The Causes of Eyeball Pain
Sometimes we know the cause of eyeball pain, most often when we are either struck in the eye or a foreign body gets in our eye. If there is no actual injury, the pain may subside quickly and nothing usually needs to be done. If the pain lingers, gets worse, or it's become evident that an injury to the eye has occurred, it's wise to seek medical attention and seek it quickly. There's little sense in letting a seemingly minor problem grow into something that could eventually result in an impairment or a loss of vision.
Our eyes can be very sensitive to pain as anyone who has ever had a finger flicked in their eye, or had something the size of a grain of sand in their eye knows all to well. Depending upon the cause, eyeball pain can be sharp, dull, an itching sensation, an ache, or some combination of these sensations. In some instances eyeball pain isn't really centered in the eye itself, as is the case with some types of headache for example. An exception would be a migraine headache, where pain is often definitely felt within the eye.
Ocular And Orbital Eyeball Pain - Eyeball pain normally falls into on of two categories, ocular pain, resulting from an injury to the eye, an infection of inflammation of the outer surface of the eye or the eyelid, from a sty, or due to the presence of a foreign body. The other category of eyeball pain, orbital pain, is most often caused by a disease within the eyeball. Many eye diseases or disorders such as cataracts and glaucoma generally do not cause pain, although glaucoma in some instances can. Any disease or inflammation affecting the optic nerve can cause orbital eye pain. If the iris should become inflamed for some reason, a condition known as iritis, a deep pain may be felt in the eye.
Look For Accompanying Symptoms - The severity of an eye problem in which eyeball pain is occurring sometimes can be judged by the presence of other symptoms. Obviously a partial or complete loss of vision calls for immediate medical attention. Symptoms such as double vision, vision with a halo effect, or extreme light sensitivity may not require emergency treatment, and are often indicative of the presence of an eye disease. If these symptoms are present they should certainly not be ignored, particularly if they appeared quickly and seem to be worsening. Floaters, those little strings, spots, and cell-like forms that can almost be entertaining to watch at times, are usually harmless, and are caused by bits of cellular tissue which have broken loose. We all have them, but they may become more numerous or pronounced in the case of an eye injury or disease, and when this is the case, especially if pain is also involved, it would be best to check in with an ophthalmologist fairly quickly.
Symptoms To Take Seriously - Symptoms to be particularly watchful for would include abnormal swelling, bleeding or the presence of pus inside the front of the eye, bulging of the eyeball, or an excessive discharge of material from the eye socket. Such symptoms would indicate that unless medical attention is sought fairly quickly, a situation which might be serious could rapidly become even more so.
Sometimes when we have eyeball pain, all we want or need is something, such as ibuprofen, which will relieve the pain. If the pain doesn't return all is probably well. If the pain does keep coming back, or worsens, it's best not to ignore it. Our sight is too precious a thing to take chances with.