Depending on where the pain occurs, eye pain can be divided into two categories:

1. Eye pain (which occurs on the surface of the eye); 
2. Orbital pain (occurring inside the eye).

Eye pain is quite frequent, but it is rarely the symptom of a serious illness. 
You can feel the pain in your eyes, even when they are closed.


Causes of eye pain

The discomfort or pain may be caused by a problem in the eye or adjacent structures, including:

  • Cornea : The transparent membrane in front of the eye where the received light is concentrated;
  • Sclera : White part outside the wall of the eye;
  • Conjunctiva : Fine sclera coating;
  • Iris : Colored part of the eye with the pupil in the middle;
  • Orbit : Bone cavity that contains the eye and eye muscles;
  • Extraocular muscles : Muscles that turn the eye;
  • Nerves : Carry visual information from the eyes to the brain.

Ocular pain on the outer surface

Contact Lens Irritation
People who wear contact lenses at night or do not disinfect properly are more susceptible to eye pain caused by irritation or infection.

Corneal ulcer (infection)
Corneal ulcer (or ulcerative keratitis) can cause severe eye pain. A corneal infectionoccurs when bacteria enters through a cut in the cornea. 
With the use of worn disposable contact lenses it is easier to develop corneal ulcer. 
Symptoms include:

A corneal ulcer can become a serious illness. 
Some bacteria can be extremely aggressive and the cornea may perforate causing an endophthalmitis or an infection inside the eye. 
The treatment is based on antibiotic eye drops which must be applied often (sometimes every 1/2 hour.)

The blepharitis is the inflammation or infection of the eyelid irritation or pain.

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by allergies or infections (viral or bacterial). The blood vessels in the conjunctiva become swollen and the normally white part of the eye turns red. 
Other symptoms of conjunctivitis may include:

  • Itching,
  • Loses

This disorder is among the most frequent causes of eye pain in children.

Foreign bodies
Occurs when there is something in the eye:

  • A little dirt,
  • Plant waste,
  • When there is wind you can get some sand,
  • Fragments of a contact lens.

Foreign bodies are generally irritating, wash eyes with water. If they are not removed, foreign bodies can cause abrasions of the cornea. 
Abrasion of the cornea is the most frequent cause of nocturnal pain in the eyes. 
There is also a sensation of something spider when we open our eyelids when we wake up in the morning. 

The terçol is an infection or inflammation of the edges of the eyelid at the level of follicles of the cilia or sebaceous glands. 
Generally a stye is a very localized and painful area, similar to a spine, over the eyelid.

Scleritis is a rare disorder that involves inflammation of the eye wall (sclera). 
It is usually linked to serious health problems such as autoimmune diseases or vascular diseases (polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis , lupus). 
The white part of the eye may become red, swollen and sore.


Orbital or internal pain

The causes of deep orbital pain are: 
Corneal infection ( keratitis ): The inflamed or infected cornea may be caused by herpes , may have worn contact lenses at night or by improper cleaning.

The Glaucoma is an eye disease that usually causes no symptoms at first. 
In the case of acute angle glaucoma, the pressure inside the eye suddenly increases. 
The symptoms are:

These symptoms are an emergency, need immediate treatment to prevent blindness.

Iritis and and iridocyclitis Iritis and

iridocyclitis (or anterior uveitis ) is inflammation of the iris or the ciliary body of the eye, it is a rare disease. 
It can be caused by trauma, infection or autoimmune diseases. 
Symptoms include:

  • Pain,
  • Red eyes ,
  • Sensitivity to light,
  • Floating points before the eyes (flying flies),
  • Loss of vision.

Optic neuritis
The optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve (nerve that connects to the back of the eye to the brain). 
Symptoms of optic neuritis include:

  • Severe pain in the eyes when they move
  • Loss of vision.
  • Change in color perception (tint weakening),

The cause may be an autoimmune disease, a viral or bacterial infection.


