Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why does my eye continue to experience sporadic pain like it has been poked?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy does my eye continue to experience sporadic pain like it has been poked?


About three months ago, I ran into my (very tall) husband's beard with my eye. It hurt very much for a few days but with eye drops it got better shortly after. However, since then, about two nights a week i wake up in the middle of the night with that same eye hurting and feeling like i have been poked in the eye or like something is in my eye, when neither is the case. What could this be? anything serious? Should i see a doctor?


Eye pain, particularly after a traumatic injury like the one you are describing, is a concerning symptom. There are numerous reasons for having eye pain, but given your description, it is quite possible that you have damage to the eye, in particular to the clear outside covering of the eye called the cornea. This cannot be diagnosed without an in-person consultation, and I would suggest you contact your doctor for a referral to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for an examination of your eye using a specialized microscope. Other causes of eye pain include glaucoma, which would be suggested by a family history of the disease or headaches / vision changes associated with the pain. A specific type of headache called "cluster headaches" can also present with pain in the area around the eye. Infections of the surface of the eye would be an important diagnosis to rule-out, and again can only be properly diagnosed by an in-person eye exam using a specialized microscope. In any case, these diagnoses can only be assigned by an in-person consultation, and I would urge you to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss these concerns.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.