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Why do My Eyes Hurt When I Blink?

There are many reasons that blinking can cause eye pain. From mild irritation to more substantial pain, rest assured that most blinking discomfort is generally something that’s easily addressed. 

Let’s discuss this further and look at some of the rarer cases of eye pain when blinking that could have a more serious underlying cause.

Why Do My Eyes Hurt When I Blink? The Most Common, Minor Reasons

  • 6 common reasons for blinking discomfort
  • Treatment and solutions

6 common reasons for blinking discomfort

These are some of the most common reasons you might experience pain or irritation when blinking.

  • Something in your eye: Even the tiniest of foreign objects in the eye can cause pain. An eyelash, for example, causes discomfort that belies its small size. Dust and sand are also common culprits and can cause the eye to water, become red, and inflamed.
  • A stye: A small, infected area that’s usually on the eyelid. It’s rather like having a spot or pimple, but right on the eye area. It can become red, swollen, and—in some cases—have an obvious head that’s a whitish or yellow color.
  • Dry eye: A confusingly named issue that actually causes your eye to water more than normal. This is because the eye is failing to produce tears of sufficient quality to correctly lubricate the eye. Therefore, the body increases tear production to try and rectify this.
  • Conjunctivitis: This is an eye infection that’s more commonly referred to as “pink eye”. It can cause pain when blinking, as well as discharge, a gritty feeling, and the classic reddening of the whole eye.
  • Optic neuritis: This is when the nerve that connects the eye to the brain (the optic nerve) becomes inflamed.
  • Blepharitis: A buildup of dead skin at the base of the eyelashes. It’s a chronic condition that can worsen over time.

Treatment and solutions

Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. For example, pink eye might be treated with eye drops or ointment and blepharitis by cleaning the eyes twice a day with a special solution. Dry eye can often be eased with the use of artificial tears and optic neuritis with steroids.

The key to managing any type of eye discomfort is to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Once diagnosed, the correct treatment can be put in place and get you on the road to recovery.

Why Do My Eyes Hurt When I Blink? More Serious Underlying Causes

  • 5 rarer conditions that cause pain when blinking
  • Treatment and solutions

5 rarer conditions that cause pain when blinking

Other, more serious conditions that can cause pain when you blink include:

  • Uveitis: An infection in either one or both eyes that tends to cause constant pain, rather than just when blinking. It’s important to get a diagnosis as quickly as possible as, if left untreated, can cause further and more serious issues.
  • Glaucoma: This is when fluid and pressure build up within one or both eyes. There are two different types—open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma. The pain might be constant, when blinking, or you might have no pain at all— it all depends on the severity of the issue. However, if the pressure spikes (as can happen with closed-angle glaucoma) then pain can be severe, causing nausea and redness of the affected eye. It’s also a medical emergency.
  • Burns: Chemical or flash burns can cause damage to the eye. This may well be exacerbated by blinking.
  • Corneal ulcers: Minor eye trauma or infection has the potential to become infected. If this happens there’s a chance it can develop into a corneal ulcer. These cause significant pain, especially when blinking or moving the eye.

Treatment and solutions

More severe underlying causes of pain when blinking often require the attention of a specialist eye doctor. If your regular clinician isn’t qualified to do so, they’ll put you in touch with an ophthalmologist (the highest grade of eye doctor) who’ll be able to put a treatment plan in place. 

Let the West Boca Eye Center Diagnose Your Blinking Discomfort 

Whether it’s simply a case of a simple stye or something more serious, such as glaucoma, then you’re naturally going to demand the best attention. At the WBEC, our highly talented and experienced clinical team provides expert care for every type of eye condition.

From diagnosis to monitoring, definitive care to collaboration with associated medical colleagues (such as with your general physician in the case of other diseases, including diabetes and glaucoma), there’s no better place in the country for the ultimate in eye care.

Visit to find out more.

Why do My Eyes Hurt When I Blink?
Why do My Eyes Hurt When I Blink?

There are many reasons that blinking can cause eye pain. From mild irritation to more substantial pain, rest assured that most blinking discomfort is generally something that’s easily addressed.

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Specializing in modern cataract surgery.

Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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