While there are many different potential causes of eye aches, there are typically three major causes that someone should consider. One of the most common causes of discomfort or aches in and around a person’s eyes is eye strain due to a great deal of time spent viewing a monitor or screen or reading in low light. Medical causes of eye pain and discomfort typically come in two basic forms, the first of which is ocular pain that comes from the surface of the eye. There are also eye aches that are often described as a dull or deep ache and pain that comes from within or behind the eye, which are called orbital pains.
Eye aches can be caused by a number of different factors, ranging from simple strain due to overuse to viral or bacterial infections. The ways in which the pains are described and other symptoms that accompany these pains typically help indicate the cause of the discomfort. Eye aches can be commonly caused by prolonged and focused use of eyes in reading under poor lighting conditions or looking at a monitor or television screen. This typically occurs when viewing a monitor at a close distance, so computer monitors can cause such strain and discomfort when looked at for several hours on end.
Ocular pain associated with eye aches can be a sign of a number of different medical conditions. These types of aches are felt along the surface of the eye. One of the most common causes of this ocular pain is conjunctivitis; this is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the membrane that lines the inner eye lid. The condition commonly called “pink eye” is a typical form of conjunctivitis caused by a viral infection of the conjunctiva. Other ocular forms of eye aches include abrasions or damage to the cornea, which is the surface of the eye, or burns caused by chemicals or bright flashes.
Orbital pains that cause eye aches typically come from within or behind the eyeball itself, and there are a number of different causes for such pain. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of orbital pain and is the result of a buildup of intraocular pressure within the eyeball itself. Optic neuritis is also a fairly common cause of orbital pain. This is an inflammation of the optic nerve behind the eye, and can be caused by bacterial infection or multiple sclerosis. Migraines and sinus infections can also cause orbital eye aches as pressure and pain build up around the eye area.