Eye pain is a term that includes discomfort in the eye, as well as around and behind it. Pain can affect both eyes, or only one. Let’s analyze the last option in more detail.

According to the results of studies, there is no data that the right or left eye hurts more often. In each case, it is individual.

The most common causes of acute pain in one eye are:

Eye injury with corneal damage, acute attack of glaucoma, iridocyclitis, phlegmon of the orbit, neuralgic syndromes, headaches and temporal arteritis.

1) Eye injuries with corneal damage. When the anterior transparent shell of the eye — the cornea is damaged, a whole complex of symptoms occurs, which is combined into the corneal syndrome. In this case, the patient experiences acute pain of a cutting nature, photophobia, blepharospasm (the eye cannot fully open). This is due to damage to the nerve fibers of the cornea, which are abundant on its surface. A characteristic diagnostic sign is an improvement in the condition when using anesthetic drops, as the sensitivity of the nerve endings decreases.

2) Acute attack of glaucoma. Develops with a sharp increase in intraocular pressure. In this case, the pain spreads to the temple, vision worsens, becomes cloudy, the eye becomes red-purple, the eyeball becomes hard, palpation is painless. This situation is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention! With prolonged exposure to high pressure, the optic nerve begins to suffer, its tissue is destroyed and the former visual acuity can not be returned.

Glaucoma can also occur without acute attacks. A gradual increase in intraocular pressure does not give acute manifestations, which is often the reason for a late visit to an ophthalmologist. The disease reaches a terminal stage, visual function is lost and hypertension pain syndrome occurs. The pain comes gradually and slowly subsides.

3) Iridocyclitis is an inflammation of the anterior part of the choroid of the eye (iris and ciliary body).

In this case, the patient experiences acute pain, which increases at night, the pupil narrows and loses the ability to expand. The eye is soft, but palpation causes soreness.

4) Phlegmon of the orbit is a purulent inflammation of the tissues of the orbit. In this case, the pain is localized in the area of the eyeball and next to it. It occurs acutely, the general condition of the patient worsens, the temperature rises, chills and headache appear. The eyelids of the eye swell, the pain increases sharply when touched. This condition is life-threatening and requires urgent medical attention.

5) Neuralgic syndromes. Unilateral pain in the eye is characteristic of nerve damage. Depending on the affected nerve, the exact localization of pain and its nature differ. With the defeat of the trigeminal nerve (the first branch) is characterized by severe paroxysmal pain in the eyes, the brow and the upper eyelid. Palpation at the exit point of the optic nerve is very painful.

Neuralgia of the nasolabial nerve-characterized by severe pain in the eye area, at the inner corner of the eye and the back of the nose.

Wing-palatine node syndrome — pain in the frontal area and in the area of the eyeball. It can be accompanied by edema of the upper eyelid and photophobia.

6) Headaches.

Migraine is accompanied by severe unilateral pain in the frontal-orbital-temporal region of the head. In this case, the pain can spread to the entire half of the head, and vision can deteriorate (in most cases, this is manifested by the appearance of a flickering spot in the field of vision).

Cluster pains are also known — a throbbing headache that engulfs the eye area, lasting 1.5 hours. Occurs mainly at night at the same time.

7) Temporal arteritis. Occurs exclusively in the elderly, with rare exceptions. Women are more susceptible. This is an inflammation of the arteries that supply blood to the area of the head, eyes and eye nerve. During the attack, there is severe pain in the temple, eye area, temporary deterioration of vision. The danger of this disease is that with a long course it can cause irreversible loss of vision.

As you can see, the list of possible causes of pain in one eye is extensive. To make an accurate diagnosis, dynamic observation is necessary, in some cases, specific examinations. Among these pathologies, there are conditions in which procrastination is life-threatening.


In case of eye injuries, it is necessary to make sure that there are no foreign bodies, if necessary, remove them, treat the wounds with antiseptics, antibacterial drugs and healing gels.
Glaucoma requires normalization of intraocular pressure, neuroprotective drugs that protect nerve tissues from the effects of high pressure.
In iridocyclitis, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial therapy is used, as well as the treatment of a systemic disease that provoked iridocyclitis.
Neuralgic syndromes are caused by inflammation of the nervous tissue, so anti-inflammatory therapy is mainly required. Headaches, like neuralgia, require joint observation by neurologists.
Temporal arteritis is treated together with a therapist. Prescribe a course of steroid drugs that relieve inflammation of the arteries well.
All treatment requires an individual approach and comprehensive monitoring. If you notice an emerging pain in one eye, especially repeated-do not hesitate. Make an appointment for a consultation! After all, only timely medical care will give the fastest possible relief from the painful condition.

Take care of your eyes and be healthy!

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