Pain in the eyes along with other symptoms

  • Itching and redness – the cause may be an allergic reaction
  • Sensitivity to light ( photophobia ) – with corneal ulcer, uveitis, keratitis and migraine
  • Transparent or colored secretions (pus) – if the patient is suffering from conjunctivitis or infectious keratitis
  • Difficulty opening the eye because it is glued or nailed – caused by infectionor the consequence of laser surgery .
  • Foreign body sensation – occurs due to Graves’ disease,
  • Nausea or vomiting  – as in the case of glaucoma or migraine.
  • Decreased vision – may be the consequence of optic neuritis, corneal abrasion, foreign bodies, glaucoma, migraine, iridocyclitis and ocular herpes.
  • Tired eyes – overworked computer.
  • Headaches – for example, in cases of sinusitis or refractive errors ( myopia , astigmatism or farsightedness ).


Diagnosis of eye pain

The doctor can diagnose some common eye diseases such as conjunctivitis . 
For any potentially serious cause of eye pain, the doctor will refer you to an ophthalmologist. 
Ophthalmologists have several tools for diagnosing eye pain, all commonly used in the office:

  • slit lamp examination using bright light to look at your eyes to see the structures of the eye.
  • Eye Exam  – Dilation of the pupil with drops to allow the doctor to see the fundus of the eye.
  • Tonometry to measure pressure in the eye and detect high pressure in the eye (in case of glaucoma).


Home Remedies for Eye Pain

Generally, home remedies consist of moisturizing the eyes with water. 
With the entry of a foreign body or chemical into the eye, it is important to wash the eye with warm water or eye drops.

An effective method to remove the foreign body is:

  • Fill a bowl of water,
  • Dipping your face in the water,
  • Open and close your eyes.

That way if there is something inside it can come out safely, otherwise do not try to remove a foreign body in the eye, you need to consult a medical professional.


Treatment for eye pain

The treatment varies according to the eye disease.

Conjunctivitis: Infectious and cured form with eye drops or ointments, antibiotics if symptoms are severe or persist for more than two weeks. 
Allergic conjunctivitis with antihistamines and anti-allergic drops.

Corneal abrasions and ulcerations: There are eye drops and anti-inflammatory medicines for pain, but if your doctor suspects an infection, you may prescribe eye drops and an antibiotic ointment. 
A dressing is needed for the eye for at least two or three consecutive days to promote healing of the cornea.

Foreign body in the eye: There are several techniques to remove foreign bodies:

1. Irrigation with eye wash, 
2. Removal with a cotton swab, 
3. Remove with a small needle.

Blepharitis: Your doctor teaches you how to wipe the edges of the eyelid with a mild shampoo on a soft cloth twice a day to remove excess oil.

Terçol or calázio: The therapy for these formations consists of putting hot compresses in the eyes for 15-20 minutes, four times a day. 
It is possible to apply an antibiotic ointment. 
If the calyx does not go away within three to four weeks, the ophthalmologist may surgically empty it.

Glaucoma: Glaucoma has many therapeutic options, depending on the type, severity and duration of the attack. 
Glaucoma can be a medical emergency, with the risk of permanent eye damage occurring within a few hours if left untreated. 
Medical treatment begins with medicines to reduce fluid in the eye, such as:

  • Beta blockers,
  • Eye drops or drops of cortisone to reduce inflammation,
  • Drops of a medication for constriction of the pupil.

Other medications may be given intravenously or in tablet form. 
If these treatments do not reduce the intraocular pressure of the eye, surgery may be considered.

Iritis: this disease can be treated with eye drops that cause dilation of the pupils and with topical steroid eye drops. 
In severe cases of iritis, your doctor may prescribe oral steroids.

Optic neuritis : Gradual loss of vision and pain in the eye during movement are signs of an illness that must be diagnosed by the neurologist and ophthalmologist.

What happens when we ignore the pain in our eyes?

In most cases the pain in the eye goes by itself or with natural remedies. 
Diseases that cause eye pain rarely cause permanent eye damage, but it is possible. 
For example, the pain and symptoms caused by glaucoma are the sign of an impending problem. If not diagnosed and treated early, glaucoma can cause vision problems and even total blindness.

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