Eye Hurts When I Blink

Pain in the eye may indicate a number of problems. Sometimes, an eye injury leads to severe pain, but the causes are not that explicit in most cases. Unfortunately, it is not easy to determine the severity of damage or underlying issue considering the severity of eye pain. In some cases, a relatively minor issue such as a superficial abrasion of the cornea may cause severe pain. On other occasions, there is very little pain even when the issue is as serious as macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic eye disease or even a detached retina.

That is why many people fail to identify the issue, and you will find many people ask, "Why my eye hurts when I blink?" Here’s what to know about certain eye related issues that may cause severe pain, especially when you blink your eye.

My Eye Hurts When I Blink, Why?

The pain in your eye is most often caused by inflammation or irritation of the front surface of the eye. It usually affects the cornea. Here are some specific reasons:

1.        Did You Scratch Your Cornea?

Your pain could be due to a scratch cornea or corneal abrasion. These scratches are not that serious but can be extremely uncomfortable and result in watery eyes. Superficial corneal scratches usually take a day or so to heal completely. Deep abrasions may take longer, and when left untreated can lead to eye infections and corneal ulcers.

2.        Do Foreign Bodies Get into Your Eyes?

Foreign bodies may enter and adhere to the surface of the cornea. The most common foreign bodies causing eye pain and irritation are inorganic grit (tiny stone particles, sand), metal shavings, sawdust, and other organic material. A corneal foreign body can cause extreme discomfort, especially when you blink your eye. This may also lead to sensitivity to light and blurred vision. You should go see your doctor immediately if you suspect your pain is due to a corneal foreign body. A foreign body can embed in the cornea and cause a serious infection.

3.        Do You Have Dry Eyes?

When someone says, "My eye hurts when I blink" they should consult with their doctor to confirm if they have dry eyes. It usually begins slowly and leads to severe eye pain and discomfort. Dry eyes may also lead to a corneal abrasion because the eye lacks the tears required to keep the cornea moist and slippery. Using lubricating eye drops really proves helpful in this case.

4.        Effects of Wearing Contact Lenses

If you wear contact lenses, this may well be the reason why you experience pain when blinking your eye. The lens can irritate your eye and even limit the oxygen supply to the cornea. This usually happens when you over-wear the lenses. Using different types of lenses, especially the ones made of silicone hydrogel material may help.

5.        Pink Eye/Conjunctivitis

The conjunctiva is the covering of the eyeball and inside of the eyelid. It sometimes becomes inflamed and leads to tearing, redness, discharge, pain, and itching. The condition is called conjunctivitis, and is usually caused by a viral infection. The main symptom is the inability to open your eyelid when you wake up in the morning. In case of a bacterial infection, you will notice thick green or yellow discharge. A viral infection usually causes clear drainage from the eye. This will also make you feel as if there is sand in your eye. This will make you say, "My eye hurts when I blink".

6.        Watch Out for Eye Stye

An eye stye refers to a type of bacterial infection caused by the organisms living on the skin surface of the eyelid. This infection will cause severe pain, especially when you blink your eye.

How to deal with it: Applying warm compresses for 10 minutes at least thrice a day will relieve pain. Never try to squeeze if a bump forms. Keep your hands away from your infected eye and do not touch the other eye with the same hand after touching the infected one.

7.        Can It Be Blepharitis?

It refers to the inflammation of your eyelid caused by a bacterial infection. You may experience symptoms associated with skin conditions such as acne rosacea. The most common symptoms include flaking, burning, irritation, tearing, crusting, and redness in eyelid margins.

8.        Other Possible Causes

Overuse of eyes, such as staring at a computer screen, is one possible reason. You may also experience pain due to iritis, which refers to inflammation of the iris. Endophthalmitis is another condition causing pain in the eye – it refers to inflammation of the interior of the eye. This will cause swollen eyelids, redness, and decreased vision.

Eye Hurts When I Blink: What to Do?

In case you feel pain and it improves overnight, the chances are you just need to give your eyes some rest. If pain persists or increases, you should consult your doctor. It is important to rule out a serious underlying condition that may cause permanent damage to the eye. HERE you can find more remedies to relieve mild eye pain.

When to Worry

While superficial abrasions usually heal without any medical intervention, you may need to consult your doctor if pain persists. See immediate medical help if:

  • Your eye pain is unbearable
  • You notice a change in your vision or you notice blurred vision
  • You feel pain when you touch your eye
  • You experience vomiting and abdominal pain with eye pain
  • You have a foreign object in your eye
  • You notice your eye bulging outward
  • You notice halos around lights
  • You find it difficult to move your eye

What's more, you should contact your doctor immediately if you have eye pain and you wear contact lenses. People with a weakened immune system should also seek medical attention. 

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