessary. Doctors may choose to expand or even develop a new drainage system in the eye.
A full eye exam should be done every 1 to 2 years for those who are at high risk for glaucoma. Doctors will take your eye pressure or use a tonometer to do so. A tonometer is also used to examine for any abnormalities in the optic nerve that might suggest glaucoma damage.
Glaucoma is the world’s second most prevalent cause of blindness, and people over the age of 60 are six times more likely than others to have it.
Uveitis is an inflammation of the pigmented lining of the eye that can occur anywhere. The uvea, often known as the uveal tract, is a portion of the eye.
Infection, damage, or an autoimmune condition can cause the region to become inflamed. The cause of inflammation may be unknown in some circumstances.
Uveitis symptoms include:
- loss of vision or blurry vision
- redness in the eye
- eye ache
A slit lamp can be used to diagnose uveitis during a physical examination. Because uveitis can result in lasting damage to the eye, it should be treated as soon as feasible.
Corticosteroids are commonly used as a treatment, usually in the form of eye drops. Other pharmacological therapy, as well as surgery, may be required to dilate the pupils.
Endophthalmitis is an infection of the eyeball caused by bacteria that enter through a surgical incision or a damage to the eyeball. The infection has moved via the circulation to the eye in some cases, though this is a rare occurrence.
Bacteria are the most common cause of infection, but fungi and protozoa can also be involved. Endophthalmitis can cause the following symptoms:
- sensitivity to bright light
- decreased vision
- eyelid swelling
- severe eye pain
- redness in the white of the eye
People should seek medical help right away. Even prompt treatment for endophthalmitis isn’t always enough to prevent visual loss. Unfortunately, even a few hours of delay might result in irreparable eyesight loss in some circumstances.
Antibiotics, corticosteroids, and surgery are all options for treatment. Doctors can remove contaminated tissue from the interior of the eye during surgery, which could help to end the infection.
The most prevalent cause of eye pain is an issue with the cornea. The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. The front of the eye is covered with a transparent dome-shaped covering.
The fluid-filled area between the iris and the inner section of the cornea is affected by several corneal diseases.
Dirt, germs, and other harmful or foreign particles that may hurt the eye are kept out by the cornea, which functions as a direct barrier. The cornea also helps to protect the eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light (UV).
Corneal diseases include the following:
- Peripheral ulcerative keratitis: Inflammation and ulceration of the cornea are symptoms of this eye condition. People with connective tissue illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are more likely to develop this condition.
- Corneal ulcer: An infection of the eye that causes in an open sore on the cornea. Open sores can be caused by contact lenses, accidents, medicines, and dietary deficits. Pain, redness, and ripping are all symptoms of ulcers.
- Herpes simplex keratitis: Herpes simplex is a virus that causes an infection in the eye.
- Bullous keratopathy: Blister-like corneal edema characterizes this eye condition. Blisters can rupture, causing excruciating pain, eye irritation, and vision loss.
Minor injuries or scratches to the cornea, like other body parts, can recover. The wound normally heals on its own and has no long-term effects on eyesight.
Deeper injuries can result in corneal scarring, which can generate a haze on the cornea, obstructing vision. People with a profound injury or corneal disease may experience the following symptoms:
- nausea or fatigue
- bulging of an eye
- inability to move eye in all directions
- pain in the eye
- sensitivity to light
- reduced vision or blurry vision
- redness or inflammation in the eye
People with corneal disease or injury may suffer pain, tears, and a reduction in vision sharpness.
Anyone who is suffering any of these uncommon eye symptoms should see an eye doctor right once. A comprehensive eye examination is required to identify corneal disease or other eye problems.
The cornea and eye region are frequently examined with a slit light. The doctor may check the eye at extremely high magnification using this device. Fluorescein eye drops can be used to stain the portions of the cornea temporarily, making it easier for the doctor to observe.
To collect a sample, doctors may even scrape the surface of big sores in the eye. The material is cultivated in order to determine the source of the illness.
The doctor can then choose the appropriate antibiotic to combat the illness once the cause has been determined. The following are examples of common eye treatments:
- removal of foreign bodies
- transplantation of the cornea
- antibiotic or antifungal drops
- pain relief with eye drops, oral drugs, or both
Foreign objects and abrasions
Abrasions caused by foreign objects are the most prevalent cause of corneal damage.
Abrasions can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- contact lenses
- make-up applicators
- particles from the wind
- working with tools or any other type of debris
Minor scratches on the cornea may occur after the foreign items have been removed. Because the surface cells of the eye regenerate quickly, most scratches heal in 1 to 3 days.
A medical examination, on the other hand, can identify whether the cornea has been scratched, and timely antibiotic therapy can avoid infection.
Pain relief medication in the form of eye drops is also routinely prescribed.
After the injury, an eye expert should be consulted for a follow-up examination.
Eye care advice
People should wash their hands on a frequent basis. It’s important not to share make-up, contact solutions, eye drops, or anything else that might transfer germs.
Preventing eye pain can be as easy as taking care when doing simple tasks like putting on cosmetics or contacts lenses. If people aren’t careful, contact lenses can easily cause corneal abrasions and infections.
When lenses are not thoroughly cleaned and particles remain on them after they are inserted in the eye, they might damage the surface. Abrasions can also be caused by lenses that have been worn for too long, left in incorrectly while sleeping, or worn while the eyes are excessively dry.
When touching the region around the eyes, making sure your hands are clean can help prevent infections.
Although most abrasions heal without issues, some do develop into infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye), which is very infectious.
When doing any activity where particles might easily go into the eyes, people should always wear protective eyewear.
Though problems with the cornea are the most common, problems with other parts of the eye can cause eye pain and should not be affected. Any changes or issues with the eyes, such as pain, redness, or vision loss, should be addressed.
Many eye disorders may be addressed if identified early, but if not treated promptly, they can cause irreparable damage or even blindness.
Regular eye exams may aid in the detection of any abnormalities that may exist, as well as ensuring that the proper diagnosis and treatment are delivered.