Simple pain in the eyeball is generally the result of excessive use of the eyes. It is also caused in cases in which persons who require the use of glasses neglect to use them. It need not be regarded as a very serious symptom if it is only occasioned by overwork and is relieved by proper rest, while the acuteness of the sight is in no way diminished. When it is very acute and continuous, or so severe as to prevent sleep, there are good grounds for apprehending that some serious disease is present. Smarting, burning, or stinging pain in the eye, is generally located in the external structures.

The Treatment of Pain in the Eye

Pain due to overuse is relieved by rest and bathing the eyes with tepid water. The pain of inflammation is relieved by hot or cold applications. Cool or tepid applications are generally best in inflammations of the mucous membrane of the lids, and hot applications when the cornea or iris is affected. Thick compresses should never be laid upon the eye. When cold applications are needed, a light compress of three or four thicknesses of linen or a thin sheet of lint should be wet and laid over the eyes, being changed every five or ten minutes, or as often as it becomes warm. In severe cases, several compresses may be employed, being kept cool by laying upon a block of ice. The thinness of the compress allows for evaporation, so that the heat is not retained, as might be the case with a thick compress, which would thus act as a poultice and might be the means of much harm.