Pain in Corner of Eye (Outer & Inner): 10 Causes & Solution

Why does the corner of my eye hurt? When should I be concerned about pain in corner of eye? Today’s topic is all about the sore or pain in the outer and inner corners of the eye: Introduction, Causes, Home Remedies, and Treatment. So, stay connected.

Causes of Eye Pain in the CornerPain in Inner Corner of EyePain in Outer Corner of EyeHome RemediesWhen to See a DoctorTakeaway

Introduction

Most of us have experienced sore outer or inner corner of the eye, either mild or severe, at least once in a while.

Pain in the eye can be felt in several different areas, such as eyeball, eye surface, eye socket, eyelid margin, or outer and inner eye corners.

Between the outer and inner canthi, the eye corner near the nose is more susceptible to pain, along with itching, redness, and swelling.

In order to properly define the type of pain you’re experiencing, doctors first need to pinpoint the specific location of pain, and cause of the eye pain in the corner.

Pain in the corner of the eye can be caused by several factors. In most cases, the pain can be reduced with the help of simple home remedies, while in other cases the eye problem can be successfully treated by your eye doctor.

We’re going to cover a few common causes of pain in the corner of your eye, and what you can do to alleviate the discomfort.

Pain in the corner of the eye can be related to several different factors. Find out what can cause pain in the corner of your eye, as well as when you should see a specialist.

pain-in-corner-of-eye-hurts-outer-inner

Common Causes and Treatment of Pain in Corner of Eye (Outer or Inner)

Most of the factors responsible for eye pain in the outer and inner corners of the eye are similar, while few of them are creating trouble only to the eye corner near to the nose. The potential causes of pain in the corner of your eye are mentioned below with their treatment options.

Pain in Inner Corner of Eye

The corner of the eye near the nose is more susceptible to infection, itchiness, and redness due to the presence of tear ducts, and other eye structures such as caruncle and puncta, as compared to the lateral or outer corner.

In addition, the tear debris collected from the entire anterior eye surface by the tear is first gets accumulated in the inner corner of the eye before being drained down the tear duct. This also increases the likelihood of eye pain and other problems in the inner canthal region.

In general, the following causative factors are responsible for mild to severe eye pain in the inner corner of the eye.

Tear duct infection (dacryocystitis)

The tear duct or nasolacrimal duct is a tiny canal through which the tear is drained down to the nasal cavity. The unobstructed, continuous flow of tear through this duct is vital to maintain a healthy eye surface and to regulate the amount of tear in the eye.

Due to any reason, if the tear duct is clogged, the tear can’t pass down easily resulting in swelling and pain in the inner corner of the eye close to the nose.

The blocked tear duct provides a favorable environment to the bacteria such as Staphylococcus (staph) and Streptococcus (strep) species, which causes the infection of the tear duct or dacryocystitis.

Oral and ocular antibiotics in addition to warm compression and gentle massage treat the mild to moderate condition of dacryocystitis, while surgery is indicated in chronic and repeated cases of dacryocystitis.

Foreign Body

Foreign bodies such as eyelashes, sand, dust, metal, glass, etc., can affect any part of your eye, including the outer and inner corners.

When you have a foreign body inside the eye, you may feel gritty sensation, sensitivity to light (photophobia), pain, redness, and occasional blurry vision.

You can flush your eyes with clean water to easily remove the tiny particles at the superficial surface of the eye.

However, the foreign bodies lodged in the deep surface require medical attention to remove them and to treat the condition effectively.

Trauma or Eye Injury

An injury in and around the eye, especially towards the nasal area leads to pain in the inner corner of the eye.

Eye injury not only hurts the eye corner, but also affects the other parts of the eye, so, injury of any severity should be treated by the eye specialist.

Stye or Hordeolum

A stye is a painful swollen mass or bumps at the edge or other parts of the eyelid. If the bump is seen in the eyelid near the nose or inner eye corner, you will experience pain, burning sensation, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and a gritty sensation.

