Pain around the eye is something most of us experience at some time during our lives. It’s usually a minor irritation, but it can be a symptom of a more serious problem.
So what is the cause of pain around your eye and what might it mean for your health?
Bruising as a result of a fall can cause pain around the eye. Painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol will deal with the immediate pain, and an ice pack – a bag of frozen peas is ideal – applied for 10 to 20 minutes will deal with any swelling.
One of the most common causes of pain around the eye, eyestrain is also the easiest to treat. Take frequent screen breaks and drink plenty of fluids.
When the sinuses become blocked because of sinusitis, a cold or allergies, the build-up of mucus can cause pain and pressure around the eye. This can be treated with a nasal spray and a hot shower may bring relief by breaking up the mucus and allowing it to drain away.
If one eye has a tendency to move independently, you can experience eyestrain and headaches as a result. A squint can be treated with prescription lenses, but you might need exercises to retrain your vision.
The symptoms of a migraine can cause pain around the eye sockets. If you start to experience this kind of pain then take paracetamol or ibuprofen for the pain as soon as possible. Lying down in a darkened room is still one of the most effective ways to deal with a migraine attack.
This bacterial infection can cause painful swelling and redness around the eyes. If you suspect you have cellulitis around the eyes, keep the affected area clean and take painkillers. Cellulitis needs to be treated with antibiotics as quickly as possible to prevent spreading to the eyeball itself.
Cavernous Venous Thrombosis
If the jugular vein that runs behind the eye sockets gets blocked with a blood clot, you may experience severe pain around the eyes and a persistent headache. Cavernous Venous Thrombosis must be treated with antibiotics.
When to consult a doctor
If you’re experiencing redness around the eyes or a persistent headache in addition to pain around the eyes, then you’ll need to consult your doctor. Although some causes of pain will clear up on their own, conditions like cellulitis and Cavernous Venous Thrombosis can cause permanent sight loss if you don’t seek treatment.