Eye pain can happen because of obvious reasons like an eye injury. Other times, you may have no idea why your eye hurts. Whatever the reason, eye pain (or ophthalmalgia) is common and generally does not indicate a serious condition. Most often, the pain settles on its own, without the need for treatment. However, there are instances when your eye pain shouldn’t be ignored. Understanding the two types of eye pain can help you recognize if your discomfort is an indication of something more serious.
There are two types of eye pain:
- Ocular Pain
Ocular pain occurs on the surface of the eye and can feel like scratching, itching or burning accompanied by redness and watery eyes. This type of eye pain usually stems from nothing more than having something in your eye, like an eyelash, an irritated contact lens or a speck of sand. Other times it can be a scratch on your cornea, which typically heals on its own within 24 hours. In more serious cases, your discomfort could be due to conjunctivitis or “pinkeye,” which is highly contagious and is accompanied by itchiness, redness and eye discharge. See your doctor right away for symptoms associated with pinkeye.
- Orbital Pain
Eye pain felt within the eye itself (orbital pain) may feel like an aching, stabbing or throbbing sensation. Pain of this kind may call for more involved treatment, but it doesn’t usually indicate a more serious condition. However, if you start to experience vision loss as well as eye pain, it could be a sign of an emergency. Seek medical attention immediately if you begin feeling unusually severe eye pain, stomach pain and vomiting, or sudden changes to your vision.
Eye Pain Prevention
To prevent eye pain, start with eye protection. Wear goggles and safety glasses during sports, exercise or working with hand tools. Also, keep household cleaners and bug spray at a safe distance and directed away from your body. Lastly, don’t wear contacts longer than you’re supposed to and clean them thoroughly before each wear.
If you begin to experience severe eye pain, please call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.