Have your eyes been hurting? Are they bloodshot, itchy, or teary? There are many reasons for this, and you may be struggling to find relief.
You may also be having other symptoms, such as a headache. Investigate the cause of eye pain so you can figure out how to get some relief. If you can’t find a way to treat your eye pain and still have problems after home treatment, it’s always wise to consult with a doctor.
However, minor eye pain can be treated at home in various safe ways, so try some of the best ways for seniors to relieve eye pain before heading to the doctor’s office.
10 Top Ways for Seniors to Treat Eye Pain
1. Use Eye Drops
Sometimes your eyes can feel dry and gritty. You may find that you may be rubbing them more. They may feel scratchy, and it may feel uncomfortable to blink.
Dry eyes are a common problem, especially as we age. Dry eyes are caused by many things, including allergies, dry air, sinuses, or even eye conditions.
To combat dry eyes, try rewetting drops or other eye drops that provide lubrication to the eye. Some of these can also soothe irritated or bloodshot eyes.
If you are having dry eyes due to allergies, use an allergy medication to help those issues and your dry eyes may get better. Contact your doctor before you take any new medications.
Dry eyes can even cause vision problems. Eye drops that mimic the feel of real tears and do the same thing that tears do are recommended for these types of situations.
These are typically safe for anyone to use and have few side effects.
2. Use a Humidifier
Finding that your eyes are extra-dry and painful? You may live in an area where the air is dry, which can cause dry eyes that hurt and itch.
To fix this problem, add a humidifier to your home and sleep with one in your bedroom. A humidifier decreases dry air by adding moist air to your home to fix the problem naturally.
Dry eyes are a major symptom for allergy sufferers, and if you find that the problem worsens during the spring months, you may be suffering from dry eyes as a result of allergy and sinus problems.
Using a humidifier in combination with other treatments, such as moisturizing eye drops, can reduce your pain from dry and itchy eyes.
Humidifiers are also a great way to help keep you healthy if you do have allergies, as they can also help purify the air with special filters to ensure you’re breathing in air of better quality.
3. Remove Contact Lenses
Do you wear contact lenses and find that your eyes are feeling irritated more lately than usual?
You could be wearing a type of lens that isn’t right for you, or you could have debris on your lens or a small tear or hole.
If you wear daily or monthly lenses, switch to a fresh lens if you are having eye pain. If you wear yearly lenses or need some relief from your contacts, remove them and slip on glasses instead.
Sometimes your eyes can hurt if you aren’t compatible with your contacts. You could even be allergic to ingredients in your lenses or have a reaction to the lenses themselves.
Try contact lenses that have added moisture or promote moisture in your eyes. You can also purchase rewetting drops solely for contact lens wearers if you want to still wear your lenses.
If you remove your lenses and find that your eye pain decreases, then there is something wrong with your contact lens and you should probably keep it out until you determine what it is – a tear in your lens could damage your retina.
4. Try a Warm Compress
A warm compress can be soothing for your eyes if they are hurting. Since eye pain can be due to medical problems such as a stye or blepharitis, these problems are relieved by using a warm compress.
Treating your eyes with a warm compress could help relieve some of the pain caused by a blocked tear duct or clogged follicle. Since there really isn’t much you can do medically for these issues, using a warm compress can help naturally relieve them.
Make sure you use warm to hot towels and they need to be moist – not soaking wet, but not really damp. Apply the compress directly to your closed eyes and the surrounding area in 20-minute increments several times a day.
This will not only help relieve a minor eye issue but should lessen the intensity of the eye pain you are suffering.
5. Flush It Out
Do you have that feeling like there’s something in your eyes? Maybe you went outside and got dust or debris in your eye, or wiped your eye after you pet your cat or dog?
Having a foreign object in your eye, even something as small as a hair, can cause major pain. This is also the case if you accidentally get something in your eye such as soap.
The best thing to do right away is to flush your eyes out with clean, clear water. You can do this in the sink or the bathtub.
Make sure your hands are clean before you touch your face and eyes, so wash them before you begin. Once you dry them, run the water and open your eyes. Flush your eyes with the water while they are open.
Use a soft towel to gently dry your eyes. You may need to repeat this if the foreign object isn’t coming out.
Did you know that eye strain can cause your eyes to hurt? You may feel like your eyes are tired, slightly irritated or red, and have a dull headache.
This is due to eye strain. Some of us get eye strain from looking at a device for too long, such as a computer, or reading for hours on end.
If you find yourself feeling eye pain after a long day of looking at your computer or reading too many pages, it’s time to take a break. Your eyes are telling you that they need rest.
This can either be in the form of sleep or simply taking a break from work or whatever you’re engaging in that is creating eye exhaustion.
Once your eyes start feeling better, you can return to what you were doing, but eye strain can lead to other issues as well as chronic eye pain, so it’s best to rest when you need to.
7. Take Medication
Since eye pain is related to several health problems, taking medication might be the answer to your problems. If you find that you have eye pain while your allergies are flaring up, try an antihistamine to treat your allergies.
If you have eye pain in conjunction with headaches, take a pain reliever to treat your headache that will also help eye pain subside. These include medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen.
If you are sick and that is why your eyes are inflamed, you may need to talk to your doctor about using an antibiotic to get you through your illness faster and reduce eye pain.
If you suffer from pinkeye (conjunctivitis) you will need medicated eye drops to help treat the condition and relieve pain and redness caused by this treatable eye illness.
There’s no reason for you to suffer from eye pain – talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what you can take to make your eye pain go away and help symptoms disappear.
8. Use an Ice Pack
Eye pain can also be caused by an injury. Maybe you got knocked in the eye with a door, or your grandchild tossed a toy near your eyes and you got a bump.
Either way, an ice pack can help reduce eye swelling from a minor injury, and therefore relieve pain.
Use a frozen ice pack wrapped in a soft towel for this. The towel protects your skin from the chill of the ice pack and picks up any moisture left behind.
Apply it to the affected eye or eyes for 20 minutes at a time several times a day.
If your injury is minor, you can treat it with home care. However, if your vision is distorted, your eye is bleeding, or you have more than just a mild injury, call or go to your doctor immediately for care.
For minor incidents, using a cold compress coupled with pain medication can help alleviate pain.
9. Buy Sunglasses
Have you noticed that you have eye pain when you go outside in the sun? Being in the sun or looking at the sun’s brightness for too long can definitely cause your eyes to hurt and maybe bring about a headache.
Your eyes may water, be irritated, or feel achy after being in the sun. If you spend a lot of time outside, it’s best to stay protected and this means buying sunglasses.
Wearing sunglasses can cut the sun’s harsh glare and reduce eye strain and irritation. When you are shopping for sunglasses, make sure you buy a pair that says specifically that they reduce or block 100% of all UV and UVB rays.
If they don’t block these rays, then they won’t be truly effective at protecting your eyes when you’re outdoors. Wearing sunglasses can also protect your eyes from debris if you’re mowing or gardening.
10. Protect Your Eyes
Do you enjoy participating in activities that put your eyes at risk? Swimming in chlorinated water can be extremely irritating to your eyes.
Even if you’re not a scuba diver, if you’re going swimming it’s always best to wear protective goggles to avoid getting water into your eyes.
Like to ride your motorcycle? Wear eye goggles to avoid debris or dirt getting into your eyes, which can cause pain and itching.
You can even get special computer glasses to wear while you work or enjoy browsing on your computer. This can help alleviate eye strain and the pain that comes along with it.
Always consider the health of your eyes when engaging in activities such as sports, and wear the proper protective gear to ensure that in the case of an injury your eyes stay safe.