Sudden severe pain in one eye

Sudden severe pain in one eye usually indicates a serious eye disease and should therefore be seen urgently by a doctor. This is especially true if vision is poor with that eye. The patient often also feels nauseous and vomits. Some diseases of the eye can cause blindness in one day. A number of serious eye diseases are described below. Fortunately, most eye diseases are not common.

Acute glaucoma

This causes the pressure in the eyeball to suddenly increase. It mainly occurs in people over fifty years of age with positive glasses or lenses, but it can also occur in young people. It suddenly causes severe pain and redness in one eye. The patient also has poorer vision in that eye and cannot tolerate light. Nausea also occurs due to the pain or headache. Someone who has acute glaucoma should be referred immediately to an ophthalmologist because retinal damage and blindness can be a consequence.


Usually there is no cause for iris infection, sometimes it is due to another disease that the patient already suffers from, such as rheumatic diseases. It causes severe pain in one eye, the patient also sees less with that eye and it hurts slightly. The patient must be seen urgently by a general practitioner and referred to an ophthalmologist. The danger of iris infection is that an inflamed iris can stick to the lens and thus cause problems with vision or eye pressure.

A speck in the eye

A speck of dirt or metal splinter in the eye gives the feeling as if something is in the eye. This can cause pain or an irritating feeling. Patients can usually see well. Sometimes their vision is blurred, usually because the eye is tearing. The eye also continues to blink constantly and the patient is averse to light. Patients usually get it out themselves because it is visible in the eye. If it is not visible, the dirt is often under the upper eyelid. It must then be removed by the doctor the same day.

Eye injury

Superficial damage to the cornea is fairly common. This can be done by a nail, splinter of steel wire, etc. It produces the same symptoms as a speck of dirt in the eye. There is often a mild pain in the eye, the patient is photophobic, the eye tears and becomes closed. The patient can be seen by a GP the same day.
Sharp object
Sometimes it happens that the eye is pierced by a sharp object. The pain is often very mild , but patients see much less with that eye. This is an emergency and the patient should be referred to an ophthalmologist.
Blunt object
A blunt object, such as a fist or a tennis ball, can damage the eye both internally and externally. It causes both pain and poor vision in that eye. The eye also tears and the patient is shy of light. The eye is often closed.
Etching of the eye
Etching by lye or acids must be treated immediately. Just like with burns, the following applies: water first, the rest comes later. It is best to immediately stand under the tap with your eye open and rinse it for at least fifteen minutes. The patient must then be seen immediately by a GP.

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