Why Do My Eyes Hurt? 11 Possible Causes of Eye Pain and Soreness

Your eye doctor can figure out what’s going on and find the right treatment for you.

Nearly everyone has had sore eyes at some point. Sometimes they get better on their own, but they can also be a sign of something more serious.

Sometimes discomfort or pain results from a problem in your eye or the parts around it, such as:

Conjunctivitis (pinkeye): This is inflammation of the conjunctiva. It can be from allergies or infections (viral or bacterial). Blood vessels in the conjunctiva swell. This makes the part of your eye that’s usually white look red. Your eye could also get itchy and gunky. This condition is typically not painful.

Corneal abrasions: That’s the official name for a scratch on this part of your eye. It sounds minor, but it can hurt. It’s easy to do, too. You can scratch your eye while rubbing it. Your doctor will give you antibiotic drops. It should get better in a couple of days without further problems.

Corneal infections (keratitis): An inflamed or infected cornea is sometimes caused by a bacterial or viral infection. You may be more likely to get it if you leave your contacts in overnight or wear dirty lenses.

Foreign bodies: Something in your eye, like a bit of dirt, can irritate it. Try to rinse it out with artificial tears or water. If you don’t get it out, it can scratch your eye.

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