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"Why do my eyeballs hurt?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do my eyeballs hurt?


There is a weird pain in my eyes. Like when I look around, they hurt all the way around the ?eyeball?. Could they just be dry? Would eye drops help make the pain go away?


There are several possible causes of this eye pain. It would be helpful to try to distinguish between pain, redness, or itching of the eyeball surface, which could be due to allergies or a superficial infection or irritation of the eyes, and pain that is deeper inside the eye, associated with movement of the eye from side to side. Your doctor can help you make this distinction, which is an important one because superficial infections or allergies are generally not a big deal and can be easily treated with simple medications. Deep eye pain, on the other hand, or "orbital pain" has more potentially serious causes that need to be identified. If your doctor determines that you have deep eye pain, they will first try to determine if it is caused by common conditions that can often masquerade as orbital pain - in particularly, I am thinking of migraine headaches and sinus infections. If these are not the cause, then you will likely need a full eye exam, because the eye conditions associated with deep eye pain include glaucoma (a build up of pressure in the eye) and optis neuritis (an inflammation of the nerve leading to the eye), which are serious conditions that can only be detected by an eye doctor. Please see one soon.

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