What Causes and How to Treat an Air Pocket in the Corner of the Eye

Orbital emphysema, characterized by the presence of trapped air in the eye socket, is a unique and uncommon condition that can have potentially serious implications for ocular health. Although most cases of this condition tend to resolve on their own within a few weeks without the need for medical intervention, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention to ensure adequate monitoring for any complications that may arise, as these can potentially lead to permanent vision loss.

Can You Get an Air Pocket in Your Eye?

In some cases, trauma to the eye or surrounding structures can lead to the development of an air pocket, known as orbital emphysema. When air collects within the eyelid or orbit, it can cause an increase in pressure within the eye, potentially resulting in vision loss. While this condition is considered relatively rare, it can occur due to various factors other than trauma.

This can happen as a result of direct impact or injury, such as being hit in the eye or face. When force is applied to the area, it can cause air to enter the tissues and accumulate within the orbit. The pressure caused by the trapped air can then affect the normal functioning of the eye, leading to potential vision problems.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of orbital emphysema is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment. These may include swelling and puffiness around the eye, pain or discomfort, restricted eye movements, and changes in vision.

Treatment typically involves addressing the underlying cause, such as treating any infections or managing the traumatic injury. In some cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to remove the accumulated air and alleviate the pressure on the eye. Depending on the severity of the condition and any associated complications, additional interventions may be required to restore normal vision and prevent long-term damage.

In addition to dry eyes and conjunctivitis, there are various other reasons why one might experience the sensation of something being in the corner of their eye. Infections and injuries to the eye can often necessitate immediate medical intervention to prevent further complications.

Why Do I Feel Like Something Is in the Corner of My Eye?

One common reason why someone may feel like something is in the corner of their eye is due to dry eyes. When the eyes aren’t adequately lubricated, it can cause discomfort and a sensation of a foreign object being present. This can be caused by various factors such as prolonged computer use, exposure to dry environmental conditions, or certain medications. To alleviate this feeling, over-the-counter artificial tears can provide relief by moisturizing the eyes and reducing irritation.

Another possible explanation for feeling like something is in the corner of the eye is conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. This condition occurs when the conjunctiva, a thin membrane covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids, becomes inflamed or infected. Along with itching, redness, and discharge, individuals may experience the sensation of a foreign body. It’s important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment, as bacterial or viral conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and may require prescription medications like antibiotics or antivirals.

Not all instances of feeling like something is in the corner of the eye are benign. Serious infections, such as keratitis or corneal ulcers, can also produce similar symptoms. These conditions can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi entering the protective layers of the eye. Additionally, foreign objects or injuries to the eye, such as scratches on the cornea, can result in discomfort and the sensation of a foreign body. In such cases, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention to prevent further damage and to receive appropriate treatment.

Furthermore, eye allergies may cause a person to feel like something is in the corner of their eye. Allergic reactions to substances like pollen, pet dander, or dust mites can lead to redness, watery eyes, itching, and the sensation of something being present. Over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops or allergy medications may help relieve the symptoms, but consulting with an allergist or ophthalmologist can provide comprehensive management strategies.

Particles such as dust, eyelashes, or fragments of chemicals may inadvertently enter the eye, leading to irritation. Attempting to remove foreign bodies by rubbing the eyes can worsen the situation and potentially cause injury. It’s advisable to rinse the eyes gently with clean water or saline solution and seek professional medical assistance if the sensation persists or if severe pain occurs.

While OTC artificial tears can help relieve dry eye symptoms, seeking medical attention is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Urgent care should be sought for severe discomfort, eye injuries, or any potential infections to ensure the well-being of the eyes and to prevent complications.


Although clinical treatment may not be necessary in most cases, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly to ensure any potential complications are monitored closely. Failure to do so could result in permanent vision loss, highlighting the importance of timely diagnosis and appropriate care.