Eye blinking is a frequent neural-controlled action that helps clear away dust particles from the eyes and protects it from damaging stimuli such as light or foreign substances. This reflex action also facilitates the spread of lubricating fluids across the surface of the eyeball. These fluids are important for ocular health. It is estimated that a person blinks about 15 to 20 times per minute.
Blinking is in no way supposed to hurt. However, if your hurts when you blink then there are a number of conditions that may cause this.
Foreign object in the Eye
Having a foreign object can irritate the cornea and inner eyelid. Irrespective of whether the object is as small as a lash or a significant object, its presence can cause pain when you blink.
Conjunctivitis (Pink eye)
This is an infection of the conjunctiva membrane The most common types of conjunctivitis are as a result of an allergic reaction, bacterial infection, or a viral infection. Its symptoms include eye redness, watery discharge, irritation, sensitivity to light, and eye pain when blinking.
A scratch on the cornea surface is a common eye injury. This injury can be caused by a variety of factors. For instance, scratching its surface when removing the contact lenses, or coming into contact with a foreign object. Even if the foreign object is removed, it may hurt since the epithelium has not properly healed.
Refraction error (astigmatism)
This is a non-pathological condition that causes blurred vision. The condition results in headaches, eye strain, fuzzy vision, and pain when blinking. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are the types of vision problems associated with the condition.
Sinusitis (Acute and chronic): A sinus infection (sinusitis) can result in pain when you blink.
This is a result of insufficient lubrication. Our tears are a complex mixture of oil, mucus, and membrane. This lubricant keeps the eye smooth, clear, and protect it from infections. Any problem with the glands responsible for the water, oil, and mucus can result in the dry eye syndrome. This can hurt when you blink.
This is a disease that affects the optic nerve. It occurs when fluid accumulates in the frontal part of the eye thereby adding pressure on the optic nerve. As a consequence, the optic nerve gets damaged. Aside from it hurting when you blink, other symptoms of glaucoma include severe eye and head pain, blurred vision, nausea, the appearance of rainbow-colored circles when exposed to bright light. It is important to note that acute angle glaucoma can also cause eye pain when you blink
This is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements of the eye known as tics. The cause of the condition is unknown. However, the syndrome can be observed in childhood. The occurrence of tics may cause pain.
There are two types of iritis, traumatic and non-traumatic. This is an inflammation of the iris. It may be caused by traumatic experiences such as exposure to a foreign object that damages the iris.
There are also non-traumatic factors that may cause the condition, for instance, infections such as herpes zoster and herpes simplex, Lyme disease, tuberculosis, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, and tuberculosis can cause the condition.
Also, certain diseases such as psoriasis, Reiter Syndrome, or sarcoidosis. Other symptoms of iritis include a headache, eye redness, blurred vision, funnily shaped pupil, and severe pain when exposed to light.
It refers to the presence of a small, painful bump on the eyelid (either on the inside or outside of the part). Styes are the outcome of bacterial infection and can cause pain when you blink, especially if it occurs inside part.
This condition is an inflammation of the eyelid that may result due to a number of factors. For instance, bacterial infection, fungal infection, parasites (Demodex lash mites), meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and dryness. The condition can lead to pain when blinking.
There are other possible factors that could lead to eye pain when you blink. A simple factor such as exhausting them through staring at the screen for too long can also lead to pain when you blink. The pain may be aching, throbbing, burning, stabbing, or uncomfortable. When the eye hurts, it may be due to the strain of the muscles, inflammation, or migraines which can also trigger this pain when you blink.
Symptoms that require an ophthalmologist help
It is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist to get to the bottom of the issue. You should seek help when:
- The pain becomes severe or unbearable
- When it hurts to the point that touching it becomes unbearable
- The pain is accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
- Your vision is blurred.
- Eye movement becomes a challenge
- You observe an outward bulge around it.
What to do about it
Treating the underlying cause of the pain is the best approach to dealing with the issue. You can try home remedies if the pain is not severe. First, you can try a warm compress to calm the eye. This approach is recommended if you have a stye.
Also, you can use Aloe Vera. Apply aloe vera gel on the eye. You can wash off the gel after 20 minutes. Repeat the procedure at least three times a day for about 5 days. If you suspect that the pain is as a result of a foreign object, then you can try flushing it using a sterile saline solution. Applying green tea on it can also help.
There are medical treatments that can help you deal with the pain. For instance, you can use painkillers like aspirin, or ibuprofen for the pain. Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops to help cure an infection or flush out the foreign object. Overall, it is important to consult your doctor for a more effective approach to treatment.