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Eye Pain


What is eye pain?

Eye pain can be sharp, aching or throbbing, and can affect one or both eyes. Eye pain is more serious than the simple irritation one feels from a piece of dirt or small foreign object in the eye. In such cases, discomfort disappears once the foreign object is removed. The type of eye pain discussed here is more intense and longer-lasting, and can be accompanied by other symptoms. Some eye pain may be a sign of an underlying health problem or injury, and should be brought to the attention of a doctor as soon as possible.

Who is more likely to experience eye pain?

The symptom of eye pain is not associated with any particular group of people. Eye pain due to injuries can happen to anyone, particularly when protective eyewear is not used during activities that put the eyes at risk.

Possible Causes

What causes eye pain?

Eye pain can be caused by several conditions and factors. These can include:

  • A bacterial or viral infection. Infecting organisms can be picked up on one’s hands, and then transferred to the eyes by rubbing them or placing a finger in or near the eyes.
  • A bacterial or viral infection that spreads from an area of one’s own body (such as the nose or sinuses) to the eyes.
  • Dirty contact lenses, poorly fitting contact lenses, or decorative contact lenses.
  • Allergic reactions to pollen or animals.
  • Irritation from cigarette smoke, air pollutants, chlorine in a swimming pool or other toxins.
  • Swelling or inflammation of the eye.
  • An increase in eye pressure. This can happen when the fluid in the eye is not balanced.

What are some common conditions and symptoms associated with eye pain?

Common conditions and symptoms linked to eye pain can include:

  • Cellulitis: Inflammation of tissue beneath the surface of the skin.
    • Preseptal: Affects the skin of the eyelid; found especially in young children.
    • Orbital: Affects the eye socket, causing the eye or eyelid to swell so that proper eye movement becomes difficult.
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye): An infection or allergic reaction in the conjunctiva, the mucous membranes that line the inner eyelids and surface of the eyeballs.
    • Viral: Most common type of pink eye. Causes burning, red, watery eyes. Is highly contagious, particularly in school settings or crowds of people.
    • Bacterial: May be highly contagious. Causes sore, red eyes with sticky pus.
    • Allergic: Stems from an allergic reaction to an airborne allergen. Is not contagious. Causes itching, red, watery eyes.
  • Corneal abrasion: A scrape or scratch on the cornea.
  • Corneal laceration: A cut on the cornea, usually caused by a sharp object flying into the eye, or something hitting the eye with force. A laceration may tear partially or completely through the eyeball.
  • Corneal ulcer: An open sore on the cornea, caused by either infection, severe dry eye or other conditions.
  • Dry eye: Lack of moisture in the eyes, leading to the sensation of a foreign object in the eye, sensitivity to light, tearing up, and sometimes redness. Causes include wearing contact lenses, use of certain drugs (such as antihistamines, beta blockers, opiates, and tricyclic antidepressants), disease, injury or environmental factors (such as air conditioning).
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy: An eye disease in which cells in the upper layers of the cornea die off, causing fluid buildup, swollen and puffy eyes, and blurred vision.
  • Keratitis: An infection of the cornea (the clear dome-shaped front of the eye) resulting from injury or use of contact lenses. The infection can be caused by a fungus, bacteria, herpes virus, amoeba, or intense exposure to ultraviolet radiation (such as in snow blindness or welder’s arc eye). If left untreated, blindness can occur.
  • Glaucoma: Fluid buildup in the front of the eye, causing pressure that damages the optic nerve. This is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years of age.
    • Primary open-angle glaucoma: Fluid does not drain from the eye normally. This kind of glaucoma rarely causes eye pain.
    • Angle-closure glaucoma: The iris (the colored part of the eye) is very close to the drainage angle of the eye, potentially blocking proper drainage. Angle-closure glaucoma causes pain more often than other types of glaucoma.
  • Hyphema: Blood collects between the cornea and iris, usually due to an injury that causes a tear to the iris or pupil of the eye.
  • Microvascular cranial nerve palsy: Blood flow to the nerves that control eye movement is blocked. As a result, normal eye movement is not possible and double vision may result. Is found frequently in people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Optic neuritis: Swelling of the optic nerve, the nerve that carries light signals to the back of the eye, and then to the brain for processing of visual images. Optic neuritis may be an autoimmune disease, and is often found in people who have had virus-based diseases such as mumps, measles, flu or multiple sclerosis.
  • Uveitis: Inflammation of the middle layer of the eyeball (the uvea). Damage to eye tissue can be serious, leading to blindness.

Care and Treatment

How is eye pain treated?

Generally, eye pain is first treated by determining the cause of the pain and then treating that cause. Pain medicines are typically not needed.

For infectious conditions:

  • Eye drops that reduce inflammation (corticosteroids) or that widen the pupil of the eye in order to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral eye drops.
  • Oral non-narcotic medications to reduce pain or allergy symptoms.
  • Use a clean towel or tissue every time when wiping the face or eyes.
  • Wash hands frequently, particularly after coughing, sneezing or using the toilet.
  • Keep hands and fingers out of the eyes.
  • Avoid the use of contact lenses when the eyes are infected.
  • Do not use makeup when the eyes are infected.

In cases of eye injury:

  • Seek medical care as soon as possible.
  • Gently place a shield over the eye until medical attention can be received. A shield can be made from something as simple as the bottom of a paper cup that has been cut out and taped over the eye.
  • Unless there has been a chemical injury, do not rinse with water.
  • Do not try to remove an object stuck in the eye.
  • Do not rub or apply pressure to the eye.
  • If the eye is bleeding, discuss with the eye doctor whether to avoid the use of aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, as these may thin the blood and make it more difficult to control bleeding.

Other treatments:

  • Lubricating eye drops.
  • Surgical treatments can replace a damaged or scarred cornea with transplanted cells or an entire cornea. Surgery can also help restore the function of damaged eye muscles or remove a foreign object from the eye.
  • Laser surgery can improve drainage in the eye in cases of glaucoma.
  • Prism glasses or the use of eye patches may be used to assist in recovery from certain conditions such as microvascular cranial nerve palsy.

When to Call the Doctor

When should I call a doctor?

Any case of eye pain should be taken seriously. However, eye pain along with any of the following symptoms is of great concern:

  • Vomiting
  • A visual sensation of halos around lights
  • A buildup of fluid pressure behind the cornea
  • Signs of bodily infection (such as fever or chills)
  • Blurred vision
  • Bulging eyeballs
  • Inability to move the eyes through their normal range

Pressure Behind My Eye: Common Questions

Pressure behind the eye can be an uncomfortable and worrisome situation. However, do know that eye pressure is a common side effect of many conditions and is usually very easy to treat.

Several conditions can result in pressure behind the eye, so proper diagnosis is essential to seeking the appropriate course of treatment.

Here’s a list of the most common causes for pressure behind the eyes, symptoms, and treatments.

Sinus Infection

A sinus infection (‘sinusitis’) is caused when your sinus cavity becomes infected with either a bacterial or viral infection. These infections often lead to swelling of the sinuses, which can result in added pressure to the face, including behind the eyes.

Sinus Infection Symptoms:

  • Pain behind eyes, nose and cheeks
  • Stuffy, runny nose
  • Excessive or abnormal mucus
  • Cough
  • Heavy or difficult breathing
  • Headache
  • Eye pain or pressure
  • Fever
  • Fatigue


Sinus infections are generally very easy to treat, usually with a short course of antibiotics. Other treatments, like sinus irrigation, can help ease sinus symptoms while the antibiotics work through your system. Steroid shots, decongestants, and some over the counter medications can also ease discomfort. You should start to feel results within two to three days of treatment.


There are two types of headaches that are known to cause pressure behind the eyes — tension and cluster.

Generally associated with mild to moderate pain, a tension headache is often described as having a tight band around your head. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, though the causes aren’t well defined. Symptoms include dull, aching head pain, a feeling of tightness or pressure across your forehead or the sides of your head, and tenderness to the scalp, shoulder and neck muscles.


