What Causes Sore Eyes? How to Treat It

Sore eyes can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnicities. Typically, this symptom is felt in the conjunctiva, but it can be felt in the eyeball as well. Eye pain can be caused by an infection such as conjunctivitis or "pink eye," allergies or a foreign particle coming in contact with the eye's surface. In addition to discomfort in the eyes, infections can cause swollen lymph nodes, runny nose or sore throat. Sneezing, coughing, or touching the eye can spread the bacteria or virus causing an eye infection to others.

Symptoms may include a red or pink hue on the whites of the eyes as the blood vessels darken. You may also feel a dry or itchy sensation near the eye which can add to your discomfort. On some occasions, the patient may experience sensitivity to light, difficulty opening the eyes after sleeping or discharge leaking from the eye.

Causes and Treatments of Sore Eyes

Sore eyes can be caused not only by the problem of the eye itself, but also by the problems around eyes. Sore eyes treatments depend very much on the cause. Below is a list of the common causes and the corresponding treatments.

1. Conjunctivitis

This disease is more commonly referred to as "pink eye." It is caused when the conjunctiva, or the membrane lining the eyeball and eyelid becomes inflamed. This can be caused by a bacterial, viral or chemical exposure that leads to irritation. Harsh chemicals, allergens, soaps or airborne irritants such as pollution or smoke can cause chemical conjunctivitis.


2. Dry Eyes

The eyes must remain lubricated in order to function properly. When the lacrimal or tear glands are not producing enough liquid to coat the eyes then they can become scratchy and irritated. They can also become excessively sensitive to outside stimuli as there are no tears to help wash away additional irritants.


3. Allergies

Exposure to pollen, pollution, dust and other irritants can cause the eyes to become puffy and sore. This is especially common in the summer, when "hay fever" is prevalent. As allergy triggers come in contact with the body, it can trigger an overreaction of the immune system. The body will attempt to purge itself of these irritants by creating excess mucus and causing the eyes to water. The skin, including that around the eyes can begin to itch.


Sore eyes treatment in this case is mainly aimed to relieve the allergy symptoms. Common treatments include:

4. Excessive Strain

Overusing the eyes can cause them to become fatigued which can lead to soreness. Performing tasks such as reading or staring at a bright screen for long periods of time can cause this sensation to occur. These tasks overwork the muscles and cause the body to blink less as the brain strains to keep its focus on the task. This will cause the eyes to dry out, causing additional discomfort.


Prevention of Sore Eyes

Sore eyes treatments for different causes vary and can help to relieve the discomfort. However, it is best if you can prevent eye soreness in the first place.

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