Ophthalmology & Optometry/Persistent Pain, New Glasses



I've been experiencing constant eye pain above my eye for the past few months and I'm not sure what to do anymore. It began after my old pair of glasses broke and I went to get a new vision test and get a new pair of glasses (Pair 1). 1.67 HI poly with antiglare and transitions in my old pair and 1.67 HI poly with Crizal in my new one.

It hurt to use the computer and read. I could feel my right eye try not looking through the lens and eventually my right eye simply wouldn't focus past the lens and instead constantly unfocused. Also the longer I wore that pair, the more my eye hurt. The actual eye and the area around the eye, principally the brow bone area. After a week, I was forced to use my original broken pair and the pain went away after a few hours or so. I wore it for a few days. Still, my old pair was broken after all, so I tried again in the second week and the pain came back. The optometrist insisted on his prescription so he merely adjusted the fit.

Prescription of Old Pair (Valid for Three Years Prior)
Sph: L -6.75 R -6.75
Cyl: L -2.00 R -2.00
Axis: L 15 R 175

Sph: L -6.75 R -7.50
Cyl: L -2.50 R -2.25
Axis: L 12 R 177

I heard for the first time that I had some nerve degeneration in my right eye typical of people with high myopia during the checkup. I wore it for another week, and the same sharp throbbing pain on and around my right eye returned. I researched that some people who often read and use the computer could benefit from not being prescribed perfect sharp vision. I noticed my eye turning more inward than the other and being slower to move back. I got a second opinion, which took anther week.

Sph: L -6.25 R -7.00
Cyl: L -2.00 R -1.75
Axis: L 15 R 175

My axis throughout the years has been 15 and 175, though I've always seen the optometrist from whom I got the second opinion. Also previously, I had astigmatism of -2.00 consistently for the past six years in my right eye.

The new pair was significantly better. I could read without quickly developing sharp piercing pain. No matter how much I read, the pain never got to the level that Pair 1 did. Often however, I get instead a strong strained feeling above my eye on the brow bone that doesn't go away. The strained feeling persists and can continue on through sleep into the next morning. Covering and uncovering my eyes in glasses and without, I can tell that the world is darker in my right eye than on my left. I hadn't noticed this before. Perhaps because my vision test took place on a lit screen, I can make out letters alright, but the letters are not crisp in the way my left eye sees them even with the power reduction. It feels as if my right eye is not looking at the same depth as the left. Could prescription 1 have caused these problems by incorrectly training my eye?

I never had eye pain before this and the optometrist's only solution was to relax. I am in my 20s and I read/use the computer often. It does lessen a bit if I strongly avoid those two activities, but it creates a lot of problems since I need them for study.

Any help regarding possible causes of the problem or any way to treat it would be much appreciated.

The change in prescription for the right eye (increasing the sphere and the cyl) can absolutely lead to the pain and discomfort you were describing.  Backing down the Rx closer to the original makes sense, and did decrease your symptoms.  What doesn't make sense is that you are having pain that lasts over night into the next morning.  Eye and 'vision' headaches, brow-aches, etc, are brief and temporary. As a rule, if you wake up with eye pain, it's not from your vision - as you have been sleeping and resting those muscles all night.
What concerns me is that perhaps there is something else - perhaps there is another cause for your pain and discomfort that could have been overlooked because the focus was always on getting the prescription right.  You mentioned 'nerve damage.'  I would suggest you get back in touch with doctor a or b, and explain that your eye is having pain that lasts through the night and into morning, and very specifically mention that it seems 'dimmer.'  These could be the signs of serious things and they should get you in soon - today, if not this week.
I hope it's nothing to worry about, but dim vision and pain through the night can be very serious.
Good Luck!

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John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO


As a residency-trained Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry I am able to answer most questions regarding eye and vision health. Anything is welcome, ranging from dry or allergy eyes, bifocal contact lenses, or thoughts on LASIK surgery. As I am not a surgeon, detail-oriented surgical-related questions may be better answered by an ophthalmologist.


Selected to participate in the PCO residency program in Philadelphia at The Eye Institute, where I worked OD and MD specialists gaining invaluable experience in various clinics including glaucoma, cornea and cataract, oculo-plastics, retinal disease, neuro-ophthalmic disease, primary care, emergency medicine, and special populations. Have practiced and trained in numerous settings including hospital, academic, retail and private practice. I earned my Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). There are currently only about 3000 active fellows worldwide, and there are only about 70 Fellows in the state of Virginia. I currently own and operate my own optometric practice/clinic.

American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association (Contact Lens/Cornea Section member since 2001), Southwest Virginia Optometric Association, Virginia Tech Alumni Association

“Nyctalopia as the Presenting Sign of Vitamin A Deficiency: A Late Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Denver, Colorado, December 2006, co-authored with Bradley Lane, OD.
“The Importance of Considering Paranasal Sinus Mucocele as a Differential Diagnosis in Diplopia.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry San Diego, California, December 2005, co-authored with Kelly Malloy, OD, FAAO and Cherie Farkash, OD.
“Acute Onset of Halos and Glare: Bilateral Keratitis—An Atypical Presentation of Amiodarone Keratopathy.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Tampa, Florida December 2004. Also Presented to New Jersey Academy of Optometry, Neptune, New Jersey March 2005.
“The Opportunity for an Optometrist to Save a Life.” Clinical Case Study and Grand Rounds Presentation presented at The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2004.
“Corneal whorls cause wonder.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 10/15/2006.
“Acute onset of halos and glare: bilateral corneal epithelial edema with cystic eruptions--atypical presentation of amiodarone keratopathy.” Co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO. Published February, 2006, Optometry.
“Pondering the posterior polka-dots.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 5/15/2005.
Professional Involvement:
“AION: Amiodarone-Induced or Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy?” Participated as a peer-review referee for Expert Review of Ophthalmology (London, UK); refereed 10/2006.

Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Virginia Tech. Bachelor of Science, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Doctorate (OD), Pennsylvania College of Optometry Residency, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

Awards and Honors
Winner, First Place, "Best Beside Manner" by Our Health Magazine: 2012, 2013, 2014 Winner, First Place, "Best Eye Doctor" by The Roanoke Times: 2013, 2014 Recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, December, 2006 Recipient of the Onofrey G. Rybachok Memorial Scholarship, 2000-2001 Member: The Golden Key International Honor Society Member: The National Biological Honor Society Member: The National Honor Society Eagle Scout awarded 1994

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