Describing Eye Pain

Eye pain can occur on the surface of your eye or within your eye’s deeper structures. Eye pain that’s on the surface of your eye might be described as itching, burning or shooting pain. Surface eye pain is often related to a foreign object in your eye, an eye infection, or anything that irritates or inflames the membrane covering the surface of your eye.

You might describe eye pain originating deeper within your eye as throbbing or aching. This type of eye pain may be linked to a serious medical condition.

Severe eye pain — especially accompanied by any degree of vision loss — may be a signal that you need medical attention urgently.

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