What are the Most Common Causes of Sore Eyes?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Sore eyes are a relatively common problem and can be particularly distressing, especially if vision is compromised due to the pain. There are various conditions that can lead to sore eyes, including conjunctivitis or the development of a sty, glaucoma, or optic neuritis. Treatment for sore eyes depends on the direct cause of the pain. Common treatment options include the use of eye drops or ointments, although oral medications may be used in some cases.

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is one of the more frequent causes of sore eyes. Conjunctivitis may be caused by allergies or may be due to a viral or bacterial infection. Symptoms may include eye pain or soreness, and the membrane covering the eyeball may appear pink due to inflammation. Eye drainage is common, and this drainage may dry out, leading to a think crust covering the affected eye, making opening and closing the eye difficult. Conjunctivitis can be contagious, so care should be taken to keep others from coming into contact with any drainagethat may occur.


A sty occurs when an infection results from blocked glands in the eyelid. When the glands become blocked, the oils normally secreted by the glands get backed up and may lead to the formation of a small bump called a chalazion. In addition to causing sore eyes, a sty may lead to redness, swelling, or blurred vision. Treatment usually involves applying a warm compress to the affected eye several times per day while symptoms persist. Eye makeup and contact lenses should be avoided while symptoms are present in order to prevent further irritation.

Glaucoma can occur at any age, although it is more likely to affect older patients. Glaucoma is a medical condition that can cause damage to the optic nerve, the nerve responsible for carrying information from the eye to the brain. Symptoms often include sore eyes, nausea, and varying degrees of vision loss. Treatment for glaucoma may involve the use of prescription medications or surgical intervention.

Optic neuritis is a condition that causes the optic nerve to become inflamed and swollen. While anyone can develop optic neuritis, it is most common in those with other medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes. Symptoms may include cloudy vision, sore eyes, and partial or complete blindness. Optic neuritis generally goes away within a few months without any medical treatment, although the use of steroid medications may help the patient heal more quickly.



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Post 3

@MikeMason-- Hay allergies give me sore, watery and itchy eyes. Taking allergy medication usually solves the problem.

I did once have sore eyes from pink eye though. My eye was so swollen and red. It hurt a lot!

Post 2

@MikeMason-- If dryness is the only symptom you have, then that's probably the cause.

I get dry, sore eyes when I'm very tired. And yes, working in front of the computer for a long time is known to cause tired and dry eyes.

Some eye drops and ointments can also cause soreness as a side effect. Are you using one?

I use OTC lubricant eye drops that are very mild and similar to natural tears. It's great for dryness and soreness and it doesn't cause any side effects. I tried a few other types but they made my eyes more sore.

Post 1

Can dry eyes cause soreness?

My eyes feel very dry and sore lately, I don't know if it's because I look at a computer screen all day.

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