Eye Pain When Blinking | 22 Powerful Facts You Should Know
Eye pain when blinking can be concerning if it is happening frequently. Your eyes are miraculous organs that allow you to see the world around you and experience life in full color. They’re also very delicate and can be easily damaged by overexposure to UV rays or too much time spent staring at a computer screen.
It’s not uncommon for people with eye-related problems like dry eye syndrome, allergies, or infection to experience pain when they blink their eyes. If this is happening to you, it might not always mean something serious but it’s best to be safe than sorry!
Read on for more information about why your eyes could be hurting when blinking and what steps you should take next if this is indeed a cause for concern.
Blinking is an involuntary reflex that helps keep the eyes moist and protected from foreign objects. However, when you blink for a prolonged period of time, your eye may begin to feel dry or irritated.
If this persists despite blinking more often, it could be caused by other issues such as allergies or sinus congestion.
If you are experiencing an uncomfortable sensation when you blink it may be time to schedule a visit to your eye doctor. It can sometimes be hard to know if the pain is due to dry eyes, allergies, or something more serious like glaucoma.
The good news is that there are treatments for all three of these issues and it’s important that you find out what’s causing the discomfort as soon as possible.
There are several reasons why you may experience pain when blinking as mentioned previously. Below we break down some of the most common problems.
Our eyes continuously produce a film of tears that keep our vision clear and healthy. If we don’t blink enough or if we experience too much wind, dry air, or smoke in the surrounding environment, this can cause our tear film layer to thin or evaporate altogether.
When the eye’s natural lubrication system no longer works properly, it can result in very uncomfortable symptoms such as itchiness and burning sensations on the surface of the eyes.
Allergens such as pollen and pet dander can cause allergy symptoms just like they do with other parts of your body such as your nose and throat. If you have an allergic reaction when you’re outside, you’re more likely to feel eye pain while blinking due to the increased exposure to the wind and dry air.
You may experience severe eye pain when blinking if your eyelids are unable to close properly. Nerve damage, stroke, or Bell’s palsy can affect the way that you blink and cause severe discomfort as a result.
Other issues such as inflammation within the eyelid itself (blepharitis), can also cause intense waves of pain while blinking simply due to the rubbing motion against the eyes.
There are many vision problems that can leave you with eye pain while blinking symptoms for quite some time afterward. If you have double vision, it’s more difficult for your brain to line up everything in your field of view at once which can lead you to be uncomfortable or in pain when blinking.
Eye Floaters & Eye Pain
People who have suffered from a detached retina may also experience eye pain when they blink due to the sensitivity of their eyes. When a retinal detachment occurs, it means that the retina has been torn loose from its proper position and is in a state of panic.
This can lead sufferers to feel a great deal of discomfort in their vision, including eye pain when blinking along with photophobia (light sensitivity), floaters, and blurred vision.
Refractive Errors Can Lead To Eye Pain
In most cases, individuals suffering from any sort of refractive error will simply need to wear corrective eyewear until the issue with their eyesight has been corrected to the point where the symptoms of eye pain when blinking have ceased.
However, there are some cases where an individual will need to wear glasses that correct their vision but do so in a manner that does not actually fix the issue with the way their eyes move.
If you find yourself suffering from eye pain when blinking, the first thing you should do is to make an appointment with your local optometrist.
Since they deal with vision issues on a regular basis, they will be able to get an idea of what might be causing your eye pain and give you advice on whether or not you need to visit an ophthalmologist.
Of course, if the reason for this discomfort does not become immediately apparent during your examination, your optometrist may recommend that you visit an ophthalmologist.
They will also want some details about how long these symptoms have been present and any other relevant health information so that they can determine what method of treatment might work best for you.
There are some preventative measures that you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing pain when blinking.
For example, if dry eyes are the reason for your discomfort, you may be able to use an artificial tear solution or lubricant eye drops to help ease the symptoms.
You should also make sure that you do not rub your eyes too hard; this could irritate them and make the situation worse.
However, it is still a good idea to keep checking whether or not these eye drops have been effective in reducing your pain so you know what steps you need to take next.
If eye drops aren’t helping with your discomfort, here are some things you might want to try:
Reduce Your Stress Level – When we’re stressed, our muscles tend to tense up and this can cause pain around the eyes, so try to take some time out for yourself in order to let go of any excess tension.
Apply Warm Compresses To Your Eyes – If you have access to a microwave or heat pad at home, applying it to your eyes for a few minutes could help ease the discomfort.
Take A Hot Shower Or Bath – Not only does this allow you to relax your body by giving your muscles a break from stress, but the steam may also help relieve eye pain if it is caused by dryness.
Eat Plenty Of Natural Foods – By eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruits like carrots and apples (which contain high levels of vitamin C), you should be able to provide your eyes with much-needed nutrients.
Drink Plenty Of Water – By drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you should be able to easily improve your eye’s natural moisture levels.
Get Plenty Of Rest – By getting plenty of sleep and taking a short nap (no longer than 45 minutes), you will give your body and eyes a chance to rest and recharge allowing them to feel better.
Keep Your Eyes Clean & Free Of Any Dirt – Make sure that there is no excess dirt or bacteria on your fingertips before touching your eyes, as this can cause painful stinging and can be very difficult to get rid of.
Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors – Wearing sunglasses while outdoors will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, allowing them to feel better throughout the day.
Stop Smoking – If you smoke cigarettes on a regular basis and/or smoke cannabis frequently, it is important that you stop doing so immediately as smoking cigarettes has been shown in numerous studies to seriously increase your likelihood of developing an eye twitch (eye strain can also develop if you smoke cigarettes, but this type of strain is not the same as an eye twitch).
Watch What You Eat – The foods that you eat can also have a huge impact on the pain your eyes feel when blinking. If you are consuming large amounts of acidic food (e.g. citrus fruits), then it may be wise to reduce how much of these types of food that you consume.
It is also important to avoid any processed food items, refined sugar products, and/or fried food items; all of which can result in you developing serious health problems associated with your eyes feeling pain when blinking over time (when consumed in moderation, these types of foods will not trigger eye strain or twitching).
A good way to avoid feeling any type of eye pain when blinking in the future is to start getting more sleep. You should aim to achieve 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every single night, in order for your eyes to be able to fully recharge and feel rejuvenated when you wake up.
You also want to ensure that you are being proactive about taking care of your eyes on a daily basis by possibly wearing sunglasses or applying lubricating lotions/gels whenever you go outside for extended periods of time (e.g. hiking, fishing).
If you are not currently taking these types of preventative measures, then it may be wise to start doing so immediately if you wish to avoid feeling serious eye ailments in the future.
The best way to determine if eye pain when blinking is a cause for concern is to consult with an ophthalmologist. It’s important to mention any recent changes in vision or new symptoms that you experience, as well as how long your eyelid has been bothering you.
Your doctor may conduct tests of the cornea and retina, which could be used by other professionals such as optometrists and ophthalmic surgeons.
If it turns out that there are no underlying medical conditions causing this problem, then we recommend using over-the-counter lubricants like artificial tears or vernix caseosa (wet cow placenta).
These products can help decrease inflammation due to dry eyes and prevent further irritation from occurring.