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Pain in the Corner of the Eye - Causes and Management

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Pain in the Corner of the Eye - Causes and Management

4 min read


Pain specific to the corner of the eye is disturbing and is caused by various conditions. This article will discuss these conditions in detail.

Written by

Dr. Sumithra. S

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gargi Madhukar Apte

Published At August 3, 2022
Reviewed AtMay 21, 2024

What Are the Conditions That Present with Pain in the Corner of the Eye?

Conditions causing localized pain in the corner of the eye are,

  • Dacryocystitis.

  • Blepharitis.

  • Pterygium and Pinguecula.

  • Stye.

  • Foreign body.

What Is Dacryocystitis?

Dacryocystitis is the infection of the lacrimal sac. The lacrimal sac is present in the inner corner of the eye and is responsible for the drainage of tears into the nasolacrimal duct. Tears produced are essential for lubricating the eye surface and maintaining it free of microorganisms, dust, and dirt. It is common in children and is called congenital dacryocystitis. The infection of the lacrimal sac is caused due to the blockage in the duct, thus giving way for bacteria to accommodate the sac causing infection. The duct gets blocked because of many reasons, and they are,

  • Nose or eye injury.

  • Presence of nasal polyps (non-cancerous growth seen along the inner lining of the nasal cavity).

  • Sinusitis (inflammation of the layers of sinus structures).

  • Surgery of the nose or sinus.

  • Cancer.

Dacryocystitis condition presents with symptoms like,

  • Pain and redness in the corner of the eye.

  • Swelling in the corner of the eye.

  • Pus discharge from the eye.

  • Fever.

To diagnose the underlying cause, the doctor will ask the patient to undergo computed tomography (CT scan). The first line of treatment for dacryocystitis is the use of antibiotics. In milder cases, oral antibiotics are preferred, and intravenous injections of antibiotics are preferred in severe cases. To ease the swelling, warm compresses will be advised. After the condition subsides completely, a dacryocystorhinostomy procedure is suggested to widen the duct to avoid future infections. Meningitis (inflammation of the layers of the brain) and brain abscess are a few of the complications seen with untreated dacryocystitis.

What Is Blepharitis?

The inflammation of the eyelids is called blepharitis. It will usually involve both the eyes and the lid's edges. Blepharitis is caused by the obstruction of the oil glands at the base of the lashes, causing irritation and redness. It is always associated with other conditions and is one of those which are believed to be the cause.

Common conditions associated with blepharitis conditions are,

  • Rosacea - It is seen as a red and burning condition of the eye caused by the rosacea condition of the skin.

  • Dry Eyes - This condition is caused by the inadequate production of tears which is essential to lubricate the surfaces of the eye. A burning sensation is a common sign.

  • Eyelash Mites - These are tiny bugs found in the eyelashes and are believed to be caused by the rosacea condition.

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis - A condition of the itchy scalp caused by stress, detergents, chemicals, and soaps.

  • Allergies due to eye drops, eye makeup, and contact lens solutions.

  • Clogged oil glands of the eyelids.

Blepharitis condition will present with symptoms like,

  • Pain and redness of the eye.

  • Tearing eyes.

  • Swollen eyelids.

  • Frequent blinking of the eye.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Burning sensation.

  • The eyes are sensitive to light.

  • The skin around the eyelids starts to flake.

Microscopic examination and swab (skin) test are the standard diagnostic methods used for assessing blepharitis.

Antibiotics to fight the infection, steroids for inflammation and topical Cyclosporine to ease the overall blepharitis condition are the line of treatment. The underlying conditions should be treated as well.

Pink eye, stye, severe dry eyes, and tearing are the complications of untreated blepharitis.

What Are Pterygium and Pinguecula?

Pinguecula is a yellowish growth in the conjunctival layer of the eye, and the pinguecula can become severe and form a fleshy tissue containing blood vessels called pterygium. Pinguecula is formed by the deposition of protein, calcium, and fat. Both pinguecula and pterygium are believed to be caused by ultraviolet radiation, wind, and dust.

Pinguecula and pterygium will present with symptoms like,

  • Itchy eyes.

  • Swelling and redness of the affected site.

  • Burning sensation.

  • A feeling of something stuck in the eye.

  • Blurry vision.

Generally, treatment is not required for pinguecula and pterygium. But in cases where vision is obstructed, treatment is needed.

  • Lubricating drops will be prescribed to ease the itchy and irritant eye.

  • Steroidal eye drops will be given to heal the swelling and redness of the eyes if present.

  • Surgery is needed if the growth of the tissue is increasing. Pterygium will be removed and replaced with healthy tissue to avoid future pterygium growths.

What Is a Stye?

A stye is nearly like acne or a pimple formed due to the blockage of oil glands on the edges of the eyelids. A stye is a reddish bump on the edges of the eyelid.

There are two types of styes: the external styes (present on the outer layer of the eyelids) and the internal styes (present on the inner layer of the eyelids).

It is caused by the bacterial infection of oil glands present near the edges of the lid. The most common symptoms of a stye are,

  • A red bump on the edges of the lid.

  • Pain and redness.

  • Swelling of the lid.

  • Sensitive to light.

  • Tearing eye.

  • A feeling of something present in the eye.

This condition can be treated at home with warm compresses and cleaning the eyelids with eyelid wipes bought from drug stores.

How Can a Foreign Body Cause Pain in the Eyes?

Foreign bodies like eyelashes, metal, glass, sand, and dust may get into the eye and cause pain and irritation. Tears are generally produced as a defense mechanism to wash out the foreign body.

If a foreign body is present, the eye will show signs like,

  • Pain.

