There are two types of eye pain: ocular pain and orbital pain. Ocular pain originates at the outer surface of the eye and might be experienced with a corneal abrasion, conjunctivitis, chemical burns, plugged tear ducts, or a stye. Orbital pain refers to an ache originating inside the eye, such as one might experience with glaucoma, sinusitis, neuritis, migraine headache or a penetrating injury.
- Pain in or around the eye
- Severe headache centered behind the eyes
- Vision impairment or double vision
- Light sensitivity or halo vision
- Floating objects or flashes of light
- Redness or discharge from the eye
- Change in the shape of the eyeball or pupil
Who is at risk?
Ocular pain may affect anyone engaging in sports involving flying objects (balls) or contact sports like boxing, wrestling and martial arts unless they wear specially designed protective eyewear. Corneal abrasions are common in the workplace where people are engaged in work around potential contaminants such as chemicals, dust, flying metal debris, etc. Orbital pain may affect anyone with migraines or a sinus infection, and older patients seem to be more susceptible to glaucoma.
Treatment for eye pain varies according to the source of the symptoms, which is why medical treatment is so important. A physician will have the proper equipment and solutions to wash any contaminants from the eye or safely remove foreign objects. If there is a bacterial infection, a physician will likely treat that with antibiotic eye drops along with possibly a prescription ointment and pain medication.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
Seek advice from a doctor or ophthalmologist to examine and diagnose your problem. If chemicals or cleaning solvents get in your eyes, seek emergency medical help right away. Sudden loss of vision or swelling/discharge with a severe headache are reasons for emergency evaluation as well. Certainly a puncture wound or hard blow to the eye warrants emergency attention.
Treatment for eye pain is available now at Newport Urgent Care in Newport Beach, CA.
For more information on eye pain, see the following websites:
eMedicine on a variety of causes of eye pain
Medline Plus (NIH) on Eye Pain
Mayo Clinic with Eye Pain Definition and Overview
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of NewportUrgentCare.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.