Painful Ocular Discomfort: Understanding and Managing Eye Pain

Harman Kaur
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Eye Pain

Eye pain, medically called Ophthalmalgia, is a relatively common experience, typically not indicative of a severe underlying condition. 

It often resolves naturally without needing medication or specific treatment.

Eye pain can be categorized into two primary types based on its location: ocular pain, experienced on the eye’s surface, and orbital pain, originating from within the eye.

Surface-level eye pain is often described as a sensation of scratching, burning, or itching. 

Conversely, deeper eye pain may manifest as aching, gritty, stabbing, or throbbing sensations.

It’s crucial to note that if vision loss accompanies eye pain, it may signify a medical emergency. 

In such instances, you must contact your ophthalmologist promptly for immediate evaluation and intervention.

Causes of pain behind the eye

Understanding the possible causes of pain in the eye gives people an idea of when to seek medical help. 

There is a vast range of headaches, including those that cause eye pain.

Sinus infection

Doctors often mistake sinus infections for migraines because of common symptoms. 

Sinusitis can feel like a pain in the eye socket or orbit if caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction in the sinuses. 

A person should talk to a doctor to find out what’s causing a headache.

Discolored and thick nasal discharge is a usual symptom of a bacterial or viral infection in the sinus.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Facial pain
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Feeling of pressure
  • Impaired sense of smell

Treatment

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat this type of bacterial infection.

Doctors sometimes use a CT scan to determine whether sinus disease or migraine is causing the pain.

Migraine

migraine_headacheSource: m-gucci_from_Getty_Images
migraine headache

Migraine is an ordinary condition that relates to the brain. 

It can often cause headaches and excessive pain behind the eye. Therefore eye pain and headache are interrelated.

The condition affects around two in ten people. Moreover, it is generally seen in females more than in males. It also tends to run in families.

Migraine symptoms can cause visual disturbances, such as:

  • Zig-zag lines
  • Flashes of light,
  • Shimmering lights

These problems may only happen on one side of the head. It worsens when the person moves or is exposed to loud sounds, bright lights, or strong smells.

Migraine headaches can also make people feel sick and make them throw up. 

Treatment

People who suffer from Migraines use prescribed medications. 

These medications are responsible for balancing the chemical changes that lead to a migraine:

  • Zomig
  • Imitrex
  • Amerge

If Migraine attacks occur frequently and are severe, doctors may recommend daily medicines like beta-blockers.

Eyestrain

If you strain your eyes for longer, it can make them tired, dry, and blurry. 

According to research, people who stare at anything for an extended hour tend to blink their eyes less. This makes the eyes less moist. 

Therefore, it is always advised we should use digital devices from a comfortable distance.

Taking breaks from digital devices is also necessary to reduce eyestrain.

The following situations may put people at risk of eyestrain:

  • Longer screen hours
  • Driving for hours
  • Staring at a screen in dim light
  • Struggle to see without glasses

Treatment

Eye pain treatment where eyestrain is too much can be reduced by giving rest to the eyes.

Fact
Practicing the 20-20-20 rule can help in this situation.
It involves looking from a distance of 20 feet for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

This rare condition can happen when a life-threatening or septic blood clot forms in the Cavernous sinus.

The Cavernous sinus is a vein that goes from the back of the eye sockets to the bottom of the brain. A bacterial infection often causes this condition. 

Septic cavernous sinus thrombosis has the following reasons for occurrence:

  • Dental infections
  • Sinusitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Pharyngitis

People whose Diabetes is not under control or those taking cancer treatment may be at risk of developing cavernous sinus thrombosis.

Symptoms of the condition include,  

  • Vision changes
  • Severe, sudden headaches
  • High fever
  • Swelling around the eyes

Treatment

Doctors usually take three to four weeks to treat this condition. Antibiotics and antimicrobial treatments are required to do the same.

Experts also recommend anticoagulants for blood thinning and to prevent further blood clots. These are prescribed for several weeks by the doctors. 

Angle-closure glaucoma

Glaucoma is of two types primary open-angle and angle-closure.

The optic nerve is damaged in primary open-angle Glaucoma. It is so because eye fluid doesn’t drain properly. But this kind of Glaucoma is not so painful.

Angle-closure Glaucoma happens when a person’s iris blocks the draining angle where eye fluid leaves the eye. 

When this gets blocked, pressure builds up quickly, and to protect your vision, you need to see a doctor immediately.

Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Sudden, severe eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Seeing halos around lights

Treatment

Angle-closure Glaucoma is treated with medical treatments like eye drops, according to a doctor’s prescription.

