Eye Pain

Even when it is mild, eye pain is very frustrating and difficult to ignore. Severe eye pain can be the sign of a medical emergency that, without prompt treatment, may cost you your vision. The majority of mild to moderate eye pain has a simple cause such as eye strain, dry eye, or allergies. Whether you are experiencing sudden, severe eye pain or chronic eye irritation, in New York, Kelly Laser Center can help you.


Conjunctivitis is inflammation or infection of the membrane on the inside of your eyelids and part of the outside of the eye itself. It can cause pain, redness, and itching. Sometimes it is accompanied by discharge. Common causes include:

  • Allergies
  • Bacteria
  • Virus
  • Chemicals
  • Fungi
  • Foreign body
  • Sunburn
  • Fumes
  • Smoke
  • Dry eye
  • Contact lenses

Conjunctivitis can also be a symptom of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, and other underlying health conditions.
Conjunctivitis treatment depends on what caused the problem initially. In some cases, lubricating drops are all that is needed to relieve the irritation. Antibiotic drops or ointments can effectively treat bacterial infections.

Eye Strain

Eye strain can cause burning eyes, throbbing deep inside of the eyes, general soreness of the eyes, headaches, eye twitching, and many other symptoms such as blurry vision and even nausea. Most people experience occasional eye strain that goes away when you rest your eyes. Chronic eye strain, however, can be harmful to your vision and your health, and can even lead to learning impairments and attention problems.
A common cause of eye strain today is computer use. For many, that is unavoidable, but there are some habits you can develop to prevent computer eye strain. Chronic eye strain can also be the sign of another more serious eye problem. Relief can be a simple matter of correcting refractive error.

Inflammation of the Optic Nerve

Optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve, is very serious business. It typically causes eye pain that worsens when you move your eye. Other symptoms can include vision loss and loss of color perception, but those symptoms are not always present.
For a small percentage of those who experience it, optic neuritis can result in a partial loss of vision. In rare cases, optic neuritis can lead to permanent vision loss. Optic neuritis is generally a symptom of these more serious health conditions:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lyme disease
  • HIV
  • Diabetes
  • Cranial arteritis (which can lead to stroke or permanent vision loss)

Glaucoma Emergency

Eye pain can be a sign of a type of glaucoma called acute angle-closure glaucoma. Unlike the more common open-angle glaucoma, which progresses slowly and rarely produces symptoms, acute angle-closure glaucoma is considered a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately to save your vision. This is not the kind of treatment you can put off until tomorrow or even later in the day.
In acute angle-closure glaucoma, the pressure inside the eye increases very rapidly damaging the optic nerve. Other symptoms can include:

  • Red eye
  • Dilated pupil
  • Reduced vision
  • Nausea
  • Headache

If you are experiencing eye pain, please contact LASIK surgeon Dr. James Kelly, today at Kelly Laser Center, serving New York in Long Island, Manhattan, and New York City.