Various treatments are available for tension headaches. The first course of action is usually an over the counter pain remedy like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen to reduce the pain. If over the counter medications are ineffective or the tension headaches persist, your doctor may recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scan to further troubleshoot any potential issues and recommend a course of prescription medications.

Cluster headaches tend to have a defined pattern of when they occur and are one of the most painful types of headaches. The bouts of attacks, also called ‘cluster periods’, can last for weeks or months and are usually followed by remission periods when the headaches stop for a few weeks or months before returning again. Cluster headaches often come in the middle of the night while sleeping and are characterized with intense pain around one eye on one side of your head, excessive tearing, sweating, redness in the eye affected, stuffy or runny nose on the affected side, and swelling around the eyes.


As one of the more painful and persistent types of headaches, proper diagnosis is essential for the treatment of cluster headaches. Diagnosis is achieved through a neurological examination by your physician, which usually includes either an MRI or CT scan, or both. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cluster headaches, so treatment plans aim to reduce the timeframe and severity of attacks. Treatments might include a pure oxygen regimen, triptans – an injection that is also used to treat migraines, octreotide – a synthetic version of the brain hormone somatostatin, and local anesthetics.


Tooth Pain

Though it might seem counterintuitive, issues with your bite or jaw alignment can cause tension in the muscles in your face, which can lead to tension headaches and pain behind the eyes.

Tooth pain can have a variety of causes, so proper diagnosis by a dentist or orthodontist can help identify the underlying cause.

For bite or jaw-specific issues, orthodontic work or surgery may be required for long-term relief.

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones, called ‘hyperthyroidism’. Because thyroid hormones can affect a wide range of different body systems, symptoms associated with the disease can be varied and have a significant influence on your overall health and wellbeing.


  • Weight loss
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Change in menstrual cycles
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Bulging eyes

Approximately 30% of people with Graves’ disease also suffer from a condition called Graves’ ophthalmopathy where inflammation and other immune system disorders affect the muscles and tissues around the eyes. This can result in bulging eyes, puffy or retracted eyelids, light sensitivity, pressure or pain in the eyes, double vision, or vision loss.


The primary goal of Graves’ disease treatments is to inhibit the production of thyroid hormones and to minimize the effect that the hormones have on the body. Common treatment plans include radioactive iodine therapy, anti-thyroid medications, beta blockers, and surgery.

For Graves’ ophthalmopathy specifically, mild symptoms can easily be treated with over-the-counter solutions like artificial tears and lubricating gels. For more serious symptoms, your doctor might recommend corticosteroids to reduce swelling, prisms in glasses to reduce double vision, orbital decompression surgery to give your eyes room to move back into proper placement, or orbital radiotherapy to fix tissue behind the eye.

Damage to the Optic Nerve

Optic neuritis, or swelling in the optic nerve, has several causes and can lead to long-term damage and vision loss if not treated.

Autoimmune disorders like lupus, neuromyelitis optica, or multiple sclerosis can lead to the deterioration of the body’s nervous system, including the optic nerve. Other causes of optic neuritis include infections, ocular herpes, sinusitis, nutritional deficiency, and neurological disorders.


  • Pain
  • Loss of color vision
  • Visual field loss
  • Vision loss in one eye
  • Flashing lights

Proper diagnosis is essential for proper treatment of optic neuritis. Common tests to determine the condition and severity include a routine eye exam, ophthalmoscopy, and pupillary light reaction test. In some cases, your doctor might also recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, blood tests, optical coherence tomography (OCT), or a visual evoked response.


In many cases, optic neuritis will improve on its own. In some cases, steroid therapy may be recommended to reduce swelling in the optic nerve. Other treatments are specific to the underlying condition that is causing the attack of the optic nerve. In rare cases, when steroid therapy fails, and severe vision loss continues, plasma exchange therapy might be recommended to help recover some of the vision lost.

Injury to the Face

Injuries to the face, such as injuries sustained during a car accident or by playing sports, may result in varying degrees of pressure and pain behind the eyes. Specifically, any type of fracture to the eye socket can result in the feeling of pressure in addition to damage to eye muscles, nerves, and sinuses.


  • Black eye
  • Bulging eye(s)
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness around the eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes

Treatment for facial pressure due to facial injury will focus on healing the facial damage first. If eye pressure persists, other treatments may be explored to diagnose any additional damage or underlying issues.

When To See A Doctor

The feeling of pressure behind the eyes alone is not a serious medical condition and over the counter solutions could help ease the pain and discomfort. However, some symptoms, like loss of vision, fever, swelling, or frequent headaches should be evaluated by a physician for proper diagnosis.  

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms or think you might have an eye condition resulting to pressure behind your eyes, contact your primary care physician for a medical review. If an eye specialist is required, feel free to contact us for a personal consultation.

Pain behind the eyes and its many sources




Unexplainable pain behind the eyes is one of the most alarming symptoms for patients. Note: The causes of eye pain are often different from the causes of pressure behind the eyes. Learn more about them, as well as eye care tips.

The cause Migraines and other headaches

The American Migraine Foundation notes that headaches and pain around the eyes often go together. Most are classified as a migraine- or tension-type and aren’t related to eye strain. Migraines are frequently associated with a feeling of pressure or pain behind the eyes.


  • Pulsing, or tightening and pressing pain in the head
  • Cluster headaches. These will last for 15180 minutes up to eight times a day
  • Infection, swelling, or facial pain is common with cluster headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Strange lights or sounds before the onset of a headache
  • Infection, swelling, or pain in areas of the face, including the eyes, is common with cluster headaches

Sinus infection

The sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull, positioned above, below, behind, and between the eyes. Problems with the sinuses often include feelings of pain in and around the face.

One of the main symptoms of a sinus infection is throbbing pain and pressure around the eyeballs. At least one type of sinus infection sphenoid sinusitis is linked to an ache behind the eyes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Headache
  • Pain or pressure in the face
  • Mucus dripping from the nose down the throat
  • Sore throat
  • Fever, or cough
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath

Graves’ disease

Graves’ disease can cause the tissues, muscles, and fat behind the eye to swell. This causes the eyeball to bulge from the socket.
The swelling of the tissues behind the eye may result in a feeling of pressure.

  • Irritation in the eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • More tears than usual
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Double vision
  • Ulcers on the eye
  • Loss of vision
  • Inability to move the eye
  • Eye bulging from the socket
    • Optic neuritis

      Optic neuritis is a condition in which the nerve that connects the eyes and brain becomes inflamed and swollen. Symptoms include pain and temporary loss of vision, which usually peaks within a few days and can take 412 weeks to improve.

      Infections can trigger optic neuritis, and it’s associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Around 50 percent of all people with MS experience optic neuritis, which is often the first indication of MS.

      Symptoms of optic neuritis include:

    • Color blindness, or colors appearing less vibrant
  • Blurry sight, especially after the body temperature has risen
  • Loss of vision in one eye
  • Pain in the eye, especially when moving it
  • Pupil reacts unusually to bright light
  • Toothache

    A toothache, especially as a result of infection, may cause throbbing pain and feelings of pressure to spread to nearby parts of the face, as the surrounding nerves become affected. There are, for example, documented cases of toothaches leading to swollen eye sockets.

    Facial Injuries

    Different types of fracture to the eye socket can cause damage to the eye muscles, nerves, and sinuses.


    • The eye appears to either bulge or sink into the socket
    • A black eye
    • Double vision, blurry vision, or reduced eyesight
    • Numbness in parts of the face around the injured eye
    • Swelling near and around the eye
    • A flat-looking cheek, possibly with severe pain while opening the mouth

    When patients need to seek professional help

    Patients may seek help from any number of specialists or primary care physicians depending on their eye pain symptoms, including ENT, dental surgeons, neurologists, and, of course, ophthalmologists.

    You might find an artful way to weave this information into your website or communicate to patients that: Anyone experiencing loss of vision, bulging eyes, fever, frequent headaches, or facial swelling should see their doctor.

    If the doctor is unable to make a diagnosis, they will refer the person to an appropriate expert who can investigate more thoroughly.

    What’s the Stabbing Pain in my Eye?

