Around six months ago I saw a lady who had visited the practice complaining of pain behind her left eye and blurry vision for about 4 weeks.
She had been treated by her GP with chloramphenicol eye drops, which is a treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis. However, on careful examination, she did not appear to have an eye infection and there was nothing wrong with the front of her eyes. Her vision had certainly decreased significantly. Looking into her eyes I could see that the optic nerve showed signs of damage.
An emergency referral was made to a hospital eye department, where an MRI scan was completed. It was then confirmed she had an 18 mm aneurysm in her brain which was pressing on her optic nerve, causing the pain and blurry vision.
“I am so grateful for Jaysons Opticians for detecting the problem in my eye and referring me to the hospital so quickly, otherwise I may not have lived to tell the tale,” says our patient.
We are glad to say that the patient did go on to have an emergency procedure on the brain and it was successful.
Pain in the eye is quite different to pain behind the eye. Pain in the eye may be caused by corneal scratch, foreign body, dry eyes, eye infection or inflammation.
Common causes of pain behind the eyes are migraines, sinus infections, or vision problems including farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism.
In rare cases, pain behind the eye can also be caused by inflammatory conditions associated with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be caused by a compression of the nerve behind the eye due to a tumour or raised pressure in the brain.
This case highlights that pain behind the eye can be caused by a range of diseases. We advice that you seek immediate expert advice from your specialist optometrist if you experience pain behind the eye, double vision, change in your visual field or loss of vision.
Article written by
Mr K.Lakhani BSc MCOptom Dip Tp Ip