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Contact lenses

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Contact lenses can cause consistent eye pain if the lenses get dirty or don’t fit well. Along with this, wearing contact lenses for too long can become gradually more painful for the eye and can contribute to serious issues like infections. You may also be experiencing eye pain from contact lenses if you are sensitive to certain materials, for example hard lenses are often much more irritating than softer lenses.

Foreign objects

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Many people understand that a person may have eye pain because there may be something in their eyes. This foreign object is often something minor like an eyelash or dirt, however no matter what the size is, it can still cause redness and pain. Usually you can just wash or rub the object out, however if the item is large enough then you may need to seek a medical examination.

Dry eyes

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Typically, dry eyes cause discomfort – not pain. However, if you have a particularly severe case of dry eyes, then this may become painful. Dry eyes can make a person want to blink more, but blinking with extremely dry eyes can make the eye feel sandy or gritty, encouraging the person to rub their eyes, which therefore causes further irritation and pain. Slightly dry eyes require eye drops, however severely dry eyes require medical attention.

Blocked tear duct

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In a healthy eye, tears that lubricate he surface will drain through the tear ducts in the corner of the eye. The liquid will then enter the nose and the body then absorbs it and destroys it. However, issues like irritation can cause tear duct blockages that will stop the flow of tears. A symptom of this can be itchy eyes, irritation and pain.

Recurrent Corneal Erosions (RCEs)

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This is one of the most painful eye conditions you can develop, however it’s very easy to treat. This condition often happens when an event suddenly forces the lid of the eye open, causing a scrape against the cornea. In most cases, this is due to a history of damage from fingernails and foreign bodies. Eyedrops are often the standard treatment option, but most will say to keep your eyes remained closed whilst it heals.

Pink eye

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Conjunctivitis, AKA pink eye, is where the transparent membrane that lines the eyeball and the eyelid becomes inflamed, causing the blood vessels to become swollen and red – hence the ‘pink’ eye. Pink eye is often cause by viral infections, but bacteria and allergies like animal hair and pollen can also be the cause of the condition.


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Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea (the clear tissue that covers the pupil and the iris). There are different forms of keratitis, but the most common are ultraviolet (UV) keratitis and herpes simplex keratitis. UV keratitis develops due to exposure to extreme uv lights. Herpes simplex keratitis occurs when a herpes simplex virus infects the cornea. All forms are painful, with an aching and sharp sensation.

Toxin exposure


Eyes are extremely sensitive organs, that often react to environmental irritants. If these irritants are powerful toxins, then this can make the eyes feel itchy and painful. These toxins can include cigarette smoke and pollution, along with chlorine that can also be responsible. However, the severity of the pain depends on the strength of the toxin.


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Glaucoma is often a painless disease, however there are instances where it can become painful, whereby it can turn into a medical emergency that requires a quick action plan. A form of the disease is acute angle-closure glaucoma, which involves natural growth pushing the eye’s iris forward, which will limit vision – this can be painful and you may develop vision loss.


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This is one of the more severe conditions that can cause eye pain. Scleritis develops when the sclera and deep episclera becomes inflamed. The pain is often intense, and is described as a deep ache that ‘drills’ into the head. Symptoms of this condition are vision loss, blurring, and floaters. Steroids called Corticosteroids are often administered when this condition occurs.