Eye pain can be really bothersome and debilitating. Even if the pain is minor, having it linger for long periods can make it hard for you to really relax and enjoy daily life. Luckily, ophthalmologists tend to be really good at diagnosing the underlying causes of eye pain and then recommending treatments that work for their patients. However, they will need to perform a few tests in order to do so. Here are some tests you can look forward to in your ophthalmologist's office if you report eye pain.
Ophthalmoscopy is a common eye test that allows the doctor to see the back of your eye and all of the tissues there. Luckily, this test is not painful. You'll feel like you're looking into a big ring of light. But the eye doctor is merely using this light to light up your eye so that can look at it through a special sort of microscope. What they are really trying to see, primarily, is your optic nerve. If the optic nerve is inflamed, damaged in some way, or located abnormally, this could mean you have optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve that can cause chronic eye pain.
Pupillary Reaction Test
Your pupils are meant to dilate, or grow larger, when you are in a darker area. They're meant to grow smaller when you're exposed to light. If your pupils are not responding properly, this could be a cause of your eye pain. Your ophthalmologist will conduct a test called a pupillary reaction test to determine if your pupils are reacting as they should. First, they'll observe how far your pupils close in a dark area. Then, they'll see how wide and how quickly your pupils open when exposed to light. This test can make some people sneeze due to the light reaction, but it's not painful.
Antibody Blood Test
Another thing your ophthalmologist may do is draw blood. They only need a vial or two, so don't worry! They will test this blood for the presence of certain antibodies that would indicate that you have or recently had a bacterial infection of the eye. Most bacterial infections do cause other symptoms like redness and puffiness, but sometimes eye pain is the most obvious symptom. A blood test can tell you for sure whether an infection is at fault for your eye pain.
If you have eye pain, don't hesitate to see an eye doctor. They can run a few simple tests to see what's contributing to your pain.