Understanding the Potential Causes of Eye Pain

Almost everyone experiences some sort of eye pain during their lives, so it can be difficult to recognize when sore eyes or eye pain warrants medical attention. In some cases, eye pain disappears over time, but in other cases, eye pain is a symptom of a more serious eye health condition . Here’s a look some of the most common causes of eye pain and their treatment options.

Causes of Eye Pain - Dr. Mark Hornfeld - NYC


Commonly known as pinkeye, conjunctivitis is an inflammation in the covering of the white outside wall of the eye. This condition usually develops from contact with an allergen or through a viral or bacterial infection. If someone develops conjunctivitis, the blood vessels in his or her eye inflame, causing the white portion of the eye to appear red. The inflammation is usually accompanied by itchiness and discharge. If a bacterial infection is responsible for pink eye, it can usually be treated within 24 hours with an antibiotic.

Foreign bodies

A piece of dirt, plant debris or contact lens fragment can all cause irritation if they become trapped in the eye. Usually, these foreign bodies cause some irritation until tears or water rinse them away. However, foreign bodies that aren’t removed from the eye can scratch the cornea and lead to longer-lasting eye pain and vision problems .


Glaucoma usually shows no early symptoms or signs, but it is a very serious eye condition that can damage the optic nerve. Usually a hereditary eye condition, glaucoma is often associated with building pressure inside of the eye. This mounting pressure can damage the eye’s optic nerve, which is responsible for sending images to the brain. As a result, failure to prevent further damage to the optic nerve can lead to permanent vision loss.

Dr. Mark Hornfeld is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology as well as the American Board of Internal Medicine. As a graduate from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, New York, Dr. Hornfeld has extensive experience as a New York City-based ophthalmologist . To schedule a consultation in our office, please call (646) 502-4142.

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