  • Redness.

  • Blurred vision.

  • A feeling of something present in the eye.

  • Sensitive to light.

In most cases, these foreign bodies can be removed by flushing the eye with clean running water.

Pain in the Corner of the Eye


Most of the conditions resulting in the pain in the corner of the eye can be treated with warm compresses and eye drops. However, if the condition does not resolve in a few days, consulting an ophthalmologist to treat the disease is a must.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Does the Eye’s Corner Ache Even Though Nothing Is in It?

A number of conditions, including dryness, eye strain, and irritation brought on by the environment or allergies, can cause the eye's corner to hurt. Even in the absence of any foreign objects, these conditions can hurt and irritate the eye's corner. In the event that the discomfort doesn't go away, it's crucial to treat these underlying causes and get the right eye care.


When Should One Worry if There Is Eye Pain?

If eye discomfort is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other unsettling symptoms like visual abnormalities, redness, swelling, or discharge, one should be concerned. In these circumstances, it is advised to seek quick medical care in order to identify the underlying reason and obtain the proper care.


Will the Discomfort in the Outer Corner of the Eye Disappear?

Depending on the underlying cause, the irritation in the outer corner of the eye may go away on its own. However, it is advised to see an eye care specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment if the discomfort continues or gets worse.


Is Sporadic Eye Pain Typical?

Eye pain that is unprovoked might happen and is common. To rule out any underlying conditions and decide on the best course of action, it is advised to visit an eye care professional if the sporadic eye pain becomes persistent or severe.


What Condition Does Eye Pain Indicate?

Eye discomfort may be a sign of a number of different illnesses, such as glaucoma (a class of eye conditions that harm the optic nerve, a nerve in the back of the eye, and can result in vision loss and blindness), uveitis, glaucoma syndrome, dry eye syndrome, eye strain, corneal abrasions (an eye injury that is very uncomfortable), and eye infections, including conjunctivitis (inflammation of eyelid and eyeball’s translucent membrane). To identify the precise issue causing the eye pain, a thorough evaluation by an eye care specialist is required.


Can Sleep Deprivation Lead to Eye Pain?

Yes, lack of sleep can make your eyes hurt. Lack of sleep can result in eye discomfort, dryness, and eye strain, which can all hurt or irritate the eyes. The eye pain brought on by lack of sleep can be reduced by getting enough sleep and maintaining proper sleep hygiene.


What Natural Treatments Are There for Eye Pain?

- Natural pain relief and inflammation reduction for the eyes can be achieved by using a cold compress.
- Eye strain and discomfort can be reduced by taking brief pauses from screens and letting the eyes rest.
- Lubricating eye drops can help relieve itchy or dry eyes, which can ease discomfort.


What Is in the Eye’s Corner?

The lacrimal caruncle, a little fleshy pinkish mass that houses sweat and oil glands, is located in the corner of the eye. The plica semilunaris, a little reddish-pink region that was once the third eyelid in some mammals, may also be present. The tear ducts that empty tears into the nasal cavity are located in the corner of the eye.


Can an Infection Occur in a Tear Duct?

In the tear duct, infections are indeed possible. Dacryocystitis, an inflammation, and infection brought on by bacteria or viruses that enter the tear duct can present with symptoms like discomfort, redness, swelling, and discharge.


What Is the Quickest Treatment for Eye Pain?

The underlying reason will determine the fastest course of treatment for eye pain. However, by hydrating the eye, over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can offer quick relief. A cold compress can also be used to ease discomfort and inflammation. It's crucial to get medical assistance right away if the discomfort persists or gets worse.


What Causes Eye Pain Most Frequently?

Dry eyes, eye strain from prolonged computer usage or reading, and conjunctivitis (pink eye), which can be brought on by infections or allergies, are the disorders that cause eye pain the most frequently. If you have severe or persistent eye discomfort, it's crucial to speak with a medical professional for a precise diagnosis and course of action.


What Causes the Acute Pain in the Left Eye?

There are several causes of sudden pain in the left eye, including:
- Extended screen use or reading might cause eye strain.
- Eye diseases such as styes or conjunctivitis.
- The surface of the eye is irritated by foreign bodies or detritus.


Can a Stroke Cause Eye Pain?

Although eye pain is not a common sign of a stroke, there is a chance that it could result in eye-related symptoms such as sudden vision loss, double vision, or alterations in visual perception. To ascertain the underlying cause and receive the proper care, quick medical assistance should be sought if eye pain appears along with these symptoms during a suspected stroke.


How Long Do Painful Eyes Last?

Depending on the underlying cause, the duration of aching eyes can change. Mild cases of eye discomfort brought on by transient conditions like slight irritation or eye strain may go away in a few hours or days. However, it is advised to speak with a healthcare provider for correct diagnosis and treatment if the pain is severe, constant, or accompanied by other unsettling symptoms.


Can Eye Pain Be Caused by Brain Damage?

Yes, brain injury can result in eye pain. Brain-related problems can lead to conditions like optic neuritis, which is an inflammation of the optic nerve, or migraine headaches with ocular involvement. Additionally, pain in the eyes may be referred to as pain from brain trauma or injury. 


Is Eye Discomfort Neurological?

Eye pain may have a neurological cause. Because they have an effect on the neurological system, diseases, including trigeminal neuralgia, optic neuritis, and migraines with ocular symptoms can all induce eye discomfort. When examining severe or recurrent eye irritation, neurological factors should be taken into account. Medical attention should be sought for an accurate diagnosis and course of treatment.
Dr. Gargi Madhukar Apte
Dr. Gargi Madhukar Apte

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)


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