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A person should use eye drops daily to reduce eye pressure. This treatment also helps in maintaining vision.

Giant cell arteritis

Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) is a type of vasculitis. It is a group of rare diseases causing inflammation of the blood vessels. 

This condition, also known as Temporal Arteritis, can lead to the swelling scalp, temples, and head arteries. 

Symptoms of GCA include

  • Fever
  • Persisting headache
  • Fatigue
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Loss of appetite

Permanent vision loss can also happen in some cases, which can be prevented with appropriate treatment. 

Treatment

High doses of corticosteroids, usually 40–60 milligrams (mg) per day of Prednisone for a month, are used to treat the condition.

Medications for eye pain

eye dropsSource: RossHelen
eye drops

Various medications are used to help with eye pain.

Different causes of eye pain are certain types of Glaucoma, dry eyes, abrasion of the cornea, and many other causes. 

Some medicines include of Bimatoprost, Azithromycin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Timolol, and many more, which are pain relief eye drops.

Eyemist E/D

Dry eyes are treated with Eyemist Eye Drop, an artificial tear or eye lubricant.

The active ingredient in this eye drop is Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose.

It belongs to the family of drugs known as “Ophthalmic Lubricants.” These are often used to treat dry eye conditions and in eye operations.

A dry eye is expected when the eyes don’t make enough or good enough tears. This tear production leads to inflammation and damage to the eye’s surface.

If there are insufficient tears in your eyes, your eyes won’t be moist, leading to dry eye occurrence.

Therefore, it is necessary to maintain sufficient lubrication of the eyes. This will help alleviate the irritation and burning caused by dry eyes.

The eye drops help increase the viscosity of tears in the eye, giving short relief from burning and pain.

The eye drop is also used as a pain medication after eye surgery.

Eyemist Eye Drops are also utilized in surgical assistance during eye procedures such as Cataract extraction and lens implantation.

It is done to avoid expediting the operational process and corneal damage and lower the risk of postoperative problems.

Careprost Plus Eye Drop

Bimatoprost and Timolol are the active ingredients in Careprost Plus Eye Drop.

Bimatoprost belongs to the Prostaglandins medical class. Timolol is a Beta-blockers medical course.

The eye drop is available in 3 ml concentrations of 0.03% and effectively treats intraocular pressure. It which can be bought from the online pharmacy WowRxPharmacy.

They work by making more Aqueous Humor, a clear, watery fluid that fills the space in front of the eyeball. It also lowers the pressure inside the eyeball, flowing out of the eye.

Before taking the eye drop, you should consult your doctor, as the severity of the disease varies from person to person. Your doctor will inform you about the frequency of taking the drops.

Milflox

Eye-bacterial infections are treated with Milflow, which is an antibiotic medication. The main salt in this eye drop is Moxifloxacin, a class of drugs known as Antibiotics.

The medication induces causative microorganisms and relieves infectious symptoms.

It eliminates bacteria that are the root cause of various infections.

The eye drop should only be taken with the consultation of a healthcare advisor, as it is a prescription-based medicine.

It stops bacteria from copying their DNA, which prevents them from making more of themselves and kills them in the long run.

Azithral eye drop

Azithral Eye Drop is an antibiotic medication that helps treat eye infections caused by bacteria. These infections include Trachoma Conjunctivitis and Bacterial Conjunctivitis.

Primary salt in this eye drop is Azithromycin, which belongs to a class of medication known as Macrolide antibiotics.

The medicine works by stopping bacteria from making essential proteins needed to do important things and eventually kills the bacteria.

In this way, it keeps infections from spreading and prevents germs from growing.

You shouldn’t take this eye drop without your doctor’s recommendation.

When the active ingredient in Azithral Eye Drops is combined with the nucleus of a bacterial cell, it stops the cell from making proteins needed for the population of bacteria to grow.

It has been demonstrated that the dosage of Azithral is efficient in inhibiting the reproduction and expansion of germs in the eyes. 

Additionally, it helps reduce the inflammation brought on by an infection in the eyes.

Lotepred eye drop

Lotepred Eye Drops is a medication for eye drops for red eyes and pain.  It is a Steroid, which is a class of medicines.

The bottle of Lotepred Eye Drops includes Loteprednol Etabonate as the active ingredient.

It stops the body from making chemicals that cause inflammation, which stops itching, redness, and pain.

A corticosteroid (steroids) blocks chemical messengers called Prostaglandins that cause inflammation and swelling in the brain.

Home & natural remedies for eye pain

natural remediesSource: JanPietruszka_from_Getty_Images
natural remedies

There is nothing better than natural ways to treat a problem.

