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What Causes A Stinging Eye?

  1. Nov 16, 2008 #1
    This has happened to me about 4-5 times over the last year or so, but at random it seems, one night I'll wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to open up my left eye because of this unbearable stinging sensation (it's always my left eye too). If I even try to pry it open a little bit the stinging gets worse. There's also some liquid substance that's dripping out of it too. I'm not sure if its just tears or not from the unbearable stinging. Every time though when I eventually am able to fall back asleep and wake up in the morning it is completely gone, and it doesn't return again for quite awhile.

    I was wondering if anyone knew of some possible explanations for this? One person I know already told me she gets that before she gets pink eye, but I've already had pink eye before when I was younger. I don't know, I can't figure it out.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2008 #2
    That sounds exactly like an occasion when I was on a business trip and I somehow scratched my cornea during the night. It was awful, I had to cancel the appointment with my client and make it to the airport and through my flight home barely able to open my eyes (and without my contact lenses). A friend took me to the eye doctor when I got home, who flushed it out and then gave me an eyedrop antibiotic to use for a week. He said he couldn't figure out how I would have done it, that the scratches were vertical but people who scratch their eye by rubbing it or something usually end up making horizontal scratches.
     
  4. Nov 16, 2008 #3

    Evo

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    Have your eyes checked by a doctor!
     
  5. Nov 16, 2008 #4
    Oh, that too, obviously if they were giving me antibiotics there's risk of infection, or it could be a completely different serious problem. And also if there's any opportunity to have your left eye replaced with a high-resolution camera and laser sight, like in a science fiction movie, do that, it's cool.
     
  6. Nov 16, 2008 #5

    Chi Meson

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    Yeah.
    If it just happens at night, I would suggest that you perhaps scratched your eye on your pillow. Some people do sleep with eyes open during parts of the sleep cycle, and it is possible to scratch the cornea or sclera on soft fabric. It might even be that the fabric pressed against the cornea/sclera for a few seconds, or minutes. That would cause extreme irritation.
     
  7. Nov 16, 2008 #6

    DEW

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    You haven't been looking at a computer screen for too long without a break? because this can cause you to have problems like you describe. I wouldn't force the eye open, just leave well along and get down to the Docs so they can check it out for you.
     
  8. Nov 16, 2008 #7
    I do tend to sleep on my side with my left eye pressed against the pillow for most of the night.
     
  9. Nov 16, 2008 #8
    You haven't happened to get new bedsheets in the last year since this has been happening, have you? Maybe with a wool or artificial fiber content, for example?
     
  10. Nov 16, 2008 #9

    Moonbear

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    Maybe you're drying out your eye and waking when it gets painful and teary trying to recover.

    Still, although there might be a mundane explanation, it sounds painful enough that it's worth a ring to your eye doctor just to be sure it's not some early symptom of something else.
     
  11. Nov 16, 2008 #10
    rinse your pillowcases better next time you wash them. sounds like you still have soap in it.
     
  12. Nov 16, 2008 #11
    It definitely seems like something to take to the doctor but if it was gone by morning it seems worthwhile to explore any potential causes ahead of time. In my experience, unless you have comprehensive and definite information a doctor is likely to brush any symptoms off as having a mundane cause. (Depends on your doctor, of course, but my doctor has done this and I think he's a really good doctor.)
     
  13. Nov 16, 2008 #12
    I haven't gotten new bedsheets in awhile. I've been using the same 4-5 bedsheets for about a few years now.

    I was examining my pillows just now, and I just realized my dog has been slightly trying to pull out the actual pillow from out of the case, so the small zipper on the actual pillow is actually sticking out. I'm wondering if maybe my eye poked it last night.

    Everytime this has happened, my eye has been fine in the morning with no stinging sensation whatsoever. So I'm wondering if by accident I'm just poking my eye, waking up from it, and then the pain recedes by morning.
     
  14. Nov 16, 2008 #13
    Do you live in a rainforest? There are those one bugs that come up when you are sleeping and drink the tears out of your tear duct. Maybe abot fly?
     
  15. Nov 16, 2008 #14
    No, I live in a cold climate.
     
  16. Nov 16, 2008 #15

    Chi Meson

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    Could be the wasps. Or the antelopes, maybe? Or PUFFINS, they can do some damage!
     
  17. Nov 16, 2008 #16

    Moonbear

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    No, no, no, this is lightbulbsun we're talking about, not Evo. :uhh:
     
  18. Nov 16, 2008 #17
    Oh, dude, not cool! The guy will have nightmares, talking about bot flies in his tear ducts! He'll be scarred for life.
     
  19. Nov 16, 2008 #18

    JasonRox

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    You're having staring competitions in your sleep. Sounds like you lost.
     
  20. Nov 16, 2008 #19

    Moonbear

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    Pfft! No need to worry about it. Everyone knows that bot fly larvae grow in your nose, not your tear ducts. :rolleyes: :biggrin:
     
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