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Question:
I am a school nurse and have a kindergartner that has had pain/itching in only one eye for a few weeks. There is no discharge and eye and mucous membranes are not reddened unless he has been rubbing it a lot. What could be causing this? I'm about to ask his mother to take him to the doctor.

Answer:
Prolonged pain in an eye is always a cause for concern and this alone warrants a visit to an Eye M.D. for evaluation. Pain in an eye is never normal, though it is not always caused by a serious condition. Pain can be due to something as simple as dryness of the ocular surface, or could represent something more serious. For example, I recently saw a child with a one-week history of discomfort and redness in his right eye that turned out to be a foreign body stuck under the eyelid. Removal of the offending material resulted in immediate resolution of the symptoms. The symptoms of itching are less bothersome, though prolonged itching also suggests the need for evaluation.

Answered by: David K. Coats, MD Dr. David K. Coats

Categories: Children's Eye Health

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Answered: May 09, 2013

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