Pain in the eye may be described as a burning, throbbing, aching, or stabbing sensation in or around the eye. It may also feel like you have something stuck in your eye.
This article discusses eye pain not caused by injury.
Ophthalmalgia; Pain - eye
Pain in the eye can be an important symptom of a health problem. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have eye pain that does not go away.
Tired eyes or some eye discomfort (eye strain) is usually a minor problem. These problems may be caused by the wrong eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Sometimes it is due to problem with the eye muscle.
Many things can cause pain in or around the eye. If the pain is severe, does not go away, or causes vision loss, seek medical attention immediately.
Some things that can cause eye pain are:
Resting your eyes can often relieve discomfort due to eye strain.
If you wear contacts, try using glasses for a few days to see if the pain goes away.
If the pain is severe or continues, call your health care provider.
Contact your health care provider if:
Your health care provider will check your vision, eye movements, and the back of the eye.. If there is major concern, you should see an ophthalmologist. This is a doctor who specializes in eye problems,
To better understand the source of the pain, your health care provider may ask:
The following eye tests may be done:
Wright JL, Wightman JM. Red and painful eye. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 32.
Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 431.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.