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Eye Pain: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2022

What is the treatment?

Eye pain is generally associated with eye inflammation, sharp, shooting, gritty or dull feeling in the eye, pressure, aching, stabbing or throbbing. Sometimes, the pain which originates from the eye is confused with other indications such as sinus pain, migraine, headache, or toothache. People generally seek medical care from a doctor commonly for eye pain. An ophthalmologist is an eye specialist to whom patients with eye problem go and get the required treatment.

There are various treatments available for specified eye problems. Eye pain results from multiple causes. These include conjunctivitis, foreign body in the eye, corneal ulcerations or abrasions, chemical or corneal eye burns, blepharitis, chalazions, glaucoma, iritis, trauma caused to the eye, migraines, sinusitis and optic neuritis. The bacterial form of conjunctivitis is treated from antibiotic drops, pain medication or eye ointment. Viral conjunctivitis which is also known as the pink eye is treated in a similar way as the bacterial one because there is hardly any difference between the two conditions. Antihistamines are used for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis either in the form of oral agents such as Benadryl or drops. In case there is a foreign body present in the eye causing pain and burning sensation, it is removed with a cotton tip applicator, small needle, ophthalmologic drill, or through eye wash irrigation.

How is the treatment done?

Eye pain is a typically progressive and chronic condition which may sometimes not be completely cured or managed, depending upon its cause and severity. But in most of the cases, it has been found that eye pain has been managed successfully, which usually results in fewer eye pain symptoms in future, greater eye comfort, and sharper vision in rare cases. A variety of treatment options are approached towards this condition as it has a number of causes.

In case of mild pain of the eye caused due to excess use of computer, schoolwork, reading and other situations, the best treatment for the eye available is frequent usage of lubricating eye drops or artificial tears. These drops are light and watery roving quick relief with little blurring of the vision on application. Often times, their soothing effect is short lived and should be used frequently for adequate relief. Long-lasting lubrication can be provided by certain eye drops which are more gel-like and have a high viscosity. The ingredients used in a particular eye drop associated with certain brands determine the type of eye pain condition to which they are best suited. For example, a particular brand may work better for an evaporative eye pain condition while some other brand may be effective for aqueous-deficiency eye pain. Be sure to follow the directions of your eye doctor on which formulation or brand of eye drop you should use and how often you should use them.

Can eye pain be caused by stress?

Stress can have many side effects. Alongside our mental health, it affects our physical health in a drastic way. One of the most common physical repercussions of stress is eye pain.

One might feel unusual strain, dullness, drowsiness and pain in the eyes under prolonged stress. This can be easily handled by some home care and stress management techniques.

Summary: Yes, prolonged stress can cause strain, dullness, drowsiness and even pain in the eyes. It can be managed with some eye care and stress handling techniques.

When should I be concerned about eye pain?

Since it is a sensitive organ, eye pain can be very discomforting for an individual. While in most cases the pain can be a sign of exhaustion, some can be a sign leading to a serious condition.

One should be concerned in case any of the mentioned below symptoms is experienced alongside severe eye pain:

  • Unusual headache
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden visuals of halos around lights
  • Swelling in or around your eyes
  • Trouble moving your eye
  • Not able to open or close eyelids
  • Oozing blood, or pus from eyes
  • Sudden contact of highly reactive chemical
Summary: Eye pain is a concerning symptom on its own. However, one should seek medical care in case the pain is accompanied by other forms of physical issues.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Women who are not pregnant, adults and even children are eligible for the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Pregnant women in some cases are not eligible for the treatment as the eye drop may enter the bloodstream and harm the fetus.

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Who should I see for eye pain?

An ophthalmologist or an optometrist is a medical professional specializing in treating eye-related conditions. In case of eye pain, one should seek any of the doctors as they can help you identify the reason behind the pain more accurately.

Other than any medical illness, if the eye pain is due to weakness or lack of correct lens focus, one can seek an optician. But it is advised to see the doctor first as opticians are not medically qualified.

Summary: Doctors specializing in eye treatment and care (ophthalmologist or optometrist) is the best option to look for in case of eye pain or discomfort.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects of the treatment include burning, itching, stinging and irritating sensation for 1-2 minutes on application. Other side effects are temporary blurred vision, allergic reactions, cloudy vision, and increased sensitivity to light.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After application of the eye drop, keep your eyes close for 2 to 3 minutes and put your head down while looking at the floor. Cigarette smoke can increase the risk of developing eye pain. It is advisable to stay away from it. Warm compresses over your eyes will provide immense relief and will fend off irritation. You can then wash your eyes later on with baby shampoo to help release the oil in the glands of the eyelids’, which also improves the quality of your tears. Finally, completely rinse your eyes from soap to avoid irritation. A diet enriched with omega-3 fatty acid supplement will help your eye condition.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes approximately 6 to 12 weeks to recover from eye pain condition.

Is ice good for eye pain?

Direct application of ice can harm the fragile surface of the eye. But a cold compress can help you with eye pain and other forms of eye discomfort. You can keep the crushed ice in a soft cloth or a reusable plastic bag to make the cold compress.

Keep your eyes close and use the compress for at least 10-15 mins on the effective area. You can also adjust the time as per your comfort as ice lowers the blood flow around your eyes.

Summary: Yes, iced used in the form of a cold compress can help you get relief from various forms of eye issues like swelling, bagginess, and pain.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of the treatment ranges from Rs. 18 to Rs. 3,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No the results of the treatment are not permanent and the eye drops have to be taken frequently for a proper and adequate effect to be noticed. It may develop again if preventive measures are not kept in mind.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

In case you are having side effects from excessive usage of eye drops then your doctor might recommend you to take certain medications and antibiotics to relieve your eye. An anti-inflammatory medication known as the cyclosporine is prescribed to increase tear protection and prevent corneal damage.

Summary: Eye pain can be described as a sensation of pain in or around the eyeballs. From prolonged stress to the development of serious illness, there are many reasons that can be behind eye pain. The pain can be eased out with the help of home care and rest, if not then consult your eye specialist.

References

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Written ByDr. Anurag Agarwal MS - Ophthalmology,MBBSOphthalmology
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