Eye pain can occur on the surface of your eye or within your eye's deeper structures. Eye pain that's on the surface of your eye might be described as itching, burning or shooting pain. Surface eye pain is often related to a foreign object in your eye, an eye infection, or anything that irritates or inflames the membrane covering the surface of your eye.
You might describe eye pain originating deeper within your eye as throbbing or aching. This type of eye pain may be linked to a serious medical condition.
Severe eye pain — especially accompanied by any degree of vision loss — may be a signal that you need medical attention urgently.
- Blepharitis (inflammation that affects your eyelids)
- Blocked tear duct
- Chalazion (a type of cyst on your eyelid)
- Contact lens problem
- Corneal abrasion (rubbing off of the very top layers of the cornea, the transparent cover of your eye)
- Dry eyes
- Ectropion (condition in which your eyelid turns out)
- Entropion (condition in which your eyelid turns in)
- Foreign object in eye
- Glaucoma (group of conditions, often the result of pressure inside your eye, causing nerve damage)
- Cluster headache
- Injury, such as from a blunt trauma or burn
- Iritis (inflammation of the colored part of the eye)
- Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis) (inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball)
- Scleritis (inflammation of the sclera, the tough white outer part of your eyeball)
- Sty (a red, painful lump near the edge of your eyelid)
- Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.