    Sharp pain in your eye? Here are some common causes of eye pain – see if any of them apply to you:

    • Abrasions (scratches) of the cornea: Corneal abrasions can happen from rubbing the eye when there’s a foreign body present, wearing contact lenses too long, being hit in the eye with an object, or if the eye comes in contact with something like a grain of sand. An abrasion of the cornea can feel like there’s something under the eyelid or in the eye.
    • Chemical burns: Did you perhaps get a household chemical such as cleaning products, fertilizer, drain cleaner, nail polish remover or vinegar in your eye? Rinse the eye with saline solution or allow water from the shower to irrigate the eye for at least 10 minutes, and then seek emergency help.
    • Conjunctivitis: Also known as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis can be a bacterial, viral infection or an allergic reaction that causes inflammation of the membrane that protects the white of the eye and lines the eyelid. The inflammation makes blood vessels in the membrane more visible, which makes the eyes look red or pink.
    • Contact lens problems: Wearing contact lenses for too long, wearing them when the eyes are too dry, sleeping in lenses that are not appropriate for sleep, or rubbing the eyes with the lenses in can cause corneal abrasions.
    • Dry eyes (including Sjogren’s syndrome): This condition occurs when the lacrimal glands don’t produce enough tears – or the right kind of tears – to keep the eyes properly lubricated. It can be temporary, due to dry environments or poor air quality, or it may be ongoing; it can also be a symptom of Sjogren’s Syndrome. When the eyes get too dry, corneal nerves become irritated, sensitive and painful. Eye drops are often prescribed to help the eyes produce more tears, improve the quality of the tear and in turn improve symptoms, but can take several weeks take full effect for some people.
    • Glaucoma: The most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, does not cause pain in most cases. But the sudden pressure change in acute-angle-closure glaucoma, sometimes called narrow-angle glaucoma, can cause severe pain, nausea and vomiting, redness and blurred vision. This condition requires immediate attention.
    • Headaches (including cluster, “ice pick,” or migraine): Pain that seems to radiate from the eye can be a symptom of severe headaches; the pain from a migraine, for instance, is often located behind one eye; the pain from cluster headaches can be excruciating occurring around one eye on one side of the head; and “ice pick” headaches often produce stabbing pains around the eye or temple region typically lasting seconds.
    • Infection: Infections of the eye are often viral or bacterial and if not treated can progress in severity. An infection can be the result of an injury or sometimes from contact lenses that were not properly cleaned. Sinusitis, while not an infection of the eye, is an infection of the sinus cavities, that can cause a pressure sensation behind the eyes can make the entire area achy and tender. Untreated infections can worsen and spread to common areas leading to further complications.
    • Inflammation: Inflammation can be a source of pain in different areas of the eye. A few of the more common types of inflammation that lead to pain include:
      • Blepharitis involves the eyelids, especially at the lid margin where the eyelashes grow.
      • Iritis involves the iris, the colored part of the eye.
      • Keratitis involves the cornea, the front surface of your eye.
      • Scleritis involves the white part of the eye and can be so painful that it wakes you at night.
    • Map-dot fingerprint dystrophy: In this disorder, cellular abnormalities form beneath the cornea that can resemble the topography of a map or the curves of a fingerprint. As a result, the layers of the cornea don’t adhere to each other as well, and the outermost layer can be sloughed off, even as a patient sleeps (and especially in REM sleep, where the eyes move rapidly). The areas where the surface layer has sloughed off exposes nerves, which can cause searing pain. Over time, the condition can cause corneal erosions.

    What should I do next?

    Get checked out by a professional. If you have stabbing eye pain or are looking for a specialist for general eye health, the experts at Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center are ready to help you.

    Be prepared to answer the following questions about your eye pain:

    • Description: Is it mild, intense, dull, sharp, throbbing, stabbing?
    • Location: Does the pain feel like it’s behind your eye, in your eye, or on the surface? Is it in one or both eyes?
    • Appearance: Is there any redness in or around your eye? Is your eye watering? Any swelling?
    • When: Does it hurt more at certain times of day – for instance, right when you wake up?
    • Duration: How long does the pain last – 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or longer?
    • Recurrence: How often do you feel pain? Once a week, once a day, many times a day?

    In the meantime… follow these eye pain tips

    • DO: Rinse your eye with saline drops or tap water. If an abrasive or chemical liquid comes in contact with the eyes, rinse for at least 10 minutes, and then call your eye doctor. If a foreign body sensation is present, don’t try to remove it by yourself. Let your eyes tear as much as they will as the tears may wash out the irritant.
    • DON’T: Rub your eye. If there’s a foreign object in it or you have a corneal abrasion, you can make it worse.
    • DON’T: Put any sort of bandage or patch over your eye. If you feel that you need to put something over the eye to keep you (or a child) from touching it, loosely tape the bottom of a paper cup over the eye.
    • DON’T: Put any ointment or other medicine in your eye without a doctor’s instructions.

    5 Reasons Pressure Builds Up Behind Your Eyes

    Certain eye discomforts are minor and can be fixed simply by cleaning the eyes or taking a break from visual activities. In other words, nothing to worry about. That said, you should pay attention to certain eye discomforts, especially if they involve pressure building up behind your eyes.

    Today’s article from vision correction center Myopia Institute aims to shed light on the five leading reasons you feel this kind of pain.

    1.  Headaches

    Pressure around the eyes is one of the primary discomforts accompanying headaches. According to the American Migraine Foundation, most headaches can be classified as tension-type migraines and are not caused by eye strain and other conditions related to eye fatigue. Other migraine symptoms include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

    1.  Sinus Infection

    Sinus infections are a nuisance at the very least. Sinuses are the hollow spaces on your skull positioned above, below, behind, and between the eyes. Sinus infection or sinusitis is caused by a virus, resulting in swollen nasal cavities. This inflammation is what causes discomfort and pressure around the eye area. Luckily, a sinus infection isn’t something that warrants an eye exam, but you should consult a doctor if over-the-counter relief medication doesn’t work for you.

    1.  Graves’ Disease

    Graves’ disease affects the tissues, muscles and fat behind your eyes, causing them to swell. This particular disease can cause further eye problems such as dry eyes, photophobia and even vision loss.

    1.  Optic Neuritis

    Optic neuritis is one of the more serious possible reasons behind eye pressure. It is a condition that causes the nerve connecting the eyes to the brain to become swollen and inflamed. Symptoms also include temporary vision loss and color blindness.

    1.  Face Injury

    A fractured eye socket may be characterized by a painful or uncomfortable pressure around the eyes, a black eye or any bruising and reduced eyesight. You may have to undergo surgery and vision therapy due to any type of eye injury.

    Myopia Institute is the premier center for pediatric myopia control. You may contact us at (301) 363-0060. We work with patients in Chicago, IL, and Washington, DC.

    Neck and shoulder pain can lead to eye pain

    When thinking about what causes pain or strain to your eyes you would not think that tension in your shoulders or neck would have an effect. Anatomically speaking your senses are controlled by the brain and delivered through the nervous system through the spinal cord. For your eyes, this is delivered from the optic nerve which transmits electrical signals from the retina to the brain. Muscle tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders can lead to headaches or problems with your vision, as the flow of blood is restricted to your eyes. 


    Signs you may notice are: 

    • Throbbing pain around the temples
    • Blurred vision or difficulty focusing
    • Migraines
    • Nausea or vomiting

    The causes

    Here are a few factors that can cause neck and shoulder pain.  

    Digital devices – The use of digital devices has increased. When looking at a screen your eyes have to work harder because of the brightness of the screen. Our blink rate can almost half and will often mean you are squinting at the screen. 

    Posture – Your posture is important and can be affected on a daily basis by working at a desk or through strenuous hobbies. Changes in your posture can affect the strain you are placing on your muscles in your back, which can cause tension headaches and other aches and pains. 

    Uncorrected vision – Eye conditions that are undiagnosed for example hypermetropia or presbyopia will make you squint and strain when trying to focus. Your posture could be affected if you try to move closer or further away from an object.

    If you are experiencing a lot of neck and shoulder pain, we recommend seeking medical attention from your doctor.

    How to reduce the pain in your neck and shoulders? 

