Eye pain can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and just downright debilitating. You may just want to lie down and avoid anything that involves having your eyes open. Unfortunately, that may not always be possible.

The only solution is to first figure out what is causing the pain, and then you can learn how to avoid it. Determining what is causing your pain depends on a multitude of factors, so it is best to learn as much as possible before ruling anything out.

It is important to think about all the details of your pain; specifically, if there are any additional symptoms and where the pain seems to be coming from. All of these factors can help determine how avoid or reduce eye pain.

Do You Have Any Additional Symptoms?

If you have any other symptoms along with the pain you should consider those symptoms, as well. The other symptoms may offer insight into the issue that you are dealing with, which will help you determine more quickly how to avoid or reduce eye pain. Some of the other common symptoms include:

  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Gunk or build up around the edges of your eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Feeling like you have something in your eye
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
  • Inability to see adequately for nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Your eye feels tired
  • Discharge of any color
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

Specifically, Where Is Your Eye Pain?

Another aspect to pay attention to is where the pain is coming from. Is it coming from the cornea, the optic nerve, or somewhere else? This could offer clues as to what is causing the pain. Some common specific areas for the pain include:

  • Cornea (in the front of your eye, and it focuses light)
  • Sclera (the white part of your eyes)
  • Conjunctiva (thin covering of the sclera and inner lining of the eyelid)
  • Iris (the colored part of your eye)
  • Orbit (the eye socket, which contains the eye and muscles)
  • Extraocular muscles (used to rotate your eye)
  • Nerves (transmit visuals to your brain)
  • Eyelids (protect and spread moisture)

Things That Cause Eye Pain


1. An eye injury

An eye injury can occur anytime your eye is hit by something or burned. This damage could be serious and permanent, so you should seek medical treatment quickly.

2. Dry eyes

This happens when your eyes aren’t producing enough tears. Your eyes will become dry without enough lubrication, and it can be painful or cause a burning sensation. Common reasons for dry eyes are riding in an airplane, riding a bike, looking at a computer or phone screen for too long, and even being in an air-conditioned room.

3. Blocked tear ducts

Blocked tear ducts can cause pain in your eye, irritation, and a watery eye. When this happens, it may be due to an infection or injury. Other symptoms you can watch for are swelling at the inside corner, build up around the edges of your eye, and your vision may become blurry.

4. Pinkeye

Medically known as conjunctivitis, pinkeye occurs when the conjunctiva becomes inflamed. Allergies can cause pinkeye, as can viral or bacterial infections. Other symptoms of pinkeye include the whites of your eyes being red, itching of your eye, and gunk or build up around the edges of your eye.

5. A sty

Having a sty is a common, essentially harmless condition that causes a small bump on the edge (inside or outside) of your eyelid. It is caused by an infected or inflamed oil gland or hair follicle.

6. Scratch on your cornea

Officially called a corneal abrasion, a scratch on your cornea can cause quite a bit of pain. Scratching your cornea is as easy as rubbing your eye. Unfortunately, this condition may require medical attention but, once you get treatment, is easy to heal.

7. Inflamed or infected cornea

Medically termed keratitis, this condition can occur as a result of a bacterial or viral infection in your eye. It commonly happens when contacts are left in your eyes overnight, you wear them for too long, or you wear dirty ones.

8. Something in your eye

This may seem obvious, but getting something in your eye can sometimes go unnoticed until you begin to feel pain. It may be dust, glitter, or just an eyelash but, if you don’t get it out right away, can cause pain and irritation.

9. Sinus infection

Commonly referred to as sinusitis and can cause pain behind one or both eyes. Pressure builds up in one of the sinus cavities behind your eyes, which is what causes the pain. It can get worse without medical attention.

10. Inflamed optic nerve

This is also referred to as optic neuritis. The optic nerve is the nerve that connects your eye to your brain and helps with scanning and tracking. The other symptoms may include vision loss and pain when you look back and forth.

Treatment For Eye Pain

The treatment for this kind of pain varies depending on the condition or cause. You will have to determine what the issue is and figure out if you need medical treatment or if you can solve the problem on your own.

Certain conditions, such as pinkeye, scratches on the eye, and infected or inflamed cornea, require antibacterial drops to heal. While scratches sometimes heal on their own, if no progress is being made it is wise to seek professional treatment. If pinkeye was caused by allergies, or if you have sinusitis, an antihistamine may be prescribed instead.

Other conditions may require corticosteroids or antiviral drops. Things that can be treated at home, such as sltyes, can sometimes be eased with a warm compress or, in the case of dry eyes, eye drops.

Each case is different, so it is important to know for sure what you are dealing with before trying any treatment options. A doctor should normally be consulted, as eye conditions can be serious.

How To Avoid Eye Pain

Learning to avoid or reduce eye pain is desirable, and it is entirely possible if you know what to do. There are several ways to avoid pain, and combining multiple methods can further reduce eye pain.

To avoid pain from dry eyes, you can adjust your environment by using a humidifier, giving your eyes a break from electronics screens, or using eye drops on a regular basis.

eye pain

Infection or inflammation of the cornea can be avoided by taking your contact lenses out each night before you go to bed and occasionally giving your eyes a complete break from them. You can avoid getting painful scratches on your eyes by trying to avoid rubbing them.

Other issues can be caused by wearing expired or borrowed makeup, not wearing protective eyewear when working with flames, tools, or other materials, and not treating allergies from the start. Gently washing your eyes before bed each night can help, too, especially if you wear makeup or work in an environment where something might get in your eyes.

Why Treatment and Avoidance of Pain Are Important

You use your eyes every day to read, drive, work, and just see in general. Losing your vision after having it for your entire life would be completely devastating and life-changing.

Eye pain can, unfortunately, lead to vision loss if it is something serious. While, many times, a condition that causes pain for your eyes is not detrimental in the long run, you still need to use extra caution with any issue. You won’t know if your condition or cause of pain is serious without seeking medical attention, so it is important to do so as soon as possible.

There are certain eye issues that you should never ignore because the issues are a sign of vision loss. These issues include continuous or frequent blurred vision, dulling of colors, irregular eyelids, the appearance of flashing light when there really isn’t, and the appearance of blocked vision when there is nothing blocking it.

Anytime you ignore the pain in or around your eye, you are risking vision loss or other issues. A simple visit to the doctor where a professional can diagnose and determine the seriousness of the issue can potentially save your vision.

Final Thoughts On 10 Things That Cause Eye Pain

This pain can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and it can cause serious eye and vision problems. It is important to figure out what the problem is so that you can learn how to avoid it and reduce eye pain. Without solving the problem, there can be many complications, and some may be irreversible.