why does it hurt to move my eyes when i'm sick

Experiencing pain when moving your eyes during illness can be a concerning symptom. This discomfort can be a sign of something more serious and should not be ignored. In this blog post, I will explore the reasons behind this sensation and provide tips on how to alleviate the discomfort. Understanding the causes of eye pain during illness can help me take the necessary steps to improve my condition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eye Strain: When you’re sick, your body is already under stress, and this can cause increased eye strain, making it painful to move your eyes.
  • Sinus Pressure: Many illnesses, such as colds and the flu, can cause sinus congestion and pressure, which can lead to discomfort and pain when moving your eyes.
  • Infection or Inflammation: In some cases, sickness can lead to the eyes becoming infected or inflamed, which can result in pain and discomfort when moving them.

Causes of eye pain when sick

Clearly, there are several reasons why you might experience eye pain when you’re feeling under the weather. Let’s explore some of the common causes.

Viral infections and eye discomfort

One of the most common reasons for eye pain when sick is due to viral infections. When I am sick, I often experience discomfort in my eyes, and this is often due to the fact that viruses can cause inflammation and irritation in the eyes. It’s important to note that some viruses, such as the flu or the common cold, can also lead to conditions like conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, which can cause redness, itchiness, and a feeling of grittiness in the eyes.

Sinus infections and eye pain

Another common cause of eye pain when sick is a sinus infection. When your sinuses become inflamed and congested, the pressure can build up around your eyes, leading to pain and discomfort. I’ve experienced this firsthand, and it can be quite unpleasant. In some cases, the pressure from a sinus infection can even lead to referred pain in the eyes, making it feel as though the discomfort is actually coming from the eyes themselves, when in reality, it’s originating from the sinuses.

Other factors contributing to eye pain when sick

Any time I experience eye pain when I’m sick, I start to wonder about the other factors that could be contributing to this discomfort. Here are a few other things to consider:

  • Motion sickness: If you’re feeling nauseous and experiencing eye pain when moving your eyes, it could be related to motion sickness. Check out this article for more information on the link between motion sickness, nausea, and eye muscle strain.
  • Eye strain: Any prolonged use of screens while you’re sick can lead to eye strain, exacerbating your discomfort.
  • Sinus pressure: Sinus congestion and pressure can also cause eye pain and discomfort, especially when moving your eyes.

Any underlying conditions such as migraines or sinus infections can also contribute to eye pain and sensitivity when you’re feeling under the weather.

Inflammation and its effects on eye movement

When I’m sick, inflammation can affect the movement of my eyes, causing discomfort and pain. Inflammatory responses can affect the delicate muscles and tissues around the eyes, leading to pain, sensitivity to light, and difficulty moving the eyes comfortably.

Medications and their impact on eye sensitivity

When I’m not feeling well, the medications I take to relieve my symptoms can sometimes have side effects that impact the sensitivity of my eyes. Some medications can cause dryness, blurriness, or increased sensitivity to light, making eye movements painful and uncomfortable.

Remedies and relief for eye pain when sick

Despite the discomfort, there are several remedies and relief options to help alleviate eye pain when you’re sick. It’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further strain and discomfort.

Resting and the healing process

Resting is crucial for allowing your body to heal, especially when you’re sick. In the case of eye pain, resting your eyes can significantly reduce discomfort and aid in the healing process. Close your eyes for a few moments throughout the day, and try to limit screen time to give your eyes a break.

Over-the-counter solutions for soothing eye discomfort

Over-the-counter (OTC) solutions can provide relief for mild eye pain when you’re sick. Eye drops specifically designed for soothing dry and irritated eyes can help alleviate discomfort. Look for drops that contain lubricants such as artificial tears or hypromellose to provide relief.

Why does it hurt to move my eyes when I’m sick?

Upon reflecting on the discomfort of moving my eyes when I’m sick, I have found that this is a common symptom of many illnesses, including the flu and colds. When we are sick, the muscles around our eyes can become strained and sensitive, causing pain when we try to move them. Additionally, congestion and sinus pressure can also contribute to this discomfort. If you are experiencing this symptom, it is important to rest your eyes and seek medical advice if the pain persists. For more information, you can visit Why do my eyes ache when I’m sick?


Q: Why does it hurt to move my eyes when I’m sick?

A: When you are sick, your body’s immune system is working hard to fight off the illness. This can cause inflammation in the sinus cavities and the eye sockets, leading to pain and discomfort when moving your eyes.

Q: What are common illnesses that can cause eye pain when moving?

A: Common illnesses that can cause eye pain when moving include sinus infections, colds, flu, and other respiratory infections.

Q: How can I relieve the pain when moving my eyes while sick?

A: To relieve the pain when moving your eyes while sick, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers, apply warm compresses to the eyes, and gently massage the sinus area to help reduce inflammation.

Q: When should I seek medical attention for eye pain when sick?

A: If the eye pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms such as vision changes, sensitivity to light, or discharge from the eyes, it is important to seek medical attention as it could indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Q: Can eye pain when sick be prevented?

A: While it may not be entirely preventable, practicing good hygiene, getting vaccinated for flu and other respiratory illnesses, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of getting sick and experiencing eye pain as a result.

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Bhuvi is a passionate blogger, working on many news websites as a freelance writer. She covers sports news in News 24x7.

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