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Why Do My Eyes Hurt When I Blink?

Blinking is unpremeditated and is done by the body automatically. It is also possible for one to blink on command. If you do not blink regularly, you have a higher chance of suffering eye infections or developing uncomfortable withered eyes.

Blinking helps to maintain the cleanliness of the veneer of your eyes. It washes out the eyes with fresh tears. Blinking also helps in the purification of the eyes as it helps to provide oxygen and nutrients to your eyes.

Experiencing pain in the eyes when blinking is something many people have encountered. Normally it lasts a short time, and the pain goes away by the next day.

However, if it occurs frequently or the pain lasts beyond a couple of days, you might want to consult an eye doctor and seek medical treatment.

The information below outlines reasons why your eyes may hurt when you blink. It also gives safe remedies to try and a great eye doctor recommendation.

Possible Causes

Pain in the eyes when blinking may be a result of different factors. Some causes of eye pain are common, like pink eye, dry eyes, and a sty, while others may be more severe conditions, such as glaucoma or optic neuritis.

Here are some common things that can cause eye pain when you blink.

Tear duct infection

A tear duct is a passage for tears. It is a small tube that drains tears in the eyes from the glands. If the tubes get blocked, the eyes become prone to eye infections, which often cause pain when you blink.

Using antibiotics and eye drops can reduce pain and discomfort. However, in some rare cases, doctors will insist on surgery to unblock the tear ducts.

Dry eye

This is a condition that affects tear production, causing inadequate eye lubrication. You may develop dry eyes when you stare at a digital screen for hours without breaks, when riding bicycles, being in an air-conditioned room, or in an airplane.

This tear impermanence leads to eye inflammation. It also damages the eye surface, affecting your eyes when you blink. Symptoms of dry eyes may include painful or tired eyes, irritation, red eyes, and watery eyes.

A dry eye can be persistent. However, treatment options such as artificial tears help manage the condition.


It is the swelling or infection of the membranes that line your eyelid and covers the white part of the eyeball.

With the inflammation of the membranes, the blood vessels become more visible. This causes the whiteness of the eye to appear reddish or pink. It is why this condition is also referred to as pink eye.

This condition can result from viral or bacterial infection, allergic reactions, or a partially blocked tear duct. Infections associated with pink eye can transverse rapidly and cause pain in the eye when blinking.

Corneal ulcer

An open scrape on the transparent layer forming the front of the eye is also known as a corneal ulcer.

It is usually caused by an infection, eye injuries, or abrasions due to wearing contact lenses for too long.

If you use contact lenses for a long time, you are at high risk of developing this problem. It can also happen if you wear expired contact lenses.

A corneal ulcer may show symptoms such as pus-like discharge from the eye, watery and itchy eyes, a burning feeling in the eye, and sensitivity to light which triggers the eye pain when you blink.

Symptoms of corneal ulcers are serious, so treatment should be administered immediately to avoid permanent vision loss.


It is a painful, red bump that appears on the edge of the eyelid and usually resembles a pimple or a boil.

A sty forms when there is a blockage on the micro oil gland near the eyelashes. It may form either on the outer or inner part of your eyelid and usually disappears by itself over some time. A sty will result in pain in the eyes, which may bring discomfort as you find it difficult to blink.


This is the swelling of the sinuses. They are the material lining the hollow spaces within the bones between your cheekbones, between the eyes, and in your forehead. It normally occurs due to viral infection.

This swelling brings about a feeling of pressure behind the eyes, face aching, and nose blockage, which may lead to painful eyes when blinking.

Safe remedies to try

It is important first to determine the root of the eye pain to treat it. Some of its causes can be easily treated at home while others may be more serious and require a doctor’s medical expertise.

Some of the home remedies to apply include:

  • Using over-the-counter medications such as antibiotics, eye drops, and other oral medicines like painkillers.
  • Wear protective eye gear when working in areas that may put your eyes at risk of infection or injuries, and use sunglasses in extremely sunny conditions.
  • Maintain proper face hygiene and clean your contact lenses well and replace them regularly to avoid erosion when wearing them.
  • Avoid exposing your eyes to direct light from computer screens, television screens, and sunlight.
  • Use a warm and clean moist towel as a compressor in case of inflammation to clear the debris, pus, and dried-up discharge.


It is always advisable to visit a doctor if your symptoms become severe. Some of the symptoms that will tell you it is time to visit the doctor include sudden vision loss, continuous itching and burning sensations in your eyes, eye pain accompanied by chronic headache, high fever, or unusual sensitivity to light.

We have specialized eye physicians ready to diagnose eye pain from blinking. Similarly, we can offer the correct treatments that best improve or preserve your vision and help manage symptoms. Remember, quick detection is the key to better recovery results. Book your appointment today.

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