I was woken up last night by a sharp pain in my eye, again.

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I was woken up in the middle of last night by a sharp pain in my right eye. It felt like someone stabbed the inside of my eye with a needle. It was very painful. It happened few more times afterward throughout my sleep though in lesser intensity, but they still hurt terribly. The pain in my eye lasted almost the whole following day. I have no choice but try to bear it when the pain isn’t too strong, but I’d definitely need medical attention when it gets as strong and painful as that last night. The problem is I need to make appointment to see a doctor and won’t be able to get help right away. It happened frequently in the past. I had been to the doctor few times for treatment and examination because of that. My doctor thought my eye problem was simply due to dryness in the eyes and nothing else. So he prescribed eye droplets to me and sent me away. I really disagreed with his diagnosis but I couldn’t offer any other explanation. I did use the droplets as instructed but evidently it didn’t work, just like last night.

Unfortunately it is only one of many symptoms that associate with my sleep disorder for the past ten years. I’ve been getting this highly focused poking-like sensation which hits all over my body including my ears, nose and eyes. This sensation has different degree of intensity ranging from strong and powerful which hits me like a hammer to sharp and prickly which stabs me like a needle. It causes me great pain and seriously interrupts my sleep.

Can anyone out there offer me a better diagnosis or explanation as to what’s happened to my eyes? It seems that my doctor has underestimated the problem and downplayed my symptoms. I tried to convey to him how painful it was, but sadly he just casually dismissed it as dryness in the eye and nothing out of the ordinary. It is obviously wrong.

Please help.

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  • Posted

          Same thing is happening to me. Eye drop is not very helpful. Going to doctor, i always end up with buying eye drop. However, I found a way to reduce the rate of happening.

          A doctor say it is dry eyes. Thus, i use vitamins and minerals that can help relieve dry eyes. I am not talking about the vitamins pill though. I am talking about the vitamins derive from food intake. 

    The following vitamins and minerals are good for dry eyes:

    1. Potassium

    2. B-6

    3. C

    4. Omega-3

          Therefore, i end up drinking orange carrot juice, milk and banna for my dry eye. Also i drink more water than i usually does. Of course, i use eye drop too only when i have dry eye.  

          The other things i do beside from vitamin and mineral are reducing the screen time and sleeping early.

          After a week or two of doing all the stuffs described above, the rate of having eye pain and tear on my face notecibly reduce.

          The eye pain only come back when i fall asleep on my left side. By the way, it is the left eye im having trouble with. i still can't make it completely gone. If anybody found a way to cure this, please post. 

    Thank You All.


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  • Posted


    I finally discovered after many months why I was having occasional but terrible, miserable, eye pain at night that would wake me up. My eyes were very dry. When the pain came, it felt like something in my eye . But I couldn't detect anything there, much less remove it. 

    The discovery of the problem is as simple as it is embarrassing. Apparently I just wasn't washing my eye lids and around my eyes often enough and my skin oils were irritating my eyes and causing mucus in my eyes to form tiny dried boogers on the edges of my eyelids while I slept. (the gunk in the corners of my eyes didn't ever seem to dislodge and get where it would cause pain) When I would lightly feel and pinch the middle edges of my upper eyelid I could feel gunk crumbling off there, that there-to-fore had not been detectable. Sorry to be so graphic, but I want to help, and being vague doesn't help. smile 

    In the middle of the night, I would rub my eyes, or merely blink sometimes and these tiny dried boogers would get between my eyelid and my eye and cause tremendous pain until they finally dissolved or softened 10 or 15 minutes later. I'm sure they had sharp edges where they broke off. It was worse in my left eye because I sleep on my left side. Washing around my eyes more often completely solved the problem and helps with my dry eyes as well. Whew!

    Later on, and seeking to further establish the remedy, I also started having better diet and exercising more, as I get very little exercise normally. A balanced diet is very important for eye health. I suspect that lack of exercise is not diagnosed sometimes for eye problems. The blame gets put on too much computer time, reading, etc, when it may be that those activities, rather than merely causing eye strain, are also keeping us from getting up and doing some healthy activities outside or otherwise. The over all health of your body facilitates the health of the separate parts of the body.  Hope this helps someone.


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  • Posted

    For the last 5 years, I've had severe stabbing pain in the side of my left eye that would make me sit up straight in agony during the middle of the night. Waking up is another source of misery- sometimes it would take an hour before I could open or move my eye. Anyway, since then, I have spent a lot of time narrowing down the cause and I have definitely found my trigger: CHEAP RED WINE, particularily, cheap box wine with sulfites.

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  • Posted

    I woke last night in extreme pain in my left eye and found this thread on Google. I had a stabbing pain five days ago that got better th following three nights but last night was horrendous...the stabbing pain in my eye felt like a sharp knife going in . Not nice. I found my left eye only was sensitive to light on so I made an appointment today to see an optician. Anyway, I described the symptoms and I said I thought it month be dry eyes. He said nothing but he thought he knew what it was. After a full eye exam and a "stain" on both eyes her confirmed what it was and what I think some of the other posters may have too..." Reoccur rent corneal erosion syndrome"

    He explained that your eyelid at nights sticks to the cornea and whilst alseep if your eye moves suddenly or you open your eye quickly, then some of the cornea gets torn off...hence the extreme pain. If this continues to happen without drops the healing cannot happen and so the cycle continues.