    Here are a few suggestions which can help: 

    • Take regular breaks when using screens. Moving from your desk or looking away from the screen will reduce the strain on your eyes and allow you to stretch your muscles.
    • Ensure your computer screen is at arm’s length away from you. 
    • Noticing and adjusting your posture when slouching will help. 

    Did you know? 

    We have specialised lenses for frequent screen use. Ask your independent optician about specialist varifocal lenses or specialist single visions lenses if you wear your glasses regularly when using digital devices. They will be able to recommend lenses that reduce computer vision syndrome. 


    Glasses for neck and shoulder pain

    Discover glasses that help prevent and reduce neck and shoulder pain


    Sharp eye pain and underlying conditions

    Sharp eye pain is a common symptom that occurs with many eye conditions. Some of the most common causes of sharp pain in the eyes are:

    Sharp eye pain and acute angle-closure glaucoma

    Acute angle-closure glaucoma should be treated as a medical emergency. This condition is caused by a rapid increase in pressure inside your eye, leading to severe eye pain and other symptoms such as blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, headache, and seeing halos around lights.2

    Acute angle-closure glaucoma can be treated with medication or laser surgery. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. 

    Other forms of glaucoma can be detected through OCT, but are not usually associated with sharp eye pain. 

    Sharp eye pain and microbial keratitis (corneal infection)

    Microbial keratitis can be a painful infection that affects the cornea, which is the transparent layer at the front of your eye. It’s often related to contact lens wear or due to a scratch on the surface of the eye, but there are many other potential causes.

    If not treated, it can lead to complications with your vision and may scar. Your eye may also become increasingly red and painful due to the development of an ulcer on the surface of the cornea.3 Occasionally, you can see this ulcer. It looks like a small white spot on the cornea. The condition is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops and, in some cases, a sample from the ulcer is taken to find out which bacteria has caused the infection. In serious cases, you may be admitted to hospital to see an ophthalmologist. If you have symptoms of keratitis, you should contact your optometrist as soon as possible.

    Sharp eye pain and scleritis

    An inflammation of the white part of the eye (sclera) can cause sharp eye pain, redness, blurred vision, watery eyes, and extreme light sensitivity.4 Scleritis is often caused by an eye infection and it has been associated with various autoimmune disorders. The condition can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and antibiotics. 4 People with scleritis will see an ophthalmologist in order to prevent any further complications. Like iritis, scleritis can be detected through a slit lamp test during your eye exam.

    Pressing pain in the eyes: causes and treatment

    Sometimes we experience a special kind of discomfort – it seems that either the head or the eyes are hurting. This pain occurs in the sinuses or in the back of the eye. Sometimes it is pulsating, sometimes it is constant. This condition scares us very much and I want to know what caused this pain? What can be done to make it easier? Is there something wrong with your eyesight?

    Let’s answer the last question first.

    Scientists at the American Academy of Ophthalmology have defined “eye pain” as “physical discomfort caused by an eye or other medical condition.”But scientists emphasize that “the location of the pain does not necessarily indicate the cause of the pain.”

    In most cases, the cause of the headache felt in the eyes may lie elsewhere. We feel pain in this very place because of the network of interconnected sensory nerves that permeate all tissues of the body.

    “Nearly all pain-sensitive structures in the head transfer pain to the eye area,” says Dr. Mark W. Green, MD, professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.“The fact that the eye hurts does not mean that the problem is in the eye itself. In fact, this happens quite rarely. ”

    Green advises remembering one useful rule: if the white part of the eye (sclera) is not red, and there are no complaints of vision – a fuzzy or distorted picture, it is highly unlikely that the headache is associated with the eyes themselves.

    Common causes of eye pain


    Migraine is the most common type of headache that deprives us of the joy of life.It is a hot flush-like headache that can last up to 72 hours and is often characterized by severe throbbing pain on one side of the head and behind the eyes. The pain can also be felt in the back of the head. Other classic migraine symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, smells, and sounds.

    “Migraine comes from the term” migraine “, which means” pain in half of the head. ” People with migraines have a very hard time, says Greene. “This is severe pain, and it is of different types, that is, there are several types of headache.People may feel differently, but they all have migraines. ”

    Visual disturbances such as flickering of light or halos around light sources may precede the headache. However, most people with migraines do not have these symptoms.

    There are many triggers that can trigger migraines. These include fatigue, emotional stress, lack of sleep or excessive sleep, skipping meals, bright or flickering lights, harsh odors, loud noises, certain foods, and changes in temperature and humidity.

    There is also a genetic predisposition to migraine: 70% of patients report at least one close relative who also suffered from migraine.

    Migraine, detected early enough, can be successfully treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, but there are several prescription medications that can be used prophylactically or to reduce the number of attacks and pain.

    Daily medication may be required to treat chronic migraines and sore eyes.

    Cluster headaches

    Cluster headache is a condition characterized by multiple and frequent attacks of headaches. These cluster periods can last for weeks or months, followed by a period of remission when headaches do not occur for several months or years.

    Cluster headache usually occurs quickly, sometimes there are precursors to pain, pain can last up to three hours. Symptoms include excruciating pain (often a headache behind one eye) that radiates to other parts of the face, head, and neck; red and puffy eyes; and excessive tearing.

    It is believed that the causes of cluster headaches can be abnormalities in the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls many important functions of the body). What can cause pain has not yet been identified, and there is still no cure for cluster headaches in the eyes.

    Treatment of cluster headaches aims to reduce the severity of symptoms, shorten the period of cluster pain, and prevent future attacks. Treatments include oxygen therapy, triptan injections and local anesthetics.

    Nasal sinus infections

    Sinuses are air-filled spaces in the skull. They are located behind the nose, forehead and cheeks, as well as behind the eyes. Sinus infection (sinusitis) is a common cause of pain, including headache in the eyes.

    Migraine is often mistaken for sinus infection headache. Treatment for sinus headaches includes treating the underlying infection with prescription antibiotics and decongestants.

    Ophthalmic diseases causing headache localized behind the eyes

    Finally, there are a number of eye diseases and other problems that can cause pain in the eyes. Among them:


    Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve is affected, causing loss of peripheral vision, blurred vision, difficulty adjusting to darkness, and halos around light sources.

    A special type of glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma, can cause nausea and severe headache behind the eyes.If you experience these symptoms, you should see an optometrist immediately.


    Scleritis is a severe inflammation of the sclera or the outer lining of the eyeball. It is most commonly caused by autoimmune diseases. Symptoms include headache behind the eye, red or pink eyes, watery eyes and blurry vision, and photosensitivity.

    Optic neuritis

    Optic neuritis or inflammation of the optic nerve is accompanied by eye pain or headache behind the eye, blurred vision, loss of color vision, floating flies, nausea, and loss of vision.

    Graves ‘disease or Graves’ disease

    Basedow’s disease is an autoimmune disease associated with a malfunction of the thyroid gland. Basedow’s disease affects the eyes, they become very bulging, redden, the eyelids are drawn in, patients have limited ability to move their eyes, the image doubles, sometimes there may be loss of vision. In some cases, Graves’ disease can also cause eye pain.

    When to see an optometrist?

    If you experience unusual pain behind the eyes, see an optometrist immediately.If the white of your eye changes color, or you experience nausea or vision problems associated with a headache, these are signs and symptoms of an acute attack of glaucoma that can cause permanent vision loss. Find out what causes eye pain. Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist and be sure to get a consultation.

    Clinics Chaika – Chaika.com

    Eye pain can occur on the surface or in the deep structures of the eye. Severe eye pain, especially when accompanied by deterioration or loss of vision, can be a signal of serious illness.In this case, you must immediately seek medical attention.

