Eye Pain in the Eye Socket – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Did you ever feel pain behind your eye? It is where your eye socket lies. So it typically is a pain in the eye socket. Eye pain is referred to as Ophthalmalgia. You may experience discomfort either inside your eye or around your eye. The pain caused inside your eye is orbital pain, which may be occurring in the eye socket, and that which occurs in the surrounding is ocular pain. Often the eye pain around your eye is not as dangerous as it is caused by foreign objects. But the pain inside your eye can be disturbing and may have serious underlying issues. 

The pain in your eye socket can be a throbbing pain, stabbing pain or it might be aching as well. It can also be in the form of a deep headache. This kind of cases needs in-depth treatment. Take an appointment with a good, experienced ophthalmologist/ eye doctor. He will run tests based on your symptoms, will diagnose your problem and give you a detailed analysis of your reports along with treatment. Now let’s get to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eye pain in the socket.


There can be various underlying causes for pain in the eye socket. Some of them are listed below.

Optic neuritis 

Optic neuritis is a case in which the optic nerve gets inflamed. The nerve connecting the eye to your brain is known as the optic nerve. This inflammation can be due to an autoimmune disease or an infection. This disease can also be an indication of multiple sclerosis, as half of the people suffering from multiple sclerosis have experienced optic neuritis. 


Glaucoma is a disease that also affects the optic nerve. It is caused due to pressure behind your eye. A sudden increase in the pressure might lead to vision loss if not treated immediately. This situation is termed as acute angle closure glaucoma. People who are 35 years old or more than that are more prone to glaucoma. Therefore, it is recommended by doctors to get an annual checkup of glaucoma to diagnose and treat it in the early stages or prevent it from getting worse. 


Sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull which are located around the eyes. The inflammation in any of these sinuses leads to sinusitis or sinus infection. The infection can be bacterial or viral. It often includes pain in and around the face because of the pressure. Runny nose, no sense of smell, fever, cough, headache, sore throat, frequent dripping of mucus from the nose, weakness are often observed in a sinus infected patient.

Also Read: Neck Pain Causes Relief Treatment and Home Remedies

Cluster headaches 

These are intense and painful headaches that occur behind your eye. They can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours and can recur about 8 times a day. You may feel the headache only on a single side of your head. Red eyes, tearing, swelling, and pain in the face or eyes can be observed during cluster headaches. These are four times more prevalent in men than in women. Maintaining a diary to note down the triggers can help in minimizing the occurrences of cluster headaches.

Dry eye syndrome 

Dry eye syndrome is nowhere related to the dryness and redness in your eye. It shows up with pain, headaches and light sensitivity. This pain can lead to building up pressure in or around the eye. Apply artificial tear several times a day to recover from the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. 

Pain behind the right and left eye 

Apart from the above-mentioned causes, there are other causes that can lead to pain in the eye socket. Some of them include migraines, scleritis, grave’s disease, toothache, injury or trauma to your facial nerves and muscles (like fracture of nerves in the eye socket), uveitis, iritis, vision problems, etc. Ignoring your eye pain could be dangerous in some cases, so make sure you get your eye pain diagnosed in time.


  • Sharp or intense pain in the eye
  • Dull headache
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness 
  • Double vision 
  • Pain while movement of the eyes
  • Tearing 
  • Numbness 
  • Fever 
  • Sinus pressure 
  • Weakness 


Most of the eye pains are treatable effectively. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers to ease your pain in minor issues. In case of major issues, your doctor may run tests like a CT scan, MRI, endoscopy and blood tests. You’re over the counter medications can be ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, etc. For those whose experience eye socket pain due to a sinus infection, they are given antibiotics, antihistamines, and steroid nasal sprays.

Contact an ophthalmologist immediately if you suffer from a bulging eye or vision loss along with headache and eye pain. They need immediate treatment. Take preventive measures to keep your eyes healthy. Eat good food and stay away from polluted surroundings.

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