What Can Cause A Sore Eye?
A sore eye can result from many different things, including the most obvious, a blow to the eye. In a situation such as this, it is the tissues around the eye rather than the eyeball itself that may be the source of pain, but the eye has nerve endings as well, and if the trauma extends to the eye, soreness could result. Most common causes of a sore eye are not overly serious, though many do the have a potential of becoming so if proper attention or care is not given.
Sore Muscles - When we experience a sore eye, it is usually the result of eye strain. There are reasons behind eye strain but whatever the reason, if the muscles of the eye become overly tired or stressed, they can become sore. We don't normally give much thought to the muscles of the eye, but they are there, and frequently contribute to a sore eye situation. Headaches as well as viral infections sometime have a habit if "settling" in the eye. When we experience a headache, the vicinity of one or both eyeballs is sometimes where we feel the pain. This is a temporary situation, and is usually due to pressures of one kind or another on the nerves in the eyes. No damage to the eye normally occurs.
Conjunctivitis - Conjunctivitis is another of the more common causes of a sore eye. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the whites of our eyes as well as the inner surfaces of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis in the eye can be mild, causing only minor irritation, or can be serious enough to destroy tissue, depending upon the cause, of which there are many. Seldom if ever though does conjunctivitis cause permanent damage to the eye. Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria is often contagious, and one can in fact experience a sore eye by coming into contact with a person who has a case of conjunctivitis. Allergens can also cause conjunctivitis, as can chemical irritants and air particles or smoke. We all know that when we sit around the campfire, the wind will always blow the smoke in our direction. Stinging in the eyes is the result, and a sore eye can linger for some time after the stinging has dissipated. There is also often a direct connection between eye strain and an onset of conjunctivitis.
Blepharitis - Eyelid irritation, medically known as blepharitis, is another common cause of a sore eye. Blepharitis normally causes only itching, but rubbing our eyes to relieve the itching, as we tend to do, often only makes the situation worse, and soreness may eventually set in. Severe cases of blepharitis may feature open lesions, which are prone to infection. Such a condition can become quite severe. Blepharitis is usually treated rather easily, though in some cases, such as when eczema is present, or a systemic disease is the underlying cause, treatment may take some time.
Shingles - One of the more serious situations leading to a sore eye is an onset of shingles. Shingles can occur in any part of the body, and eruptions most frequently appear on the abdomen. But on occasion, shingles will make its presence known in the eye, most probably on the eyelid where it can be most irritating and painful.
A sore eye is not usually a cause for concern, and is normally a temporary situation. Like many diseases or disorders, if we know what the cause is, we usually have a good idea as to whether or not the situation is serious. When we don't know the cause, it may be a different matter. If irritation persists, pain is severe, or vision is affected, a doctor or ophthalmologist should be contacted for consultation, advise, and if needed, treatment. No matter what the situation, we want to give our eyes the best possible care, even if that may mean doing nothing. In most cases that means don't rub them.