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Is this really eye strain?
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Is this really eye strain?


For the past month, I've been having "classic" eye strain symptoms:

- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Aching pain in my eyes
- Deep, "pulled muscle"-type pain behind my eyes when I look too far in one direction
- Bilateral, frontal headaches
- Occasional photopsia (this has actually been on/off for a year)
- Dry, tearing eyes in the morning
- Slight dizziness

But starting a week ago, my symptoms changed. I am also having:

- Two types of pain between my eye and the sockets:
- One is an intense aching pain that occurs between the TOP of my eye and the socket. This one occurs in both eyes. Comes and goes for a few minutes.
- The other occurs on the left side only. It occurs on the bottom-right side (towards my nose), and is a lancing-type pain that travels deep into my face. As if a long, thin object is being pushed under my eye. This tends to last upwards of 20 minutes at a time.
- I had an intense, migraine-like headache last week along with constant pain in my right eye. The pain was focused above my right eye, and throbbing. It peaked in about 10 minutes and lasted about 30, and caused nausea (no vomiting).

I have had migraines before, rarely... But always very slow-building and lasting hours, so this is a big change and has me concerned.

I just saw an opthamologist, who said my eyes look perfect, and my visual field test came back fine.

Can eye strain really cause such a severe headache, orbital, and facial pain? Thank you.
Make sure the ophthalmologist did a gonioscopy to rule out narrow angles.  If not, make an appointment with a glaucoma specialist right away to check for that.  Will also give you a second opinion.  On second thought, go ahead and make an appt with a glaucoma specialist for that second opinion anyway.  Migraines are a possibility but strain does not cause vomiting.

I forgot to include that the lancing pain in my lower-left eye socket can actually sometimes be felt in the roof of my mouth as well. Like there's just a constant "line" of pain going through my face.
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This Forum's Experts
Ray T Oyakawa, MDBlank
Sharper Vision Centers
Torrance, CA
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