Seek emergency medical care
Call 911 or your local emergency number for eye pain if:
- It is unusually severe or accompanied by headache, fever or unusual sensitivity to light
- Your vision changes suddenly
- You also experience nausea or vomiting
- It is caused by a foreign object or chemical splashed in your eye
- You suddenly begin to see halos around lights
- You have swelling in or around your eyes
- You have trouble moving your eye or are unable to keep it open
- You have blood or pus coming from your eyes
Make a doctor's appointment
Contact your eye surgeon if you're experiencing eye pain and you've had eye surgery in the past or if you've recently had eye surgery or an eye injection.
Seek medical attention if you have eye pain and you wear soft contact lenses, have a weakened immune system or your eye pain is not improving after two to three days of medication.
Feb. 25, 2016
- AskMayoExpert. Painful or red eye. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
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- Eye pain. Merck Manual Professional Version. www.merckmanuals.com. Accessed Jan. 4, 2016.
- Marx JA, et al., eds. Red and painful eye. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 4, 2016.
- Nasolacrimal duct obstruction. American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. http://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/72. Accessed Dec. 16, 2015.
- Yanoff M, et al., eds. Ectropion. In: Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 23, 2015.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 18, 2016.