At some point in your life, you’ve likely experienced a painful, throbbing or irritating sensation in or around your eyes. Whether you’re able to pinpoint the cause of the pain, say from a sports injury; or, if it’s a mystery as to why your eye hurts, you’re not alone.
According to the United States Eye Injury Registry, over 2.5 million eye injuries occur each year.
There are several causes of eye pain, in addition to obvious injuries; some other causes of eye pain include the following:
Different Reasons Why Eyes Hurt
What is Blepharitis
Though it sounds more serious than it actually is, blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the eyelids, characterized by dandruff-like particles on the eyelashes, which could in turn inflame the eyelash follicles. If your eyelids are particularly itchy, you may have blepharitis.
Symptoms Of Blepharitis
Other signs may include frequently burning eyes, excessive dryness, crusting of the eyelids and a myriad of other symptoms.
According to Medicinenet.com, blepharitis is a malfunction of the oil glands of the lids. The average person has approximately 40 such glands in each of the upper and lower lids.
Causes of Blepharitis
Sometimes, these oil glands produce the wrong amounts or even types of oils, leading to the eyelid margins becoming inflamed, irritated, and itchy. Skin conditions such as acne and rosacea may be the underlying cause of blepharitis.
Allergies may also be the root cause of this condition, specifically caused by reactions to mascara, eye care/contact solutions and other sprays and environmental toxins.
Treatment for Blepharitis
The treatment of blepharitis is fairly simple, and can be done at home. Adding warm water to a facial towel for a few minutes a few times a day may be enough to get rid of blepharitis. If blepharitis is caused by acne, your doctor may want to treat the condition with doxycycline, according to Medicinenet.com.
These are both examples of treatments, and not medical advice. Always follow the instructions of your eye care provider.
Conjunctivitis, aka ‘pink eye’
What is Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye)
Though it doesn’t cause any changes in vision, pink eye can be a major nuisance. There are two forms of pink eye: infectious and non-infectious. Although it is more common in childhood, pink eye can occur at any age.
Symptoms of Infectious Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye)
Obviously, the major telltale sign of pink eye is a red, inflamed eye, specifically the membranes (conjunctiva) covering the whites of the eyes and those of the inner part of the eyelids.
If it’s a viral form of pink eye, a clear, watery discharge from the eye can occur. Other cold-like sinus conditions could be present with viral conjunctivitis. Symptoms of viral pink eye can last up to two weeks, the worst of which will manifest for the first handful of days.
Symptoms of non-Infectious Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye)
If your pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection (strep., for example), besides eye pain and redness, you may also experience eyelid swelling, itching, or colored discharge or swollen lymph glands.
Profuse tearing and itching could be a sign of non-infectious pink eye.
Causes of Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye)
Viral pink eye is caused by a group of viruses, called ‘adenovirus,’ which usually manifests as a respiratory illness, but also common is conjunctivitis. If you’re allergic to pollen, dust or animal dander, developing non-infectious pink eye is possible.
Treatment of Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye)
Unlike the viral form, bacterial pink eye may require antibiotics, such as Bacitracin or Erythromycin, to rid the body of the infection. Use a cold compress to treat non-infectious forms of pink eye. Eyedrops can also alleviate symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe stronger medications if these home remedies are not adequate. If you have pink eye, see your doctor immediately as conjunctivitis can be very contagious.
What is Optic Neuritis
This inflammation of the optic nerve, located at the back of the eye, and the structure that connects the eye to the brain, is often caused by a virus or bacterial infection.
Symptoms of Optic Neuritis
Loss of vision, especially peripheral, and a decreased perception of brightness are common symptoms of optic neuritis. The swelling and destruction of the protective myelin sheath that covers and insulates the optic nerve could occur with optic neuritis.
Causes of Optic Neuritis
What causes the viral infection that leads to optic neuritis? Though the answer is not entirely clear, medical professionals speculate that autoimmune disorders trigger the viral infection. In fact, some people with multiple sclerosis—up to 20 percent of all those with MS—may suffer from optic neuritis.
Bacterial infections caused by Lyme disease, syphilis, meningitis and others, could also contribute to optic neuritis.
Treatment of Optic Neuritis
Treatment of optic neuritis, especially when a symptom with vision loss occurs, may involve steroidal medications.
Common Thread of Eyes Hurting
The signs, symptoms and causes of eye pain are numerous. Sometimes, eye pain will go away on its own; other times, a serious, underlying cause like a virus or bacterial infection may be to blame for your eye pain. When in doubt, always see a doctor or medical professional.