Symptoms and Signs of Eye Pain

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/19/2021

Doctor's Notes on Eye Pain

Eye pain is pain or discomfort that originates within the structures of the eye or the surrounding structures, including the eyelids, conjunctival membranes, cornea, or muscles and nerves that control the eye. There are a number of different causes of eye pain, including corneal infections, corneal abrasions, conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), glaucoma, optic neuritis, and sinusitis, among others. A foreign object in the eye is also a source of eye pain, along with trauma or injury to the eye area. 

Signs and symptoms associated with eye pain vary depending on the exact cause of the pain. These may include:

Other associated symptoms can include the sensation of something in the eye, such as a gritty or irritated feeling.

What Is the Treatment for Eye Pain?

Treatment for eye pain depends on the cause of the pain.

  • Surgical repair is necessary for some types of trauma to the skull that involves the eye, and foreign objects should be removed by a medical professional.
  • Eye infections can be treated with antibiotic drops or gels, and corticosteroids may be prescribed for more serious infections. 
  • Glaucoma can be treated with medicated eye drops.
  • Warm compresses may help control the pain due to blepharitis or a stye

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.