Why do my eyes hurt and what to do?

Why do my eyes hurt

If the eyes hurt and watery, there is little pleasant – but the causes of these sensations may be completely incomprehensible, and this complicates the problem. It’s hard to get better when you don’t know why you got sick. 

There are many reasons why you can suffer from pain in the eyes for a long time. Some are obvious right away, and some can only be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. What to look for and how to deal with unpleasant itching, swelling and redness – we will tell you in more detail.

When you urgently need to see a doctor

Go to an ophthalmologist’s appointment as soon as possible or, depending on how you feel, call an ambulance, if:

  1. Acute pain started immediately after sawing wood, grinding metal, or performing any other action that could drive a sharp foreign body into your eye.
  2. The severe pain was caused by the trauma. For example, you stumbled upon a solid object or received a blow to the eye socket.
  3. Pain is accompanied by blurred vision and / or increased sensitivity to light, as well as visual distortion – for example, you see rainbow circles around light sources. These can be symptoms of glaucoma, an irreversible disease that causes optic nerve atrophy.
  4. In addition to the pain, you experience bouts of nausea and vomiting.
  5. You underwent ophthalmic surgery shortly before the onset of pain.
  6. The affected eye not only hurts, but also reddened, swelling, something is released from it.
  7. The pain is severe, it arose suddenly, and at the same time, during the prophylactic examinations, the ophthalmologist had already assumed that you had a risk of developing glaucoma.
  8. It is difficult for you to move the affected eye or you cannot keep it open.

One and even more so a few symptoms are enough to immediately seek medical attention: there is a risk of quickly losing sight.

Fortunately, medical emergencies are not common. In most cases, eye pain has less serious causes. Which, however, should not be tolerated either.

Why eyes hurt and what to do about it

1. Muscle tension

This is one of the most common reasons why your eyes hurt. Perhaps you gaze too long and actively at the screen of a laptop or smartphone, work too carefully with papers, or have to keep your gaze on some object in the distance. In this case, the muscles responsible for the work of the eye are constantly in the same tense position. Lactic acid builds up in them, and this turns into pain.

What to do

First of all, remember that the eyes also need rest. When working with documents or “sticking” in gadgets, do not forget to take a break for 5-10 minutes at least once an hour and a half. Gymnastics for the eyes will help to effectively relieve muscle tension : it is enough to do the exercises at least once a day.

2. Refusal of glasses

Many people deteriorate with age, but not everyone is able to recognize this moment in time. Nearsightedness or hyperopia, not corrected by glasses or lenses, again causes the muscles of the eyes to overextend. Moreover, for this it is not even necessary to work with documents or at a computer. It is enough just to look at the world around me.

What to do

Get your vision checked regularly (at least once a year). If necessary, select glasses or contact lenses with your ophthalmologist.

3. Dryness of the cornea

The cornea is the outer transparent membrane of the eye. This is an amazing tissue: there are no blood vessels in it, and tears deliver nutrients and oxygen to it. Not crocodiles, of course, but that small amount of fluid that is released from the lacrimal glands in a normal state.

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As long as the cornea is washed with enough tear fluid, everything is in order. But if there is not enough moisture, the shell becomes uncomfortable. She does not receive enough oxygen and nutrition and suffers, and we feel sting, burning, pain in the eyes.

Doctors call this condition dry eye syndrome . It can be caused by various reasons. Perhaps:

  • The air around is too dry. As a result, the tear liquid evaporates, not having time to give up what is needed.
  • You are too focused and forget to blink. This often happens when working with gadgets.
  • You are taking medications that change the composition of the tear film, which makes it dry faster. These medicines include some antidepressants and oral contraceptives.
  • You wear contact lenses every day.
  • You have a chronic medical condition (condition) that affects the composition of the tear fluid. These are, for example, diabetes, menopause, blepharitis (chronic inflammation of the eyelids).

What to do

To get started, install a humidifier in the room where you spend most of the day . Learn to regularly distract yourself from your gadgets in order to blink properly.

If pain and burning sensation in the eyes still make itself felt, be sure to visit an ophthalmologist. Your doctor will analyze your health, lifestyle, medications and other factors and make recommendations to help reduce dry cornea. For example, he will prescribe drops with an artificial tear.

4. Sinusitis

Drawing pain behind and above the eyes against the background of sinusitis , frontal sinusitis or other types of sinusitis (inflammation of the paranasal sinuses) – natural phenomenon. The infection causes swelling of the mucous membranes, they press on the eyeballs from the inside, causing soreness.

What to do

Treat sinusitis. Naturally, under the supervision of a therapist.

5. Corneal burn (photokeratitis)

Stinging, burning, gritty sensation in the eyes may appear after a day on a sunny beach or snow-covered slope. Well, or after you dared to look at welding.

What to do

Unpleasant sensations go away rather quickly by themselves. For the future: be sure to wear dark glasses when going out into the sun, and do not neglect the safety rules when welding.

6. Abrasions, scratches, foreign bodies on the cornea

A gust of wind easily brings dust, dirt, and the smallest foreign particles into the eyes. They can leave abrasions, scratches on the cornea, or stick to it for a while, causing painful feelings that become more pronounced when blinking.

What to do

Most abrasions and scratches heal on their own within a day or two, and foreign particles are just as quickly washed off with tear fluid. To speed up this process, try flushing your eyes with clean water or artificial tear drops.

But if the soreness lasts longer than a couple of days, it is necessary to consult an ophthalmologist: there is a risk that an infection develops in the eye.

7. Eye infections

Depending on what exactly is inflamed, eye infections are divided into:

  • blepharitis – inflammation of the eyelid;
  • keratitis – inflammation of the cornea;
  • conjunctivitis – inflammation of the conjunctiva (protein);
  • iritis – inflammation of the iris;
  • endophthalmitis – inflammation of the inside of the eye.

These conditions are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, which enter the visual organ either from the outside (through the smallest scratches), or with the blood flow from the inside.

What to do

The infection is accompanied not only by pain, but also by itching, tearing, redness and swelling of the affected eye (or both at once), purulent discharge. If you suspect inflammation, see your doctor as soon as possible. Self-medication is dangerous!

8. Neuritis of the optic nerve

This is the name of the inflammation of the nerve, which transmits information from the eyeball directly to the brain. Optic neuritis is one of the most frequent causes of sudden deterioration in vision at a young and middle age. It often accompanies the development of multiple sclerosis.

This type of pain increases when the eyes move from side to side. In addition, it is necessarily accompanied by a decrease in vision and a violation of color perception.

What to do

Contact an ophthalmologist faster. With timely treatment, neuritis can be defeated, and vision can be restored almost completely.

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