Your eyes are one of nature’s most precious gifts. They are your connection to the beauty around you.
But there arise times when these gifts require our utmost attention. Eye pain, in most cases, is not something to worry about. With little care, it can be treated at home. However, eye pain may be the first sign of an arising problem. So whenever you are experiencing an ache, search for its reason and solve the issue to avoid the seriousness of the situation.
Anatomy of an eye
First of all, let’s understand the anatomy of the eyes. When you think of the eye, the image formed in the head is only the whites and colored parts of your eye, but the eye’s structure is much more complex than that.
The basic structure of the eye can be broken into seven parts.
It’s a thin transparent protective membrane that covers the outer layer of your eyeballs.
The whites of your eye that surround your iris and pupil. It’s a tough layer that makes the outer layer of the eye.
Light enters through the transparent curved layer covering the iris and pupil. The cornea is a protective layer for the eye. The job of cornea is to focus the light on the retina.
Right after the cornea is the black dot of the eye- pupil.
The most beautiful part of the eye. The colored part of the eye controls how much light enters the eye.
Just behind the iris is the lens. It focuses the light on the retina.
Finally, the retina. An image is formed on the retina, which contains the sensory cells. The brain senses the image, and voila, you see what’s in front of you.
If any of these parts are not working properly or facing a problem, you may face pain in your eye.
Eye pain symptoms
Eye pain or ophthalmoplegia can have several reasons. The eyeball’s dryness, foreign object in the eye, or any other medical condition can cause pain in your eye.
You face eye pain when:
- It feels severe pressure in your eyeballs as if they are bulging out.
- Burning in the eyes.
- Have a sensation of having a foreign object in the eye
- Stabbing pain accompanied by watering in the eyes, blurred vision, and redness in the eye.
- Sensitivity to light.
When you face any of these symptoms, you are suffering from eye problems.
Now, what causes eye pain? There may be several reasons.
Common causes of eye pain
As eye pain is an essential part of our life, you may also have face it many times. There is always a reason when we face such an issue. The most common can be resolved by yourself. The most common causes of eye pain are
Eye strain or fatigue
We live in the age of screens. You are even reading this article on a screen! Due to high exposure to light and working late, you may face eye pain, redness, and excessive tearing.
It is a medical condition that occurs when the oil glands at the base of your eye get clogged. The result is your eyelids become swollen and red with severe itching and pain.
Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
It is the infection or allergic reaction in the conjunctiva. Pink eye may cause sore red eyes along with pus and burning in the eye. It may be viral, bacterial, or some allergic reaction. In case when the pink eye is viral, it’s highly contagious.
Cluster headaches are no doubt unbearable. They cause not only pain but also cause redness and watering of the eye.
If you love to wear contact lenses, you are at high risk of corneal ulcers. The corneal ulcer is a bacterial infection that can cause pain in one or both of your eyes with redness and tearing. As this is a bacterial infection, medication is necessary for its treatment.
Iritis causes inflammation in the iris. It causes an ache in one or both of your eyes accompanied by redness and severe watering. What causes iritis; the actual cause may be sometimes unknown, but primarily due to genetic reasons.
Glaucoma is the pressure caused by the fluid buildup in front of the eye, leading to vision problems. It can be extremely painful as the pressure increases and, in some cases, can cause blindness in people of age over 60.
Optic neuritis is the damaging of your optic nerve due to its swelling. It causes pain in the eye during movement and temporary vision loss in the eye.
It is caused by a bacterial infection that leads to the swelling of the eyelid which causes pain around the eye and feels soft to touch, but it’s very discomforting.
Dry eye conditions
Dry eye conditions are the most common cause of eye pain. When there is a lack of moisture in the eyes or sensation of a foreign object, sensitivity to light can lead to dry eyes. The conditions leading to dry eyes can be excessive use of contact lenses, reaction to drugs, or environmental factors.
Photokeratitis (flash burns)
Due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, the eyes feel like burning. Ultraviolet light can cause sunburn to the upper surface of your eye, and it really does hurt!
Age is one of the significant reasons for eye pain. With growing age, you may find it difficult to read or see an object far away. This causes strain on the eye, which leads to eye pain and headaches. The solution to this problem is simple. Get yourself checked and find the best eyeglass prescription that helps you to overcome the situation.
A corneal abrasion is nothing, just a scratch on the surface of the cornea. It causes itching and is a painful condition, but mostly it heals on its own.
You can have pain and various problems in the eye as a result of some trauma. It may be an accident or sudden exposure to harmful light.
Sinus infection also causes you to experience severe eye pain and tearing. But the situation readily resolves as you recover from the disease.
How is eye pain treated?