    Eye pain on the surface of the eye can be described as itching, burning, stinging, foreign body feeling, gritty feeling, tingling, shooting pain. Superficial eye pain is often associated with a foreign body in the eye, an eye infection, or something that irritates or inflames the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the surface of the eye. Common causes of superficial eye pain:

    • Conjunctivitis, which can be allergic, bacterial, viral and fungal.
    • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea). The cornea is the transparent front surface of the eye. Corneal damage and ulceration causes eye pain. Keratitis can be caused by a bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic infection. Damage to the cornea also occurs due to trauma, scratches, a foreign body in the eye, or a problem with wearing contact lenses correctly.
    • Chemical burns and photokeratitis (burns of the cornea with a bright light source). Chemical burns occur from eye exposure to acidic or alkaline substances such as household cleaners and bleach.Photokeratitis is caused by intense light sources such as welding or UV rays from tanning booths if proper eye protection is not used. Even a strong sunny day can cause corneal burns.
    • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids due to blockage of the sebaceous glands at the edges of the eyelids). Stye or chalazion causes eye pain due to local irritation. At the same time, formations appear in the eyelids that can be seen or felt. Such formations – the result of a clogged sebaceous gland in the eyelids – irritate the eyes and can be very painful to the touch.
    • Entropion (volvulus of the lower eyelid).

    Eye pain in the deep structures of the eye is often described as a dull pain in the eye, behind the eye or around the eye, a feeling of pressure, pulsation. Common causes of deep eye pain:

    • Acute attack of angle-closure glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure). Other types of glaucoma usually do not cause pain. Glaucoma can lead to irreversible loss of vision, blindness, so timely detection and treatment of the disease is necessary.
    • Iritis (inflammation of the iris, or colored part of the eye) and uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye – the choroid). The inflammation causes deep pain in the eyes, usually accompanied by blurred vision and photosensitivity.
    • Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve). The optic nerve connects to the back of the eye. The inflammation can be caused by multiple sclerosis, viral or bacterial infection. Neuritis can cause symptoms such as pressure behind the eye, vision changes, and eye pain.
    • Rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which surround the eye sockets from the side of the nose). Pain emanating from inflamed sinuses can be interpreted as pain in the eyes.
    • Migraine is a very common cause of eyeball pain.
    • A toothache that occurs in the upper jaw can manifest itself as pain in the orbit or under the eyes.
    • Eye injuries. Penetrating wounds, contusion of the eyeball, etc.

    It is necessary to immediately seek medical help if the following symptoms occur:

    • vision has deteriorated sharply;
    • photophobia, inability to open eyes, watery eyes appeared;
    • severe pain accompanied by headache, fever;
    • pain in the eyes is accompanied by a feeling of nausea and vomiting;
    • rainbow circles and halos began to appear around light sources;
    • Pain caused by foreign body or chemicals in the eye;
    • swelling appeared in and around the eyes;
    • double vision;
    • limited eye movement;
    • pain when moving the eyes in different directions;
    • sensation of flashes, lightning;
    • flies appeared, floating opacities;
    • Bloody or purulent discharge from the eye.

    It is also necessary to consult an ophthalmologist for eye pain, if there has been an eye operation or injection into the eye in the past or recently.

    Seek medical attention if you wear soft contact lenses and have eye pain, or if eye pain does not improve after two to three days of medication.

    Neuralgia of the cranial nerves, facial pain

    Neuralgia of the cranial nerve, central and primary facial pain.

    Neuralgia of the cranial nerves – manifested by attacks of one-sided intense headache lasting from a fraction of a second to several minutes.Pain occurs spontaneously or is provoked by exposure to certain zones – trigger points, as well as washing, brushing teeth, shaving, chewing, swallowing, yawning, smoking, talking, screaming, coughing or turning the head.

    With trigeminal neuralgia pain and trigger points are localized in the forehead, on the cheek, upper and lower jaw, in the oral cavity. With glossopharyngeal nerve neuralgia, pain is localized in the back of the tongue, in the area of ​​the palatine tonsils, pharynx, posterior to the angle of the lower jaw and in the ear.With neuralgia of the intermediate nerve, the pain and trigger point are located in the external auditory canal. With neuralgia of the superior laryngeal nerve, pain in the pharynx, submandibular region and below the ear. There is a trigger zone on the outer wall of the pharynx. With neuralgia of the occipital nerve, pain in the occipital region.

    Constant pain caused by compression , irritation or stretching of the cranial nerves or upper cervical roots by structural damage is localized in any area of ​​the head or face and occurs as a result of direct damage to the sensory fibers of the nerve.Structural lesions can be bulky (for example, a tumor or aneurysm (abnormal local enlargement of the vessel)) or located within anatomical structures (for example, with osteomyelitis of the skull bones). In the absence of sensitive disorders and positive results of additional research methods, the diagnosis is doubtful.

    Cervico-lingual syndrome – sudden pain in the occipital or upper cervical region, accompanied by pathological sensations in half of the tongue, coinciding with the side of the pain.Sensory nerve fibers from the tongue enter the central nervous system as part of the second posterior cervical root through the connections between the lingual and hypoglossal nerves, as well as between the last and second cervical roots. Clinical data and results of surgical interventions indicate that the second cervical root can be compressed by sudden rotation of the neck, which often occurs with subluxation of the atlantoaxial joint. Pathologic sensations in the side of the tongue that coincides with the pain side may include numbness, paresthesias, and a feeling of involuntary movement in the tongue.

    Compression headache may result from prolonged exposure of the superficial nerves of the head to external pressure, such as a tight band, a hoop, tight headgear or diving goggles.

    Headache associated with cold stimuli occurs when the head is exposed to low temperatures externally (when exposed to severe frost or immersion in cold water) or when internally exposed to cold (inhalation, ingestion of refrigerated substances).

    Optic neuritis causes pain behind one or both of the eyeballs, accompanied by impaired central vision.

    Diabetic neuropathy of the optic nerve causes pain around the eye and in the forehead, combined with paresis of one or more cranial nerves involved in the innervation of the eye (usually the third pair) in a patient with diabetes mellitus.

    Tolosa-Hunt Syndrome is characterized by recurrent pain in the orbital region, accompanied by paralysis of one or more oculomotor nerves, usually passing independently.

    Ophthalmoplegic migraine is characterized by repeated attacks of headache with migraine features and accompanied by paresis of one or more cranial nerves (more often the third).

    In case of herpes zoster infection, headache or facial pain occurs in the branching area of ​​the affected nerve. Pain in acute herpes zoster is accompanied by reddening of the skin and blistering eruptions, in the place of which erosion and crusts occur.Herpetic eruptions occur no later than 7 days after the onset of pain. Postherpetic neuralgia is facial pain for at least 3 months after the onset of herpes zoster infection.

    Painful anesthesia (anesthesia dolorosa) often occurs after surgical interventions on the occipital nerves or a sensitive trigeminal node. It is characterized by prolonged pain and sensory disturbances in the branching zone of one or more branches of the trigeminal or occipital nerves.

    After a stroke, there may be facial pain – the so-called central pain after stroke .

    Facial pain can occur in multiple sclerosis, due to damage to the central conductors of the trigeminal nerve (the so-called facial pain in multiple sclerosis).

    Pain in the face may be in the absence of any visible pathology. Persistent idiopathic facial pain – facial pain not accompanied by sensory and other disorders.Studies, including x-rays of the face and jaws, do not reveal any clinically significant pathology. Burning mouth syndrome is a burning sensation in the mouth without any medical or dental reason. The pain may be limited to the tongue (glossodynia). Among the accompanying symptoms are a feeling of dry mouth, paresthesia and taste disturbance.

    “The eye hurts!” – a signal not only for ophthalmologists

    Sometimes we turn to ophthalmologists seemingly to the address, complaining of hemorrhages in the eyeball area, pain or fog in the eyes.

    And it turns out that this is just the tip of the iceberg of a completely different problem, which is dealt with by completely different doctors. For example, flashing flies can be associated with age-related changes in the vitreous body (the part of the eye that helps it to keep its shape, occupying up to 2/3 of the volume). And it can also be a direct consequence of excessive physical exertion, stress, diabetes mellitus. You understand that the treatment will vary greatly. In what other situations it is necessary to keep an eye out, not excluding consultations with related specialists, – “SB” said the ophthalmologist of the 20th Minsk polyclinic Alexander LAVER.

