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Why Does My Eye Hurt When I Blink

Why Does My Eye Hurt When I Blink?

If you are asking yourself this question, then read on!

You may experience random pains in your body throughout your day, which are not already diagnosed. A common occurrence is pain in the eye. There are many different things that could be causing your eye pain, ranging from fairly common to more serious and concerning.

Read on so that you can learn more about eye pain when blinking and some of its causes, which should be able to help you determine when you should contact your eye doctor to examine this eye pain.

Common Causes

It is entirely possible that your eye pain is normal and will go away on its own. There are plenty of common causes of eye pain or discomfort, like debris that may have irritated the surface of the eye, for instance.

Below, we go over some of the more common causes of eye pain.


It is very common for debris to get caught in your eye, which can cause irritation and lead to discomfort or eye pain. This can occur either in the eyelid or cornea– or both. Some examples of debris could be an eyelash or a speck of dust or dirt.


Conjunctivitis is when the conjunctiva– which is the clear lining on the surface of your eyeball– becomes infected, as well as red and inflamed. This common condition is also known as pink eye. If you have pinkeye, you may feel pain when blinking, or your eyes could feel sore and gritty.


Blepharitis is a chronic eye condition, which can also be fairly common. This begins at the base of the eyelashes and produces scaly skin. They can then make your eyelids feel sticky or gummy, which then causes you to blink uncomfortably and cause painful eyelids. Itchy eyelids happen often if you have blepharitis, too.

Dry Eye Disease

If you have poor tear production, you likely suffer from dry eye disease. Dry eye disease can be another cause of uncomfortable and painful blinking. When your eyeball is dry, this makes it more difficult to blink normally, leading to discomfort.


A stye is another kind of eye infection. This particular infection begins in the oil glands which are located in the eyelid. It causes the eyelid to then become red or swollen, which could make it difficult to blink, causing you pain or discomfort.

Optic Neuritis

When the optic nerve becomes inflamed, this is known as optic neuritis. This inflammation is the cause of the pain that you will experience when you are suffering from this particular condition. It usually occurs when you are blinking, or when you are moving your eyes– the pain is reported to be most significant when looking upwards.

Cluster Headaches

A cluster headache can often occur and when having one, you will typically suffer from pain that is felt between one of your eyes. It can also be felt on one side of your head in some cases. This pain can even manifest in red, swollen eyes or swollen lids, which makes blinking painful.


More Serious Causes

There are other symptoms and reasons that you could be suffering from eye pain, and these are more severe than the common causes we discussed above. Take a look at the list below to learn more about them.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries can be severe, and they can often become a source of pain, especially when blinking. If you do suffer an injury to your eyes or your face, this is something that should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further issues.


Burns could be considered an eye injury, but they often have different symptoms or causes. Typically, the kind of burn that can affect your eyes is a chemical burn, which could happen if you work with hazardous materials, for instance. The effects of chemical or flash burns can be very severe. This is a medical emergency and should be receive medical attention right away.


Glaucoma is an eye disease, and there are more than one forms of this particular disease that could affect you. This disease causes the buildup of fluids in your eyes. Open angle glaucoma is the most common, and patients do not usually notice its symptoms. However, with closed angle glaucoma, you could suffer an eye pressure spike that causes severe pain in one eye.


Uveitis is a name for an inflammation of one or both of your eyes. While it does not cause pain when you are blinking, it can cause moderate or severe pain in either one or both of your eyes. It is also typically accompanied by light sensitivity. It is crucial to treat uveitis, because if it is not addressed, this condition can lead to scarring in the eye or other issues like glaucoma causing vision problems.

Corneal Ulcers

If you have scratched your eye, or an infection has developed on the eye’s surface, it is possible for a corneal ulcer to develop. These can be extremely painful, especially when you are blinking. It is important to see your eye doctor if you believe that you have injured your eye, in order to avoid a corneal ulcer– or to treat one that is already in existence.


How to Deal with Eye Pain at Home

While it is safest to see your eye doctor when you are experiencing eye pain, just to be sure that it is not a symptom of a more severe condition, it is not always necessary. For instance, if you are only experiencing mild or minor pain when blinking, you may be able to deal with this discomfort from your home instead of the doctor’s office. Some of the ways that you can do this are:

  • Use a humidifier

  • Administer eye drops

  • Apply warm compresses

  • Take frequent and often screen breaks

  • Adjust the lighting when using screens

  • Wear sunglasses outside or in bright light

  • Update your eyeglasses prescription

Of course, if your eye pain is severe, or you have suffered one of the aforementioned eye injuries– such as a chemical burn– you will need to visit your eye doctor or the emergency room where you can receive immediate medical attention, rather than trying to treat yourself at home.


At Respect Eyecare located in Inglewood Calgary we offer a comprehensive eye exam which is not just about your eyesight, glasses, or contact lenses, it is a complete holistic look at your eyes, vision and overall eye health.

These eye exams are designed to not only treat eye disease, they are also designed to be preventative in nature for all your vision and eye health needs. If you are experiencing eye pain when blinking which has now caused sudden eye pain, we look at all areas of what is causing it and provide eye relief tips and it you may just need pain relieving eye drops to help.

Most importantly we partner with you for your entire eye care, and eye health journey.

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