2 doctors weighed in:

What does it mean if your eyeball itself isn't sore but when rubbing your eyes your eyelid is sore?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Pyfer
Ophthalmology

In brief: Many possibilities

Pain is a very non-specific symptom in all areas, including the eyelid.
Most common is inflammation or infection, such as a simple stye or blepharitis (infection of eyelid margin). As long as there is no swelling, skin rash, discharge, redness of the eye or change in vision, try warm compresses for 5 mins 2-3x/day. Avoid too much eyelid rubbing. If not better soon see an eye doctor.

In brief: Many possibilities

Pain is a very non-specific symptom in all areas, including the eyelid.
Most common is inflammation or infection, such as a simple stye or blepharitis (infection of eyelid margin). As long as there is no swelling, skin rash, discharge, redness of the eye or change in vision, try warm compresses for 5 mins 2-3x/day. Avoid too much eyelid rubbing. If not better soon see an eye doctor.
Dr. Mark Pyfer
Dr. Mark Pyfer
Thank
Dr. Rebecca Dale
Ophthalmology

In brief: Blepharitis

Most likely, this is related to blepharitis, a very common chronic inflammation of the eyelids that can cause redness of the eyelid margin, flakes and debris in the eyelashes, and thickening of plugging of the oil glands within the eyelid (which can lead to styes).
An eye doctor can evaluate and recommend treatment as appropriate, often beginning with hot compresses and gentle lid hygiene.

In brief: Blepharitis

Most likely, this is related to blepharitis, a very common chronic inflammation of the eyelids that can cause redness of the eyelid margin, flakes and debris in the eyelashes, and thickening of plugging of the oil glands within the eyelid (which can lead to styes).
An eye doctor can evaluate and recommend treatment as appropriate, often beginning with hot compresses and gentle lid hygiene.
Dr. Rebecca Dale
Dr. Rebecca Dale
Thank
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