    Hypertension “knocks” in the eyes

    Normally, on the fundus of the arteries and veins have a straight course, their ratio is 2 to 3, there are no changes on the retina. But with a constant increase in blood pressure over time, the picture is different. For example, sclerosis of the walls of the arteries develops – then their color changes, to the point that the doctor says about the symptoms of “copper” or even “silver wire”. The veins begin to wriggle and expand, their ratio to the arteries is already 4 to 1.A Salus-Gunn symptom may occur (when an artery squeezes a vein until its patency is disturbed), the optic nerve may be affected. Flies, blurred vision, a temporary decrease in its acuity – this is generally a “classic of the genre” in hypertensive crisis. Of course, a fundus examination will not be superfluous. But the main thing is to fight the root cause, that is, to take the pressure under control again.

    Hypertension can lead to another condition – hemorrhage in the conjunctival region. As well as strong sneezing or physical exertion, such as hard work or childbirth.It’s all about the weakness of the vessel walls. From the outside it looks scary: sometimes the eye seems to completely flood with blood, or even the eyelids acquire a crimson, even bluish color. You should not be very afraid here: most often everything dissolves by itself, even if sometimes longer than a month. Yes, there may be hemorrhage on the retina, but then vision is reduced. If this is not the case, you can not run headlong to the ophthalmologist. And drip emoxipin, potassium iodide. To strengthen the walls of blood vessels – angioprotectors containing rutin.Just read the instructions carefully first – there are contraindications.


    Migraine masks

    What about eye pain? Although this complaint is often addressed to ophthalmologists, as a rule, this is the domain of neurologists. Firstly, trigeminal neuralgia, which occurs when it is damaged or squeezed, makes itself felt in this way. Then attacks of sharp, burning, stabbing, twitching pains, sometimes affecting the eye, come. Secondly, we can talk about a banal migraine.However, if this is the most common form of the disease, without an aura, then the eye rarely suffers: the head just hurts, pallor and nausea appear. But with the aura, the situation is different: the precursors of an attack are spots, zigzags flickering before the eyes, then for a while some part of vision falls out on one side. And only then the actual headache comes. Treatment, as in trigeminal neuralgia, is reduced to anesthesia and supervision of a neurologist. For prevention, you should avoid stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, do not lean on coffee.

    Oddly enough, an ophthalmologist is also referred to with signs of vertebral artery syndrome. It passes in the cervical region, in a kind of canal from the vertebrae and their processes, and is compressed with osteochondrosis. Or congenital deformity or vasoconstriction due to blood clots, atherosclerosis, and a number of other reasons are doing their job. And since the vertebral arteries feed the brain, the inner ear, they also suffer from a lack of blood circulation. Hence the so-called cervical migraine (pain that begins in the neck and rises through the back of the head to the temples), tinnitus, partial numbness of the face or limbs, dizziness, fainting.As an option, pain behind the eyes, loss of visual fields, again zigzags, dots, fog up to temporary blindness. This syndrome is dangerous in that against the background of chronic failures in the blood supply to the brain there is a risk of stroke. Although it is not difficult to diagnose the root cause. Usually, ultrasound of the brachiocephalic arteries, X-ray of the cervical spine, MRI of the brain are performed. And the treatment regimen includes anti-inflammatory and blood flow-improving drugs, neuroprotectors and antihypoxants.Plus prevention: massage, exercise therapy, physiotherapy, swimming pool. Of course, all this is as intended and under the supervision of a neurologist.

    It turns out that the complaint “hurts the eye!” very, very vague. On the one hand, the symptom should not be dramatized, and on the other, it should not be downplayed. This is rather not a threat to vision as such, but a clear signal: somewhere in the body there is a truly problematic point.

    Recommended by Dr. Laver

    Do not neglect the consultation with a neurologist, therapist and be sure to control your blood pressure.


    Flies, black dots, “spiders” flying before the eyes of more than 80% of people are evidence of the destruction of the vitreous body. Its substance is destroyed due to myopia, trauma, excessive physical exertion, but most often this is the influence of age. There are usually no complications. Yes, someone has visual discomfort from flickering, but they get used to it over time. The problem is that it could be a detachment of the posterior hyaloid membrane or retina.Then the flashing lightning joins the flies. If this is your case, the path lies exactly to the ophthalmologist. There is no cure for this eye condition as such. From drops, emoxipin, potassium iodide, vitamins can be used. Inside – various dietary supplements, which, oddly enough, it happens, and help. You can also take a course of vascular treatment. And, if possible, try not to physically overwork. This advice primarily applies to summer residents from among retirees.

    The structure and function of the eye, anatomy of the eye

    A person sees not with his eyes, but through the eyes, from where information is transmitted through the optic nerve, chiasm, visual tracts to certain areas of the occipital lobes of the cerebral cortex, where the picture of the external world that we see is formed.All these organs make up our visual analyzer or visual system.

    Having two eyes allows us to make our vision stereoscopic (that is, to form a three-dimensional image). The right side of the retina of each eye transmits through the optic nerve the “right side” of the image to the right side of the brain, and the left side of the retina acts in a similar way. Then the brain connects the two parts of the image – the right and the left – together.

    Since each eye perceives “its own” picture, if the joint movement of the right and left eyes is disturbed, binocular vision can be impaired.Simply put, your eyes will start to see double or you will see two completely different pictures at the same time.

    Basic functions of the eye

    • optical system for projecting an image;
    • a system that perceives and “encodes” the received information for the brain;
    • “service” life support system.

    Eye structure

    The eye can be called a complex optical device.Its main task is to “transmit” the correct image to the optic nerve.

    The cornea is the transparent membrane that covers the front of the eye. There are no blood vessels in it, it has a great refractive power. It is included in the optical system of the eye. The cornea is bordered by the opaque outer shell of the eye – the sclera. See the structure of the cornea.

    The anterior chamber of the eye is the space between the cornea and the iris. It is filled with intraocular fluid.

    Iris – shaped like a circle with a hole inside (pupil). The iris is made up of muscles that, when contracted and relaxed, change the size of the pupil. It enters the choroid. The iris is responsible for the color of the eyes (if it is blue, it means that there are few pigment cells in it, if there are a lot of brown). Performs the same function as the aperture in a camera, adjusting the light flux.

    Pupil – hole in the iris. Its dimensions usually depend on the level of illumination.The more light, the smaller the pupil.

    The lens is the “natural lens” of the eye. It is transparent, elastic – it can change its shape, almost instantly “directing focus”, due to which a person sees well both near and far. Located in a capsule, held by by the ciliary band . The lens, like the cornea, is part of the optical system of the eye.

    Vitreous body is a gel-like transparent substance located in the back of the eye. The vitreous body maintains the shape of the eyeball, participates in intraocular metabolism.It is included in the optical system of the eye.

    Retina – consists of photoreceptors (they are sensitive to light) and nerve cells. The receptor cells located in the retina are divided into two types: cones and rods. In these cells, which produce the enzyme rhodopsin, the energy of light (photons) is converted into electrical energy of the nervous tissue, i.e., a photochemical reaction.

    Sticks have a high light sensitivity and allow you to see in low light, they are also responsible for peripheral vision.Cones, on the contrary, require more light for their work, but it is they that make it possible to see small details (responsible for central vision), make it possible to distinguish colors. The largest accumulation of cones is located in the central fossa (macula), which is responsible for the highest visual acuity. The retina is adjacent to the choroid, but loose in many areas. It is here that it tends to flake off in various diseases of the retina.

    Sclera – the opaque outer shell of the eyeball, passing in the front part of the eyeball into the transparent cornea.6 oculomotor muscles are attached to the sclera. It contains a small number of nerve endings and blood vessels.

    Choroid – lines the posterior part of the sclera, the retina is adjacent to it, with which it is closely connected. The choroid is responsible for the blood supply to the intraocular structures. In diseases of the retina, it is very often involved in the pathological process. There are no nerve endings in the choroid, therefore, with its disease, pain does not occur, usually signaling any malfunctions.

    Optic nerve – With the help of the optic nerve, signals from nerve endings are transmitted to the brain.

