One day I noticed that only one of my eyes experienced a dull mild pain when I looked up.

It wasn’t there when I looked down or to the side. It could also be described as an ache.

After a few days this pain occurred only when I looked down.

What was really odd was that only my right eye was affected.

Since our eyes move identically, and we can’t move one eye independent of the other, this made me wonder about a cause other than eye strain from using the computer, especially since computer use wasn’t anything new to my eyes.

Nevertheless, after several days, the pain upon moving the eye downward or upward was completely gone and never returned.

“While pain with eye movement is typically associated with optic neuritis, there are other more benign causes as well,” says Yuna Rapoport, MD, a board certified ophthalmologist with Manhattan Eye in NYC.

“These include episcleritis, scleritis, dry eye or a foreign body in the eye.”

Can eye strain affect only one eye?

Dr. Rapoport explains, “Eye strain is a catchall phrase that can refer to many different things.

“Digital eye strain from computer results in dry eye and a feeling of dryness, foreign body sensation and grittiness.

“Depending on eyelid position, this can cause these sensations in one eye only.

“For example, if one upper eyelid sits lower than the other, it is more likely to have more of the cornea covered and less of a chance of dryness/corneal exposure.”

If you notice pain when moving just one eye up or down, don’t right away panic. It may go away within a week, like mine did.

If there are no other symptoms, such as vision problems, unusual discharge or a headache, this is even more reassurance that the situation is likely benign and transient.

But if it persists, then by all means, you should see an ophthalmologist.

Yuna Rapoport, MD

Manhattan Eye uses state of the art LASIK technology and modern techniques for a safer and more precise correction surgery, and also provides services covering all aspects of eye health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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