Eye Am in Pain – Why Your Eyes Hurt and When to See a Doctor

Eye pain like eye irritation and sore eyes can be a symptom of several different conditions.


Nearly everyone has had sore eyes at some point.

It’s always worrying when there’s eye irritation.

Sometimes they get better on their own, but they can also be a sign of something more serious.

How can you tell the difference?

Read on as we explore the different ways eye irritation manifest and when you should seek medical advice.

Where does it hurt?


Eye irritation may stem from a problem in your eye, or the parts around it, such as:

  • Cornea: The clear window in the front of your eye that focuses light.
  • Sclera: The whites of your eyes.
  • Conjunctiva: The ultra-thin covering of your sclera and the inside of your eyelid.
  • Iris: The coloured part of your eye.
  • Orbit: Your eye socket. It’s where the eye and its muscles are located.
  • Extraocular muscles: They rotate your eye.
  • Nerves: They turn light from your eyes into visual information for your brain.
  • Eyelids: Outside coverings that protect and spread moisture over your eyes.

Knowing exactly which part of your eye is hurting can help greatly in finding a treatment for the symptoms.

What are some common eye pain symptoms?

Dry, sore eyes


Sore eyes combined with a dry, gritty feeling could be caused by dry eye syndrome.

It may also be a symptom of digital eye strain.

Constantly sore and dry eyes may even water more as the eyes respond to the dryness and irritation with excess tears.

You could try some eye drops from the pharmacist to alleviate the symptoms.

Itchy, red, sore eyes

Itchy, red, sore eyes

Allergies and eye infections can both cause your eyes to feel sore, red and itchy.

The eye infection conjunctivitis is a particularly common cause of sore, red eyes. It’s also known as pink eye due to the colour that the sclera becomes.

Contact lenses can also cause sore eyes for a number of reasons, such as the duration you’ve been wearing them and whether they’re properly cleaned.

Your eyes may be itchy and sore from foreign bodies as well. Foreign bodies are anything that doesn’t belong to your eye, like dirt or dust. Try to rinse it out with some saline solution or cooled boiled water. If you don’t get it out, it can scratch your eye.

Rubbing your eyes may seem tempting to alleviate the itch. However, this can actually trigger worse inflammation!

If you can’t stand the itch, it’s time to see your doctor.

Sharp eye pain


An injury to the eye often causes sharp or stabbing eye pain.

In extremely rare cases, sharp or stabbing eye pain can be a symptom of a much more serious condition, such as a brain tumour or aneurysm.

However, your sharp eye pain is probably one of these more common causes:

  • cluster headaches
  • migraines
  • sinusitis
  • allergies

It might be a sign of acute closed-angle glaucoma if you have abrupt eye discomfort, blurred vision, haloes around lights, nausea, or vomiting.

This is a medical emergency, and you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Dull eye pain


If you’re experiencing dull, painful eye discomfort, or pain that seems like it’s coming from deep within your eye, it might be due to eye strain or overuse.

If the discomfort does not go away, it might signify a more serious illness or eye disease like glaucoma.

When should I seek treatment for my eye irritation?


If your symptoms persist for more than 3 days, that’s a sign for you to seek treatment.

Treatments vary depending on the symptoms and can range from as basic as using eye drops to medicine and surgery for more serious eye problems.

Eye irritation can manifest itself in various ways, making a diagnosis impossible without a thorough examination of your symptoms.

It’s critical to consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist, especially if the pain does not go away. Only an eye care professional can figure out what’s going on and provide proper advice accordingly.

We understand your concern for your eyes, which is why we’ve created a 6-in-1 Optometry Package just for you.

Your Eye Guardian: The Friendliest in Town!

Your Eye Guardian is one of the very few optical shops in Singapore with hospital-grade equipment to address your eye pain needs.

There will be 3 advanced tests that help our customers to identify any potential eye problems that might arise in the future.

As part of our package, we also provide professional advice and help your vision according to your needs.

Make your appointment now! After all, you can’t put a price on your eye health.