    Useful to read

    General questions about treatment at the clinic
    90,000 Sclerokeratitis: description of the disease, causes, symptoms, cost of treatment in Moscow

    Sclerokeratitis is an inflammatory process that affects the sclera and cornea of ​​the eye. It always proceeds against the background of a neglected, severe form of scleritis, when the pathological process passes from the sclera to the cornea of ​​the eyeball.Most often occurs with anterior scleritis. May be accompanied by uveitis, that is, cover the ciliary body and the iris. Sclerokeratitis is more often diagnosed in old age, mainly in women. The disease is characterized by a protracted course.

    Structure and function of the sclera

    The sclera is the opaque outer shell of the eyeball. In the front part, it passes into the transparent part – the cornea. Consists of randomly arranged collagen fibers. In the back, they end at the optic nerve, passing into its outer sheath.

    There are few blood vessels in the sclera; its blood supply is carried out by the posterior and anterior ciliary arteries.

    Scleral functions:

    • protection of the inner parts of the eyeball from damage and external influences;

    • shaping the eyeball;

    • outflow of intraocular fluid, which is necessary to maintain normal intraocular pressure.

    Causes of sclerokeratitis

    The main cause of the disease is the lack of treatment for the development of scleritis. As a result, an infection penetrates into the deep layers of the sclera – viruses, nonspecific bacteria, pathogenic fungi and other pathogens.

    Other causes of sclerokeratitis:

    • Complication of severe systemic diseases – Wegener’s granulomatosis, polyarthritis nodosa, systemic lupus erythematosus, etc.

    • Rheumatic diseases – recurrent rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Diseases of the endocrine system – diabetes mellitus, gout.

    • Mechanical and chemical injuries, ionizing radiation.

    • Surgical operation – post-surgical sclerokeratitis can occur within six months after the intervention, necrotic manifestations are noticeable in the area of ​​the manipulation.

    The predisposing factors that can cause the development of sclerokeratitis are:

    • weakened immunity;

    • chronic inflammatory diseases of the nasopharynx;

    • work that requires constant eye strain;

    • female

    How does it appear

    Scleritis is a lesion of the deep layers of the sclera, accompanied by an inflammatory process.When sick, patients complain of severe pain. It is impossible to touch the eyes, and pain can spread throughout the head.

    Pathology is accompanied by such signs as a feeling of sand in the eyes, swelling of the eyelids and the inability to open them, severe lacrimation, photophobia, the presence of a veil in front of the eyes, corneal turbidity, blurred vision.

    Depending on the form of the disease, scleritis is:

    • front;

    • rear.

    There are also varieties – nodular and diffuse, necrotizing, purulent.

    Anterior sclerite

    Anterior scleritis is often bilateral. It is characterized by a slow or subacute course.

    His manifestations:

    • the formation of swelling and redness in the anterior sclera;

    • severe pain on palpation.

    In severe cases, inflammation affects the entire pericorneal region, this is an annular scleritis.

    With the transition of inflammation to the cornea, sclerosing keratitis or sclerokeratitis occurs. It causes complications in the form of iridocyclitis, in which the vitreous becomes cloudy, the pupil becomes infected, and secondary glaucoma develops.

    Gradually, the inflammatory process subsides, the previously formed infiltrates dissolve.In their place, atrophied areas of the sclera are formed, which, as a result of intraocular pressure, stretch and protrude. This is how scleral staphylomas and ectasias are formed. This process can take from several months to several years.

    If anterior scleritis gives complications, then in most cases visual acuity decreases.

    Pathology is divided into two types:

    • Diffuse sclerite. Characterized by extensive inflammation and lesion of the anterior part of the sclera, its hyperemia.The large one has moderate discomfort. This form of the disease is considered favorable, since it does not pass into another.

    • Nodular scleritis. The formation of scleral immobile nodes, which protrude above the surface of the sclera, is characteristic. The formations are hyperemic, have a purple tint. The risk of reduced vision is up to 25%.

    Necrotizing form with inflammation

    The necrotizing form of scleritis, accompanied by inflammation, is most often a complication of rheumatoid arthritis.

    It is characterized by severe acute pain that radiates to the temple, lower jaw. In the initial stage, there is a moderation of redness of the sclera, the affected eye is moderately sore. Further, avascular zones are formed – these are gray areas of necrotic tissue.

    Further, extensive scleral necrosis develops. Its danger is in the thinning of the membrane and its perforation, which causes perforated scleromalacia – protrusion through the surface of the conjunctiva of the ciliary body.A thinned sclera can tear at any time.

    With the development of necrotizing scleritis, the risk of loss of visual function is up to 80%, bilateral damage to both eyes occurs in 60% of all cases.

    Necrotizing form without inflammation

    The necrotizing form of scleritis without inflammation occurs less frequently. It develops mainly in females in the presence of lingering rheumatoid arthritis.

    Virtually no symptoms and painless.The expansion of the area of ​​necrotic areas leads to a thinning of the sphere, which is dangerous by the development of protrusions – ectasia, staphyloma, or rupture of the shell.

    Rear sclerite

    With posterior scleritis, pain occurs in the eyes, they are constantly tense, there is a restriction of the mobility of the eyeball, swelling of the eyelids and conjunctival membrane. Exudative retinal detachment is possible.

    A rare pathology, mainly occurs against the background of diseases such as rheumatism, tuberculosis, herpes.Dangerous complications, including sclerokeratitis, iridocyclitis, keratitis, cataracts, high intraocular pressure.

    During an ophthalmological examination, retinal detachment or hemorrhage is determined, as well as circular detachment of the choroid or choroid.

    Purulent scleritis

    Purulent scleritis is an abscess of the sclera. The condition is characterized by the formation of swelling around the limbus, which has clear contours.Soon it takes the form of a knot. After a while, the abscess softens and its gradual opening.

    The danger of purulent scleritis in the subsequent perforation of the sclera or the formation of panophthalmitis.

    Sclerosing keratitis

    With sclerosing keratitis, inflammation affects the cornea, as a result of which the pupil becomes infected and the vitreous becomes opaque. As a complication, secondary glaucoma, iridocyclitis occurs.

    After the inflammation subsides, areas of atrophy are formed, which are black.Under the influence of intraocular pressure on their revenge, scleral ectasias are formed. There is a marked decrease in visual function.

    Gelatinous or fleshy sclerokeratitis

    This is a type of anterior scleritis. What is typical for the gelatinous form:

    • Infiltration foci appear in the cornea, which go from the periphery to the center.

    • As a result of edema and infiltration, the conjunctival membrane overhangs the limbus.

    • Overhanging tissues have a gelatinous appearance and a brownish-red tint.

    With fleshy sclerokeratitis, uveitis often develops. Pathology is prone to chronicity, the lesion of the center of the cornea gradually begins.

    This type of disease is more often diagnosed in elderly people, mainly in women. Differs in a long course.

    Potential consequences

    In half of all cases, the inflammatory infiltrate resolves during treatment without causing any negative consequences.In the absence of therapy and a severe, advanced form of sclerokeratitis, the following conditions may develop:

    • decrease in visual acuity, its complete loss;

    • formation of a scleral abscess;

    • transition of the inflammatory process to the iris – iridocyclitis, to the cornea – keratitis;

    • scar formation at the site of healing of the pathological focus of scleritis, which causes deformation of the eyeball and the development of astigmatism;

    • development of secondary glaucoma, which occurs due to increased intraocular pressure and fusion of the lens with the iris;

    • retinal edema;

    • retinal detachment.

    • decrease, loss of vision;

    Preventive measures

    To prevent the likelihood of scleritis or sclerokeratitis, it is recommended:

    • timely treat systemic, rheumatic, inflammatory, chronic diseases;

    • , while undergoing therapy, observe all the recommendations and prescriptions of the doctor;

    • to regularly visit an ophthalmologist for a preventive examination, which will make it possible to identify pathological changes in the eyeball in time and begin treatment;

    • observe the rules of personal hygiene, do not touch the eyes with unwashed hands, non-sterile napkins, handkerchiefs;

    • for diagnosed infectious diseases, make sure that the infection does not get into the eyes;

    • to support and strengthen the body’s immune system – take vitamin complexes, eat properly and in a balanced manner, drink immunostimulating drugs.