Problems like eye pain can also be resolved with the help of home remedies.

Let’s have a look at some of them. 

Tea bags

Cold tea bags are effective ways to release eye pain. Placing it over your eyelids gives a sense of relaxation. It is seen as an effective home treatment.

There are different types of tea present, which are present on the market. Some of them have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.

For example, studies have shown that black tea, chamomile, green tea, and rooibos have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to reduce your swelling, tea bags are compelling. 

Warning
While anti-inflammatory medications might alleviate the symptoms of an eye infection, the underlying cause must be treated.

Cold compress

Cold compresses don’t take away your eye pain completely, but they give you some relaxation. They ease the discomfort of any eye disease.

Cold compresses are known for reducing swelling and eye infections or injuries.

You can use the compress by soaking a handkerchief in cool water and delicately placing it over your eye or eyes. 

Another option is to freeze a damp towel in a sealed plastic bag and use it as a soothing compress for your eyes. 

It’s essential to avoid applying ice directly to your eye or eyelid and refrain from applying excessive pressure.

Warm compress

Warm compression is effective when your eyes are sore, infected, or irritated.

A 2014 study conducted on 22 participants shows warm compress effectively improves eye health.

Warm compression is helpful with Blepharitis, according to a study of 2012 review. In this condition, the eyelid becomes inflamed and crusted.

In addition, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends using a warm compress to alleviate pink eye symptoms.

Warm compresses can alleviate Styes because they diminish the obstructions that create them. In addition, they can ease the symptoms of dry eye.

It’s essential to remember that while warm compresses can provide relief, they won’t cure the condition completely.

You can use it by immersing a cloth in warm water and carefully using it to compress your eyes gently. 

Ensure the cloth is clean to prevent introducing additional germs to your eyes. 

Saltwater

Using saline or saltwater is one of the most effective ways to help yourself with eye pain.

Saline works as an eyedrop, by which your eyes naturally clean themselves.

Salt has antibacterial effects as well. Therefore, it stands to reason that saline can efficiently treat eye infections.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera gel’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics can help alleviate eye discomfort and inflammation.

Combine one teaspoon of fresh aloe vera gel (extracted from aloe vera leaves) and two tablespoons of cold water.

Apply moistened cotton rounds to your closed eyes using a cotton swab for 10 minutes. Avoid directly applying aloe vera gel to your eyes.

Rose water

You must have heard at home that you can use rose water for eye pain.

The anti-inflammatory properties present in rose water eliminate conjunctivitis and pink eyes.

You can place cotton soaked in rose water over your eyelids and gently rub the same. You can also sprinkle a few drops of rose water on your eyes.

Avoid pollutants

Stay away from the smoke of a fire, cigarettes, and other pollutants.

If your profession demands exposure, wear protective eyewear to help retain moisture in your eyes.

Makeup products can also cause eye irritation. Please avoid makeup for some time if you suffer from eye-related discomfort.

Tulsi

Tulsi, or holy basil, is also a good treatment for soothing eyes, as it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Soak tulsi leaves in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse your eyes with cool water. Additionally, it can be used as a heated compress.

Conclusion

Eye pain, or Ophthalmalgia, is a common issue with various potential causes. 

It is typically not a sign of a severe underlying condition and often resolves without specific treatment. 

Eye pain can be categorized into surface-level ocular and deeper orbital pain, each with distinct sensations.

However, when eye pain is accompanied by vision loss, it may indicate a medical emergency requiring immediate attention from an ophthalmologist. 

Understanding the possible causes and available treatments, including medications and natural remedies, empowers individuals to seek timely relief and maintain their ocular health. 

Remember, your eyes deserve the utmost care and attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I be concerned about eye pain?

The presence of severe eye pain, particularly when coupled with any degree of vision loss, should serve as a critical warning sign of a potentially serious medical issue. In such circumstances, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention.

How can I relieve eye pain?

To relieve eye pain, use a warm compress, clean saline solution to rinse your eyes, and ensure proper eye hygiene. If the pain persists or worsens, consult an eye specialist for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.

What can cause pain in my eye?

Eye pain can result from various causes, including eye strain, infections, foreign objects, dry eyes, sinusitis, migraines, glaucoma, injuries, or underlying medical conditions. Any persistent or severe eye pain should prompt a medical evaluation.

Can eye pain be normal?

Experiencing mild eye irritation or a sensation of a foreign object in the eye is commonplace and often benign. Nonetheless, genuine eye pain can signal the presence of a serious condition that poses a risk to your vision.

Citations:
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