Aching. Throbbing. Burning. Stabbing. These symptoms around or in the eye are some of the sensations described by patients who suffer from eye pain.
Patients can have eye pain that affects the surface of the eye. In these cases, the eye pain may result from an inflamed membrane covering the eye, irritation to the eye, an object in the eye, or an eye infection.
If the pain feels like it is coming from deeper in the eye, it may be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Injury to the eye can cause eye pain, as well as several other conditions.
Different types of eye infections can cause eye pain. For example, conjunctivitis, stys and blepharitis may cause eye pain. Inflammation of different areas of the eye can result in pain. If the upper and lower eyelids become inflamed, eye pain may occur.
Uveitis, a condition in which the patient has an inflammation of the uvea (a layer of vascular tissue between the white of the eye and the retina), may cause eye pain. Other inflammatory disorders that may result in eye pain include iritis (an inflammation of the iris, which is the colored part of the eye) and scleritis (an inflammation of the sclera).
An abrasion may also result in eye pain. For example, patients who have a corneal abrasion can suffer from eye pain. Injury to the eye, such as from a foreign object or a burn, can cause pain.
Patients who wear contact lenses may develop eye pain if the lens causes irritation or if the lens is not properly cleaned, leading to a bacterial eye infection or fungal eye infection.
Several eye conditions may cause eye pain. Eyelid conditions, such as ectropion and entropion, may cause eye pain as one of the symptoms. With ectropion, patients’ eyelid turns out, resulting in irritation. With entropion, the eyelid turns in toward the eye, resulting in irritation caused by the skin and eyelashes coming into contact with the eyeball.
Eye pain may occur with chalazion, a condition in which a blocked oil gland causes the formation of a cyst on the eyelid. Other eye conditions that may cause eye pain include optic neuritis, glaucoma, dry eyes and a blocked tear duct.