What Causes Pain Behind the Eyes?



Pain in and around the eyes can be very discomforting to put up with. Wondering why your eye hurts? Frankly, the reason could be anything. From severe eye injury to minor issues like a superficial erosion of cornea. However, if you are trying to assess how intense the underlying cause of the discomfort is based on the intensity of the pain endured, it is truly a wrong approach. Thinking why? Well, grave issues like macular degeneration, detached retina and even glaucoma at times are never observed with any syndromes of pain in the eye.

It is certainly not necessary that problems shooting up inside your eye must be an aftermath of increased pressure in the eyes. The condition could also stem from a part of your head. Speaking of pain, how can it be well described? Of course an aching sensation. The sense of having an uncomfortable gritty something inside the eye. Also, a hurting and throbbing sensation at times. The symptoms of built up eye pressure are often wrongly identified as the occurrence of pain behind the eyes. The difference must be learned. When it is about augmented pressure, the eyes feel full and a weird stretchy kind of sensation in the eye. It could pop up due to any possible causes. From a normal toothache to Grave’s disease and sinus problems. The underlying causes for eye pain, on the contrary, is very different. Let’s grab a quick look.

Causes of eye pain:

Before delving into the subject, it is worth understanding the real causes of pain. To begin with, pain is also subdivided into two broad categories. These include:

Ocular Pain – Little did you know that there is a massive presence of pain-sensitive structures on the outer lining and on the surface of the organ. Pain stemming from these structures are termed as ocular pain.

Orbital Pain –  Just like any other body part, diseases spring up in the eye as well. Pain arising as an aftermath of eye-based disorders are often termed as orbital pain. The sensation is more like a throbbing, deep and dull ache behind the eye.

Examples of ocular pain in the eye:

  1. Conjunctivitis It is undeniably one of the most popular eye problems encountered by many. It refers to a bacterial or viral attack that leads to the swelling of the conjunctiva. Remember what it is? The delicate membrane sheltering the eyeball. When it is viral conjunctivitis, the same membrane gets inflamed, developing a pinkish hue. Hence, many times, the condition has been non-medically reported as ‘Pinkeye’. Pain is an obvious symptom along with itchiness, a gritty drainage, and redness in the eye.
  2. Blepharitis This is again a condition worth learning. The disorder shoots up when oil glands situated on the edge of the eyelids come to a stopple. The eyelids inflame, topped up with severe pain.
  3. Corneal Ulcerations – Commonly known as abrasions, it is a prominent cause of eye pain. Cornea refers to the transparent portion of the eye. There might be scratches on the lining or intrusion of foreign bodies in the same, caused due to excessive use of the lens. Infection is an obvious outcome. It induces a sensation of grittiness in the eye, accompanied by pain in general.
  4. Sty and Chalazion – The conditions pave way for tremendous irritation and eye pain. In either of the conditions, there are visible lumps on the eyelid. Wondering how do they spring up? Well, when the oil glands in the eye are triggered and plugged, small little lumps show up on the eyelids. The lumps are extremely painful to be touched.
  5. Burns – Speaking of burns, we are referring to flash burns and chemical burns. When human eyes are exposed to powerful ultraviolet rays or light sources without proper eye protecting gears, the corneal flash burn is an evident aftermath. Similarly, if the eyes are exposed to alkaline or acidic substances like cleaners and bleach, it causes chemical burns. Under both circumstances, a worn-out cornea paired with excessive pain is bound to occur.

Let’s quickly understand the causes of orbital pain:

  1. Glaucoma Usually referring to an acute angle closure is a definite cause of orbital pain. Now, glaucoma can also pop up in an open angle. Such conditions are not very painful compared to the former one. There is an intraocular pressure that occurs paired with the surplus secretion of aqueous humor. It lends to a burgeoning pressure in the eye, causing pain beyond doubts.
  2. Optic Neuritis – Optic connective nerves end up in the back of the eye. When these nerves are inflamed due to the viral infections, bacterial attacks or multiple sclerosis, the pressure inside the eye steps up in a spry. This leads to a change in vision and aggravates pain.
  3. Trauma – Accidents causing injury to the eye or a sudden blow using a foreign object leads to consequences that are excruciating. There pops up scratches on the cornea and is usually a very painful occurrence.
  4. Iritis – Iris is the colored part of the eye, in terms of a layman. When the iris swells up, it is accompanied with distressing pain as well. Other symptoms include blurred vision and tremendous sensitivity to light.
  5. Migraines The condition paves way for a severe headache, causing pain in the eye too.

Any discomfort or pain felt in the eye must be treated as soon as possible.