Two types of stye are external and internal stye. Both of these conditions are responsible for pain in corner of eye.

Hordeolum or stye often heal on their own within a couple of weeks. To accelerate the healing process, you can apply hot compression to the affected area.

If the painful swollen mass doesn’t heal on its own, visit the eye doctor as the stye might need antibiotics or surgical removal.

Pterygium and Pinguecula

Pinguecula is an asymptomatic, yellowish mass seen on the bulbar conjunctiva. Likewise, pterygium is the vascular, fleshy tissue that grows towards the cornea of the eye. In normal conditions, both of these masses of the conjunctiva do not provide redness and pain to the eye. But the inflamed condition of both of them leads to pain, especially while moving the eyeball.

The inflamed pinguecula and pterygium of the nasal bulbar conjunctiva of the eye make the inner corner of the eye hurt.

Both of these eye conditions do not require treatment, but the inflamed conditions should be treated with non-steroid or steroid eye drops.

Large pterygium encroaching the cornea might block the visual axis of the eye, causing blurred vision. In such cases, surgical excision of the pterygium is mandatory.

Blepharitis

Another main cause of pain in the inner corner of the eye is blepharitis. Angular blepharitis that is caused by a bacterial infection (Moraxellaspecies) not only causes eyelid pain but also causes itching in the eyelid margins and corners.

Maintaining good eyelids hygiene helps to reduce the problem of blepharitis. For this, clean the eyelid skin and margins with warm water or shampoo regularly for two weeks.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

When the mouth of the oil glands that are present in the tarsal plate or both upper and lower eyelids are blocked, you will notice yellowish pimples at the margin of the eyelids. This eye condition is called meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD.

MGDs present at the eyelids near the inner corner of the eye makes you feel mild to moderate pain, especially when you touch the affected area.

Warm compression helps to open the mouth of the oil glands and solve the problem within several days.

Eye Allergy (Hypersensitivity)

Another potential cause of pain in the inner corner of the eye is eye allergy. Eye allergy or hypersensitivity reaction to any allergen or contact lens leads to eye itching in the corner, in response to which you scratch your eyes, and that might cause pain in the inner corner of the eye along with eyelids.

To solve the problem, the first thing you have to do is to stop scratching your eyes. You can apply cold compression to minimize eye pain.

Likewise, Over-the-counter antihistaminic eye drops help to alleviate the problem. In severe forms of eye allergy, you have to seek medical attention to treat the condition effectively.

You have to discontinue the use of contact lenses until the condition is completely healed.

Eyeglasses

The solution for one problem sometimes might give rise to another problem. The same goes here if the eyeglasses are not fitted properly on your face. The nose pad of the frame will create a depression in the base of the nose bridge or the inner corner of the eye.

A poorly fitted spectacle frame is one of the common causes of pain in the inner corner of the eye.

To solve this problem, always make spectacle with proper measurement from the professionals (optometrists or opticians).

Eye Fatigue

Consistent near work for a prolonged time, especially the computer work or any visual display work, makes your eyes tired and you will feel pain behind the eyeball and the inner corner of the eye.

Eye fatigue and pain in and around the eye are some of the components of computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain.

The problem can be solved by using anti-glare glasses (ARC lenses), taking proper rest in between the working hours (follow 20-20-20 rules), and using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops.

Pain in Outer Corner of Eye: Sore Outer Corner of Eye

Similar to pain in the inner corner of the eye, the sore outer corner of the eye is also the consequence of the above-mentioned causative factors.

The outer canthus or corner of the eye is prone to injury more than the inner or medial canthus as only a small portion of it is protected by the orbit bone. So, injury is the main causative factor of pain in the outer corner of the eye.

Unlike the inner corner of the eye, the outer corner doesn’t possess a tear duct or nasolacrimal duct. That’s why, only the corner of the eye near the nose is affected by any abnormalities in the tear duct, such as infection, or swelling.