    To determine scleritis or sclerokeratitis, it is necessary to be examined by an ophthalmologist. The doctor will check visual acuity, examine the visual apparatus visually, check the fundus, measure intraocular pressure.

    If you suspect scleritis or sclerokeratitis, consultation of narrow specialists is required – a rheumatologist, an immunologist, tests to confirm or exclude systemic pathologies.

    The following methods are used to diagnose scleritis:

    Collecting anamnesis. The doctor conducts a survey, finds out the presence of complaints about the work of other organs and systems, finds out what diseases the patient had previously, whether there were eye diseases. If necessary, refer to a therapist and other doctors.

    • Ophthalmoscopy. It involves the use of a special device that emits a directional light. Allows you to examine the retina of the eyeball, choroid, optic nerve.

    • Visometry. Special tables are used to check visual function, visual acuity. With the help of this research method, it is possible to diagnose astigmatism and other defects of the organs of vision, which appeared as a complication of scleritis or sclerokeratitis.

    • Biomicroscopy. A slit lamp is used, through which the doctor examines the eyeball under high magnification. The method allows you to visually see the necrotic areas of the sclera, if any, as well as ulceration of the adjacent conjunctival membrane.In dynamics, an increase in the zone of necrotic lesion is revealed.

    • Ultrasound examination. Required if there is a suspicion of posterior scleritis. If the doctor doubts the diagnosis, he can send for a CT scan – computed tomography.

    • Bacteriological research. An examination of the biomaterial taken from the affected membranes of the eye using a smear is carried out. It is indicated for the bacterial nature of the inflammatory process.

    • Fluorescence angiography. It is carried out with necrotizing scleritis. It makes it possible to consider the tortuous course, avascular zones, areas of vascular occlusion.

    • Due to the fact that scleritis and sclerokeratitis are similar to a number of other eye diseases, it is important to differentiate them:

    • Conjunctivitis. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva – the membrane lining the eyelids from the inside.Other symptoms are the feeling that sand has been poured into the eyes, severe lacrimation.

    • Episclerite. The upper layers of the sclera are affected. With scleritis, the pathological process is localized in deeper tissues.

    • Irit. The disease is characterized by local hyperemia along the entire edge of the cornea. There is no painful sensation on palpation.

    • Iridocyclitis.The inflammatory process covers the ciliary body, the iris. They change their natural color, pupil constriction occurs.

    Features of treatment

    1. Antibacterial agents of systemic action – Streptomycin, Amoxicillin, Amoxil, Levoflox. Shown in tablet form for oral administration or solution for intramuscular administration.

    2. Antibacterial agents of local action – Tobrex, Floxal, Levomycetin.In the form of drops or ointment. It is prescribed for the bacterial nature of sclerokeratitis, a purulent form or the formation of an abscess. In severe cases, subconjunctival injections of antibiotics are indicated.

    3. NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Diklak, Diclofenac, Metindol, Movalis. Relieve inflammation, eliminate pain.

    4. Systemic corticosteroids – Prednisolone, Decorin. Indicated for individual intolerance to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with necrotic form of scleritis or severe course.

    5. Local corticosteroids – Pharmadex, Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone. In the form of ointments, drops. They relieve inflammation well. In severe forms, corticosteroids are indicated for injection under the conjunctiva.

    6. Enzymes – Alidaza, Lidaza. Required for instillation into the eyes. Sterile solutions have a resorbing effect, which accelerates the elimination of the secreted contents.

    7. Opioid analgesics – Ethylmorphine. In the testimony of a strong pain syndrome.They are prescribed by prescription, as they can cause addiction.

    8. Eye drops with hypotensive effect – Betoptic, Visofrin, Atropine sulfate. Prescribed for damage to the iris and increased intraocular pressure.

    9. Immunosuppressants – Cyclophosphamide, Cyclosporine, Azathioprine. These drugs are prescribed only by a rheumatologist. Indicated for scleral necrotization, the presence of resistance to corticosteroids.

    10. Vitamin complexes.Necessary for the general strengthening of the body, enhancing immunity.


    After removing the exacerbation in the treatment of sclerokeratitis, physiotherapy is prescribed. The following procedures are effective:

    • UHF. It involves thermal effects on the affected area of ​​the eyes by applying a high frequency electromagnetic field. The method relieves inflammation and pain.

    • Electrophoresis.The technique uses the effect of an electric current. Electrodes, lubricated with an antiseptic solution, are applied to inflamed tissues. The procedure improves the penetration of the drug into the tissues of the eyeball.

    • Magnetotherapy. The use of a magnetic field relieves pain, eliminates inflammation, and dilates blood vessels. In general, it accelerates the healing and regeneration of the affected tissues.

    Does your eye hurt? What to do in such cases?


    Pain in the eye can be of a different nature or of a different cause. Cuts, bakes, shoots, whines – such painful sensations can manifest itself as a common inflammation, as well as more serious eye diseases.

    If your eye hurts, you need to consult an ophthalmologist for advice and undergo a thorough examination. Why does the eye hurt? This question will be answered by the doctor after the diagnosis and will prescribe individual treatment.In this article, we will look at the most common causes of eye pain.

    Does your eye hurt when you blink?

    People often complain of pain in the eyes when blinking, especially those people whose work is closely connected with a computer and requires prolonged concentration on details.

    Main causes of eye pain when blinking:

    • Ingress of infection;
    • Inflammation of the eye muscles;
    • Allergy;
    • Increased pressure;

    Dry eye may also be felt when blinking. One of the reasons for is the lack of dynamic load on the eyeball. Working at a computer, we stop blinking as often as it is physiologically necessary for eye health. Of course, we ourselves do not notice it. That is why it is recommended to rest your eyes at least 5 minutes per hour. Rest can be like this: look away. Select one point in the room, then the next. Move your eyes to different points. So the eyes will receive the necessary load on the muscles.

    Eye swelling and pain? What to do?

    Doctor’s answer : The presence of puffiness of the eyelids combined with pain – is a symptom of the presence of infection , most often.The eyelids can swell, forming visible redness, and the pain can be of a different nature: sharp, aching, wandering. Also, similar symptoms are observed during the ripening of barley. After a day or two, you will see a small yellowish dot on the eyelid, where pus will gradually accumulate.

    Does your eye hurt inside?

    This is how high blood pressure manifests itself. Especially carefully you need to monitor the health of the eyes of people suffering from diabetes mellitus, diseases of the cardiovascular system, hypertensive patients.Patients complain of discomfort, as if “pushing” the eye from the inside. The eye itself can visually look absolutely healthy: there is no redness or swelling of the eyelid.

    Why is this happening? The unpleasant sensations that we described above are a sign of oxygen starvation of the tissues around the eye. If you notice such symptoms, as well as feel pain inside the eye, immediately contact an ophthalmologist at the VIZIOBUD clinic. Pain inside the eye can be a harbinger of more serious diseases: glaucoma, cataracts, etc.d.

    Older people should also be especially careful about eye health, even if there are no symptoms of the disease. Physiologically, the lens of the eye loses its elasticity with age, therefore cataract is an age-related disease and the success of its treatment depends on the speed of seeking medical help. Fortunately, modern medicine is showing successful treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, and other complex eye conditions.

    Another common symptom: temple and eye pain.What is the reason?

    There are several common causes: high blood pressure, vascular dystonia, intracranial pressure, atherosclerosis, meningitis. As you can see, there are several reasons, therefore, with frequent recurrence of symptoms, you should not self-medicate. Serious illnesses such as meningitis or atherosclerosis require only medication under the supervision of a physician.

    What to do if a child’s eye hurts?

    Contact a pediatric ophthalmologist to find out the reason.If a child wears glasses, pain can occur as a result of incorrectly selected optics. And incorrectly selected optics can cause a sharp deterioration in vision with further long-term correction.

    Pain in the eye of any nature is a signal that there is a root cause and that it is necessary to eliminate it, and not a consequence. Modern diagnostics will allow you to find the cause of the pain, and further treatment will be prescribed individually, taking into account the nature of the disease and the individual characteristics of the organism.