We tend to take our vision for granted, but one bout of serious eye pain is enough to realize how important your eye health really is. Eye pain can be caused by anything from conjunctivitis to a corneal abrasion, and no matter the cause, it’s always annoying. Dealing with frustrating eye pain? Find out what to do when your eyes hurt so you can get back to living your life.
What to Do When Your Eyes Hurt
Eye Anatomy Basics
When your eyes hurt, it can be hard to identify the culprit. A good first step is to familiarize yourself with your eye’s anatomy so you can communicate the painful area to your eye doctor. There are several parts of your eye that may be affected:
- Cornea: This is the clear window in the front of your eye that helps focus light. The cornea is particularly vulnerable to corneal abrasions.
- Conjunctiva: The ultra-thin layer that covers the whites of your eyes, the conjunctiva can be vulnerable to conditions like conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.
- Eyelids: Your eyelids are the outside coverings that protect your eyes and keep them from drying out.
- Orbit: Also known as the eye socket, the orbit is where the eye and its muscles are located.
Identify the Cause
Once you’ve identified which section of your eye hurts, it’s time to figure out potential causes for your eye pain:
- Corneal Abrasion: This is a scratch on your cornea.
- Conjunctivitis: Otherwise known as pink eye, this condition causes redness, pain, pus, and burning in the eyes. Pink eye can be highly contagious, so you’ll need to take a day or two off work if you’re infected. Pink eye symptoms might also be due to allergic conjunctivitis, which is eye inflammation caused by allergies.
- Glaucoma: Eye pain can also be caused by glaucoma, which grows more painful as pressure builds inside your eye.
- Sty: A sty is a painful bump that forms on or inside your eyelid, usually indicating a bacterial infection.
- Cluster Headaches: These frustrating headaches can cause pain in or behind your eyes.
Treating Mild Eye Pain
If your eye pain is relatively mild, you can probably treat it at home. Start by placing a cold compress at the site of the pain, which can help reduce burning and itching. You can also purchase over-the-counter eye drops, which can help flush dirt and dust from your eyes and soothe burning. Finally, you can prevent further eye pain by wearing sunglasses when outside and avoiding excessive screen time.
Treating Severe Eye Pain
If you’re dealing with burning, stabbing, or otherwise severe pain accompanied by blurred vision or excessive mucus, you need to see an eye doctor immediately. If you have a foreign body in your eye, don’t attempt to remove it – instead, head straight for the emergency room. If you’re suffering from severe eye pain but don’t know the cause, give your eye doctor a call to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
It can be hard to know what to do when your eyes hurt. While eye pain can generally be treated at home, it’s best to approach all eye-related issues seriously to protect your vision. This includes scheduling regular visits with your optometrist to keep your eyes functioning properly.
When did you last visit your optometrist? If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Heffington’s. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!