    I have been given two night time gels to try..laniluse and viscotears...he said to put drops in at not but a good amount under the lower lid then try a lighter gel drop in the day twice as needed called Systsne. I think any pharmacy can recommend a similar ointment or gel if these aren't available.

    i really hope this helps. I have to return in a week to update the optician.

    Nicky x

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  • Posted

    Bc2013, are you still having this eye issue?
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  • Posted

    I wish I could give you an answer as I also suffer from the sharp pain BEHIND the eyeball.  My eye doctor also down played the pain and I got the same dry eye answer along with an eyedrops regiment.   I do have a question though, did you recently have eye surgery for cataracts along with lens implants?  I have never had this problem before I had the surgery and I'm wondering if this is what caused it.

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    • Posted

      After suffering another night plus day with pain I'd had it with the pain behind the eyeball.  I had been to numerous Doc.'s all with the same lame answer of 'dry eye' B.S.  I finally went to the hospital emergency ward and a Doc. there ordered a cat scan which showed nothing abnormal, YAY.  He has suggested that I have neuralgia behind the eye.  Finally an answer which makes sense.  I am now on a new prescription of a pill a day.  So far so good.

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  • Posted

    I also have a very sharp pain in one eye. I was drawn to this website by reading your problem.

    It is really painful.

    Mine started from an eye injury. It was treated and came back again.

    When it came back, I had started to use alternative medicine because of a chronic sinus problem.

    Now in the last two weeks it has come back but in a severe way. 

    My whole left side is hurting. And wakes me up or doesn't allow me to sleep or work.

    It is a virus. As I was diagnosed. 

    And as painful as it is, my best solution is to clean the eye with saline drops. 

    It's a very painful condition, probably worse than a toothache in my view!

    Thanks for sharing!


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    • Posted

      Hello - seriously I had the exact same thing you had (I'm almost positive) and there are cures.  I posted in another reply about this.  It almost always wakes you up at night and often starts with an original corneal abrasion and then it reoccurs (often at night).  It's called RCES or Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome.  The cause is a failure of the top corneal cells to properly adhere or stick down.  A telling sign of RCES is it almost always happens when awakening from sleep.  Often to help prevent it from happening (avoiding it) is when you awaken, don't open your eyes so quickly and try to gently put some artificial tears between your nose and eyes and let the artificial tears gently lubricate your eyes before opening them.  However, as far as treatment is concerned, usually the first course of treatment is an over the counter ointment called Muro 128. Warming the ointment by running warm water over the tube for a few seconds is also something I liked doing. This can often cure the condition.  However, when that fails then there are other treatments but usually PRK (laser) is the best next option in my opinion which cures it 99% of the time and rarely a second treatment is needed which cures it  (yes, I'm one who had to have two treatments and I've been free of this condition for over 10 years).  Best advice I can offer you if you have RCES is to find a good ophthalmologist. Google it for more information but I think that is the answer you're looking for and yes it can be terribly painful.  I know exactly what you are going through because I went thorugh it years ago but I'm now cured.  One thing though - I don't understand your entire left side hurting unless perhaps you woke up in extreme pain and pulled a muscle.  It's possible you were misdiagnosed and it is RCES.  Google it for more information as RCES is often misdiagnosed.

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, I posted 10 months ago as I was suffering from RCES and still am. I have finally seen a corneal specialist yesterday in Southampton who has recommened I now either have alcohol delamination (free on NHS) or laser (not free) treatment. Has anyone had either of these procedures? I was confused about which to opt for...both sound painful from what they were saying. I have had my left eye scraped already without success and if the the pain is similar that's ok - if it's worse I think I will need some knock-out pills for a few days whilst the cornea regrows!! My partner has medical cover so I think I am covered if I go for the laser option - just unsure which route to go for.

    Many thanks


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  • Posted

    After 3 trips to the eye doctor for the pain that you descriped, I finally got help. He said that I had " recurrent erosion of the cornea. " This comes from the eye drying out at night and sticking to the eyelid when its opened, tearing the membrane which protects the eye. ( thats when the severe pain occurred) He put a contact lens in that eye to prevent it from further damage. Last night was the first night in about a month that I didn't have severe pain, although my eye required several applications of drops during the night due to discomfort. Got to go back to the eye dr. in one week to remove the contact and will be put on Muro 128 eye drops for several months.  Hopes this helps


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    • Posted

      Judy - One should be careful with using a bandage contact lens after an erosion.  If you do that without antibiotic drops, you can get an infection (as I did many years back before my erosion was cured with PRK Laser).  I got Iritis after when using a bandage lens.  Be mindful of using a bandage lens right after an erosion.

      Also - one should use artificial tears in the morning before opening their eyes so as to prevent an erosion.  If they do get an erosion, it's best to try and blink as little as possible, put artificial tears in and keep your eyes gently closed for 5-10 minutes (so as to keep fewer cells from sloughing off/eroding).

      I had RCES for years and nothing permanently helped until I had laser treatment.  Using muro at night and then using artificial tears in the morning helped to prevent it.  But, that all changed when it started happening in REM when I was dreaming.  I do not believe the eyes "dry out" so to speak.  I've never had dry eyes.  It's a failure of the cells to stick down.  Best bet is PRK if muro does not cure it but check with your doctor and don't be hesitant to get a second or even third opinion.  For me, a lot of doctors I saw did not want to do laser.  I don't know if it was because they were not experienced in using a laser or what the reason was.  I eventually found a great doctor who uses the laser all the time and I needed it done twice but I've been free of erosions for over a decade. 

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