Another main cause of pain in the outer corner of the eye is blepharitis. Angular blepharitis that is caused by a bacterial infection (Moraxellaspecies) not only causes eyelid pain but also causes itching in the eyelid margins and corners.

Likewise, stye or hordeolum also leads to pain in the outer corner of the eye, along with swelling and mild itchy sensation of the eyelids.

The outer corner of your eye hurts if there is inflamed pterygium or pinguecula at the lateral bulbar conjunctiva of the eye.

Meibomian gland dysfunction is another causative factor of the sore outer corner of the eye due to the blocked opening of tear-oil glands at the margin of both eyelids.

Similarly, eye allergy or hypersensitivity reaction to any allergen or contact lens leads to eye itching in the corner, in response to which you might scratch your eyes, and that might cause pain in the outer corner of the eye along with eyelids.

Home Remedies

Some of the causative factors that are responsible for pain localized in the corner of the eye can be treated at home, while others require medical treatment.

Maintaining good eyelids hygiene helps to reduce the problem of blepharitis and MGDs. For this, clean the eyelid skin and margins with warm water regularly for two weeks. Similarly, apply warm compression in the affected eyelids and eye corners to minimize the pain caused by stye, hordeolum, or MGDs.

The eyelashes and other foreign bodies inside the eye also cause pain in the eye. Any objects close to the eyelids and surface of the eye can be removed by applying clean water to the eye. In case of pain in the eye corner due to a deep-seated foreign body, you need to visit the eye doctor to remove the object.

If you have an allergic reaction to the eye, the first thing you have to do is to stop rubbing or scratching the eyelids and eye corners. Over-the-counter antihistaminic eye drops help to alleviate the problem. Likewise, you can apply cold (ice) to the affected eye corner that provides a soothing effect and minimize the pain.

Other causes of the sore outer or inner corners of the eye, such as eye injury or infection of the tear duct require medical treatment for successful management of the cause of the eye pain.

When to See a Doctor

Medical attention is necessary in case of eye pain in the corner of the eye that doesn’t go away with home remedies, and if the pain lasts for several days.

If you notice any of the following eye signs and symptoms when the corner of your eye hurts, see your eye doctor.

  • If there is unendurable pain in the eye
  • Trauma to the eye due to physical injury or chemicals
  • If you feel something inside your eye
  • Discharge of thick pus, blood, or excessive watering
  • If the eye pain in the corner comes with swelling, redness
  • Sudden change in vision (blurry vision, double vision)
  • Pain in the eye movement
  • Difficulty in opening your eyes

Takeaway

Acute pain in the corner of the eye should be taken care of right away because it can develop into a more severe case if it is left untreated. You should try to decrease the chances of further complications by treating them as soon as you can.

In the majority of the cases, pain in corner of eye is not dangerous, just uncomfortable. They can be treated at home by simply applying warm compression, gentle massage, or over-the-counter lubricating eye drops.

But, if your eye hurts in the corner due to tear duct infection, or injury immediate medical attention is necessary. Sudden changes in vision accompanied by eye pain in either the outer or inner corner of the eye is a condition of ocular emergency. In such circumstances, visit your eye doctor to rule out the underlying cause and to start the treatment.

In addition, you should avoid eye cosmetics and contact lenses until the condition is completely healed. Similarly, do not rely on over-the-counter eye drops if the pain in corner of eye lasts for many days.

Sources

  • https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/pink-eye-conjunctivitis
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264419
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-itchy-eyes
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/blepharitis

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Blurry Vision In The Morning – Causes And Concerns

What is the conjunctiva of the eye? Definition, Anatomy, Function

White Part of the Eye: Sclera Function, Definition & Anatomy

What is Cornea of Eye: Function, Definition, Anatomy, Layers

Eyelid Anatomy: Parts, Layers, and Function of Palpebrae

Eye Itching in the Corner (Inner & Outer): Causes, Treatment & Remedies

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical, psychological advice by a health care professional.

Post updated in January 2022