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Eye pain can be related to numerous causes and conditions, and sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause. The eye has the highest concentration of nerve endings per square inch than any other part of your body. Injury or foreign objects, infection, inflammation, extreme internal eye pressure, allergy, dry eye, and even eyestrain can all lead to eye pain.
Red eyes are very common. Any type of irritant, fatigue, or eyestrain will cause the vessels to swell around the surface of your eyes, making them appear more red. It is easy to find commercials about red eyes and a wide variety of manufacturers competing for you to purchase eye drops designed to “get the red out.” These over the counter medicines remove redness by constricting the surface vessels on your eyes, making them appear more white. Sometimes this does more harm than good, and your eyes can become habituated, or “addicted” to the vasoconstrictors in these meds. If your eyes are red, the best approach to get relief is to discover the reason for the redness and treat appropriately. You may simply need artificial lubrication, protection from UV light, more rest, or allergy relief. More serious causes of red eye, like injury, infection, or inflammation need urgent medical attention.
If light hurts your eyes, then you are light sensitive (photo phobic). In general, people with fair colored skin, blond or red hair, blue or green eyes are relatively more sensitive to light. This is normal due to the lower levels of pigment in the eye. Pigment absorbs light entering the eye, which tends to help people with darker complexions be more comfortable in bright light. However, anyone can have increased light sensitivity because of infection, disease, or inflammation. So, if you have a sudden increase in light sensitivity, you should consider it an emergency and get help ASAP The main causes for a sudden increase in light sensitivity include inflammation, infection or abrasion of the eye. Sometimes, inflammation in the eyes is a signal that other systemic autoimmune disorders may be present, like arthritis, or lupus for example.
People who suffer from migraine tend to be more sensitive to light, to a marked degree during a migraine headache and also to a lesser degree at other times. Sometimes, certain types of light or patterns can trigger migraine. People with migraine may therefore benefit from special tinted lenses, called precision tinted lenses. These can also help people who experience glare from pages of text, including some people who have dyslexia. Precision tinted lenses are discussed below. (this content under construction)
It is important to remember that there is a scale of light sensitivity. Some people are just more sensitive to light than others. Also as we grow older we can also become more sensitive to light, this is because the eye changes even though there is no disease.
Even though there may be no physical cause for the light sensitivity it can sometimes be very intense. The advice about sunglasses and hats can often help someone with light sensitivity. Wearing correct sunglasses will not harm the eyes or make them lazy.