The treatment of eye pain depends upon the correct diagnosis. Usually, it takes a few days for the eye to heal itself. However, caution is to visit an ophthalmologist.
The most common treatments include
The best way to treat your pain is taking a break and giving rest to your eyes. The eye strain can be sufficiently reduced by decreasing screen time and splashing cold water into the eyes.
Most of the time, flushing eye with cold water helps to remove a foreign object or a chemical from eye. Doctors advise the use of saline solution and coving of eyes for some time to treat it. Frequent hand washing also reduced chances of several eye infections.
In the case of conjunctivitis, the eyes heal in 7-14 days. Eyes are frequently washed with saline solution, and with only proper care at home, eyes are good as new.
Proper use of Glasses
To avoid all the problems related to contact lenses, it’s better to take a break from them. Use glasses off and on to avoid problems like corneal abrasion and corneal ulcers. It offers time for your cornea to heal by using your glasses.
using eye compress
To reduce clogged oil, as in blepharitis, doctors usually advise patients to use eye compress. The moist warm towels clear the eye, and the eye is treated without any medication. Same goes for Sty. The swelling gets visibly reduced by using compress.
When to call A Doctor?
- Most of the time, eye pain subdue in a few hours, but if the following symptoms continue, you have an eye emergency. Immediately consult the doctor.
- even after the home remedies, the pain does not improve
- The pain gets better but comes back or worsened.
- The pain worsens and is accompanied by headaches, tearing and itching, or any other symptom.
- You have a history of glaucoma and face sudden pressures in eye, and sudden loss of vision.
- Your daily function is being affected by eye pain.
How will a professional treat eye pain?
When the usual method fails to treat eye pain, it’s advised to visit an Ophthalmologist. A doctor treats you after the correct diagnosis of the cause of pain. A doctor may advise you to use one of the following.
In mild cases, the doctors will prescribe you antibiotics drops or oral medication to treat the pain. Conjunctivitis and corneal abrasions and most of the allergies are readily treated by the use of these medications.
Eye drops are very effective in reducing the pressure in the eyes of people suffering from glaucoma.
Medication to reduce pain
Sometimes it takes days to improve the condition of the eye. So to reduce the discomfort of the patient, the doctor may advise using medication to reduce pain. The doctor cuts off these medications as the eye heals and the underlying condition gets better.
Last Solution Surgery
In worsened situation, the doctor may advise surgery. It’sIt’s rare but possible. Most of the patients suffering from glaucoma are advised to have laser surgery as the damage due to glaucoma is irreversible.
Protect your eyes to prevent eye pain
To prevent eye pain, you must first protect your eyes. In day-to-day life, you can avoid many accidents if you take little precautions.
Be cautious with chemicals.
You use a lot of chemical products in your daily life. Detergents, pest controls, and household cleaners must all be used wearing goggles. Always spray them away from your body to reduce contact.
Protective eyewear is a must.
Many accidents occur due to negligence. You can easily avoid eye problems by using protective eyewear. Always use goggles or safety glasses if you work in construction or around the small flying object that may get in your eye.
Also, use protective wear while playing sports or simple activities like lawn mowing or working in your shed. Little precaution may save you from significant damages.
Keep the hygiene of your contact lens perfect.
Wash your hands thoroughly while putting on your lens. Don’tDon’t forget to thoroughly clean your lenses regularly. Also do not use them unnecessarily and finally use glasses too to give your eyes some rest.
Keep your eyes healthy.
Finally, take a lot of care of your eyes. Once you lose vision, likely you won’t restore it. Here are some tips to keep your eyes healthy for a long time.
Take a healthy and balanced diet.
A balanced diet takes the first step in keeping your eyes for a long time. Take plenty of vegetables, fruits, and foods rich in omega-3.
Watch your weight
Obesity or being overweight may lead to diabetes which directly affects your eyes by developing glaucoma. Get regular exercise to keep to weight in check to avoid health problems related to your eyes and general health.
Be stylish and careful too.
Use sunglasses to look stylish and avoid ultraviolet radiation at the same time. With the advent of technology, many sunglasses offer features to prevent harmful rays from entering your eyes.
You very well know that smoking causes many health problems and is very harmful to the eyes. If you are a smoker, you are likely to be affected by macular degeneration with age. Smoking may also lead to damage of optical nerve, so you must avoid it at all costs.
Watch your family history.
Your family history may also help you to be watchful. Many eye problems are inherited. So it’s good to be updated on the family history to know who has suffered from the same problem. Also, know your risk factor to pre-plan for an upcoming eye problem in the future.
Eyes are your windows to your soul. Take care of your eyes to keep these windows sparkling and beautiful.