why does my eye hurt

At some point in your life, you’ve likely questioned, "why does my eye hurt?" This might be during a painful, throbbing, or irritating sensation in or around your eyes. Whether you’re able to pinpoint the cause of the pain or not, you're not alone in suffering. Often pain in the eye is a result of an injury or other condition.

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. 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.

What Causes Eye Pain?

Blepharitis

why does my eye 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.

Symptoms of Blepharitis If your eyelids are particularly itchy, you may have blepharitis. Other signs may include frequently burning eyes, excessive dryness, crusting of the eyelids and a myriad of other symptoms, including eye pain.

Causes of Blepharitis Sometimes, these oil glands produce the wrong amounts or 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 medication.

These are examples of treatments, and not medical advice. Always consult and follow the instructions of your eye care provider prior to treatment.

Conjunctivitis ("Pink Eye")

Conjunctivitis, aka ‘pink eye’

What is Conjunctivitis

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 Conjunctivitis

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 an infectious 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.

If your pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection 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. This condition often causes eye pain as well.

Causes of Conjunctivitis

A group of viruses, called ‘adenovirus,’ which usually manifests as a respiratory illness, causes viral pink eye. If you’re allergic to pollen, dust or animal dander, developing non-infectious pink eye is possible. Along with allergies, irritants in shampoo, pool chlorine, and smoke also cause non-infectious pink eye.

Treatment of Conjunctivitis

Unlike the viral form, bacterial pink eye may require antibiotics to rid the body of the infection. Use a cold compress to treat non-infectious forms of pink eye. Eye drops 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. Always consult and follow the instructions of your eye care provider prior to treatment.

Optic Neuritis

What is Optic Neuritis

This inflammation of the optic nerve is located at the back of the eye and the structure that connects the eye to the brain.

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 causes severe eye pain. This often occurs 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) 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.


 

 

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