Pain in the eyes

The eyes are very important: we see everything with them. Eye pain can occur with the flu, but can also be the result of inflammation, damage or even cancer to the eye. In addition to eye pain, headaches or watery or burning eyes may also occur. Sometimes the pain comes from an infected tooth.


The eyes are one of our senses and allow us to see images. A newborn baby does not yet see clearly, but has difficulty seeing shadows and outlines. A baby can see color from 3 months old. After that, vision develops faster and faster. As we get older, our eyes deteriorate again. Symptoms of aging such as cataracts occur. Eye pain is not a normal phenomenon, there is always something going on.

Eye pain and flu

When you have the flu, your eyes can be sore. Looking around is especially painful. In addition to eye pain, there is also muscle pain, especially in the back and neck, headache, fever, feeling ill and often a runny nose. Some people feel a flu coming on because of pain in the eyes: this pain often occurs one day before the actual symptoms break out. In most cases, the body is able to treat the flu well. The complaints and eye pain disappear within a few days.

Hay fever

Hay fever involves an allergy to pollen. That is why hay fever only occurs during periods when pollen is present in the air. In winter, no one in this area will suffer from hay fever. Hay fever is a condition in which the body overreacts to allergens (pollen grains) and mounts a defense against them. Symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, burning eyes, watery eyes and eye pain. There are eye drops available for pain and other eye complaints, especially for people with hay fever. Use this according to the instructions for use. The complaints often reduce considerably.

Fatigue and dry eyes

The most common complaint is stinging and dry eyes. It looks like it contains grains of sand. This is the result of fatigue. The eyes dry out due to reduced tear production. It is actually time to go to bed: the eyes have already prepared for the night’s sleep. Small children therefore often rub their eyes when they are tired. The eyes feel dry and stinging, but often the child does not admit to being tired. Yet it is really time to go to sleep.


A stye in the eye is a lump or lump that is caused by an inflammation of a sebaceous gland or sweat gland. A pimple is clearly visible on the inside or outside of the eyelid. You will then see a white dot on top of the pimple: this is called the pus head. The pimple hurts a lot, especially when you move or blink the eyelid. Since we continuously blink our eyes, this pain remains. Placing a warm washcloth on it a few times a day reduces the pain. The pimple will break through on its own, after which the pain will subside. Don’t squeeze it yourself to express it.

Damaged cornea

The cornea can be damaged by a splinter that enters the eye, a branch, a fingernail or anything else that damages the cornea. The cornea can also be damaged by rubbing the eyes or improperly fitting contact lenses. You often immediately notice pain in the eye that is very severe. The eye may start to water and quickly become red in color. Immediately flush the eye with water to flush out any remaining debris such as sand. Have the doctor or ophthalmologist look at the cornea. Minor superficial damage will heal on its own. Sometimes an eye ointment is prescribed. Serious damage will sometimes have to be treated surgically.


Inflammation of the eye can occur after damage to the cornea or due to other causes. Sometimes there is an internal inflammation of the vitreous, for example. You are bothered by the light: this hurts your eyes. This is also called light aversion. The pupil may be constricted. The pain may be accompanied by a headache. The doctor often prescribes an eye ointment. Use this as directed. If the complaints persist, you should visit the doctor again.

Eye cancer

With eye cancer we speak of a melanoma in the eye. This does not happen often: it affects more than 100 people in the Netherlands every year. Vision problems often occur first, such as spots, streaks or blurred vision. Eye pain only occurs when the tumor starts to press on nerves or other tissue. Metastases often find their way to the skin or liver. But there may also be a tumor in the eye that is a metastasis of a brain tumor. Treatment consists of removing the tumor, chemo, radiation or other treatments.

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