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Eye Socket Pain

Eye Socket Pain

Ethmoid sinusitis is one of the most common causes of throbbing eye socket pain. Read on to know the other common causes of sharp pain around the eye socket, and various other symptoms associated with the pain.
Leena Palande
People often complain about pain in the eye socket during common cold and flu. Not only eye diseases like pink eye, but other diseases like sinusitis can also lead to eye pain. Symptoms of eye socket pain may vary from person to person, depending upon the cause of the pain.

Eyeball Pain

Common Causes
Sinusitis: Ethmoid sinuses are situated above the nose and below the eye sockets. Inflammation of these sinuses block the mucus in the ethmoid passages. Accumulation of mucus in the sinuses leads to infection. Swollen ethmoid sinuses exert pressure on the eye sockets and give rise to throbbing or sharp pain. This type of situation is common during common cold and flu. The symptoms include headache, pain in the temple, eyeball pain, nasal congestion and discharge, secretion of mucus from the rear of the nasal cavity, and pain in one particular side of the nose. These symptoms may become worse after lying down.

Eye Problems: Various diseases and disorders of the eye can lead to eyeball pain. For example, viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, eye contact with harmful chemicals or gases, corneal problems due to infections or overuse of contact lenses or contact with foreign bodies, inflammation of the iris, exposure to strong acids or alkaline substances, development of a sty or chalazion, glaucoma, herpes infections, fungal keratitis, inflammation of the eyelids due to blocked oil glands in the eyes, etc. Pain in the eye socket, itching, reddened eyes, blurred vision, and drainage are the common symptoms of eye disorders.

Other Problems: Various other disorders which are not directly related to the eyes can cause constant pain in the eye sockets. For example, migraine. Multiple sclerosis can lead to inflammation of the optic nerve leading to severe eye pain. Dust, smoke, pollen grains allergies, air pollution, water pollution (for those who swim regularly), can cause such pain. Excessive eye strain (constant reading or watching television, working with computers, not maintaining the correct distance between the eyes and the screen, exposure to ultra violet rays, excessive use of contact lenses, etc.), can result in eyeball pain.

Since there exist several possible causes of pain in the eye sockets, the doctor will check the symptoms to find out the exact cause behind the eye pain. Severity of the symptoms may vary according to the cause and stage of the disease. Take a look at the list of symptoms that can be noticed along with eye socket pain.
  • Swelling and redness of the eyelids
  • Throbbing or sharp pain around the eye
  • Headache, sore throat, fever
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Nasal congestion
  • Post nasal drip
  • Pain and pressure in eyes, which is worse when you lean forwards or when you lie down
  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Halos, dark spots, strings, cobwebs before the eyes
  • Difficulty in eye-movement
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Burning sensation in eyes
  • Bulging of eyes
  • Excessive discharge from eyes
Eye socket pain treatment may vary according to the causes and symptoms. Those who have a weak immune system are more likely to suffer from eye, nose and throat infections. A healthy diet and regular exercise helps strengthen your immune system. Hygiene plays an important role in eye health. The use of prescribed nasal drops, drinking plenty of warm water and fluids, taking proper medicines, light facial massage, and steam inhalation, can help relieve the symptoms like nasal congestion and watery discharge. You should never neglect eye pain. Ethmoid sinusitis, if not treated promptly, can cause eye socket infection, which is considered as a serious condition. Eye socket infection can result in irreversible vision loss or irreversible problems regarding movement of the eyes. An eye being an important and delicate organ, and you should take proper care of eyes, at all times.