Eye Pain When Blinking: Many people experience an intense burning sensation when they blink their eyes. What is most likely the cause for this? Well, it could be from a dry eye condition.
In this condition, the tear production in the eye is disrupted which results in a lack of moisture and hence drying out of the eyes and subsequently causing pain when blinking.
A dry eye can usually be treated with artificial tears and some lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine intake and sleeping with your head elevated.
Why Does My Eye Hurt When I Blink?
Eye pain often results from dryness, allergy, inflammation, foreign body, infection, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This article will focus on eye pain that is caused by blinking too much or not enough.
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about their eyes is the discomfort from dryness due to the wind or from staring at a computer screen for too long.
However, there are a number of causes for eye pain, and the first step to identifying the cause of this symptom is by ruling out other potential causes.
In most cases, eye pain is caused by an infection or an inflammatory process.
Common Causes of Eye Pain
Many people experience eye pain from time to time, but don’t know what it is. Eye pain can be a result of many factors, such as allergies, stress, eyestrain, and weather conditions.
Let’s dive deep into the various causes of eye pain and how to alleviate them.
Some of the most common causes of eye pain when you blink are
The most common cause of eye pain while blinking your eye is Allergic conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the tissues lining the eyelids and covers the front part of the eye. It can be caused by a virus or bacteria and is often diagnosed by a bacterial culture and sensitivity test.
Astigmatism is a condition where a person’s cornea has a blurred or distorted shape, which can cause fuzzy or double vision.
The condition can be caused by natural eye growths, but the usually cases usually have an onset in early childhood.
With astigmatism, there is usually pain while blinking with the eyes, and it is important to get treatment from an ophthalmologist for this condition.
Suffering from pain and inflammation of the eyelids is called Blepharitis. This happens because of a build-up of bacteria on the lids and lashes, and it can lead to folliculitis, corneal ulcers, or styes. Blepharitis can cause eyes to swell as well as pain that gets worse when blinking or sleeping.
Corneal ulcer or scratches
Many people find that eye pain while blinking is indicative of a corneal ulcer or scratches. A person may feel a foreign body sensation in their eye when they blink.
If this type of pain persists, the individual should seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist.
The ophthalmologist will diagnose whether or not a corneal ulcer or scratch is present with a slit lamp examination and then prescribe treatment accordingly.
Many people with eye pain after scratching their eye may also notice redness, irritation, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and discharge from the eye.
Due to Contact Lenses
Contact lenses can sometimes cause eye irritation due to a buildup of protein or cells on the surface of the lens.
This causes dryness and irritation that makes blinking painful. Blinking also causes pressure inside of your eye, which can trigger pain.
Lenses that are too small or too tight can affect your eyesight. If you wear contact lenses, it is important to get them fitted by a professional.
It is also best to have eye exams on a yearly basis, especially if you wear contacts. This will help minimize the chance of developing something like dry eye syndrome.
Eye pain while blinking may be caused by an inflammation in the eye, known as optic neuritis. This inflammation is typically localized around the optic nerve, which transmits visual information to the brain.
However, it can also cause pain in other parts of the eye, such as the eyelids or the eyes themselves.
It has also been found that lack of sleep or prolonged nearsightedness is both factors that could lead to this condition.
More serious causes of eye pain
Sometimes more serious problems can cause eye pain. For example:
- Bacterial Infections
- Eye injury
- Other eye diseases
If you are worried about eye pain, even if it does not seem severe, it is best to consult an ophthalmologist.
When to see a doctor?
Many people experience eye strain and pain when they blink their eyes, but it is important to note when this is a symptom of something more serious.
If the pain persists for over three days, has worsened in intensity or spread to other parts of the eye, or is accompanied by swelling or sensitivity to light, it may be time to see a doctor.
How Can I Relieve Eye Pain At Home?
Eye pain is a common symptom, and often people will seek medical attention without even realizing it. However, there are steps one can take at home to relieve eye pain. Sometimes all that is needed is better eye care.
Eye pain can sometimes be resolved quickly and without a trip to the doctor.
If you only have eye pain and there are no other accompanying symptoms, it may be possible to relieve your discomfort at home.
Try better eye care such as adjusting your glasses or getting new contacts if you wear them.
Other home remedies for eye pain:
- Warm compresses
- Over the counter (OTC) drugs
- Artificial teardrop eye drops
- Implementing a humidifier to reduce dry eyes
- Avoid exposure to pollutants
- Update your prescription
- Upgrade your sunglasses and make sure you wear them outside anytime
- Adjust the lighting in your home
- Reduce your screen time
- Wear blue light glasses
- Wash lashes with No Tears shampoo
If the problem persists, try medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to see if that helps improve your symptoms.
In conclusion, the eye is made of delicate tissues that can easily be irritated by eye drops and other substances. This irritation can lead to blurry vision, redness, and discomfort.
To avoid eye pain or blurred vision, it is important to blink every 5 seconds to release the tears that lubricate your eyes. To increase the amount of tears to help lubricate your eyes, try blinking more often.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor for a diagnosis.