Eye pain can be aching, sharp, gritty, burning, throbbing, stabbing or feeling something in my eye, which is rather uncomfortable. When you experience eye pain when blinking, you may have the eye muscle strain, eye swelling or inflammation, redness, sharp pain, stabbing or scratchy. With so many reasons that might be the cause, pain when blinking is only obvious in the case of corneal abrasion, and other causes of pain are not that obvious. You might need a medical check up to point out the causes of the pain.
What Causes Eye Pain When Blinking?
1. Corneal Abrasions and Ulcers
Both conditions can be associated with contact lenses, causing eye pain when blinking. An infection will cause an ulcer to form, and scratches on the cornea cause abrasions. If you have either of the conditions, you will experience immense pain and a feeling of something in the eye.
2. Pink Eye
This is a very common eye problem, which can result from viral or bacterial infections, chemical burns or allergies. With such a condition, the eye appears red or pink and mild pain.
If there is debris along the eyelashes, irritation can occur causing the eyelids to become red or have a gritty sensation. The irritation will cause different levels of pain on how serious the condition is.
4. Chemical Burn
Exposure of the eye to household cleaners and acid can cause you extreme pain in the eye. Alkaline substances can also cause chemical burns. If you get any such things in your eyes, you need to get treatment immediately to avoid further complications.
5. Eye Stye
When an infection occurs at the base of the eyelashes follicles, the eyelid becomes inflamed. You will feel eye pain when blinking if the follicle that covers the eye is infected.
In most cases, glaucoma is painless. However, when pressure builds up fast, you will experience orbital pain. Once this happens, you need urgent medical attention. Nausea and vomiting can be also associated with the pain.
7. Optic Neuritis
This condition is characterized by the inflammation of the optic nerve that causes you to feel pain when moving your eyes. Usually, optic neuritis can be due to bacterial or viral infections. Seek medical attention immediately.
This condition refers to the colored portion of your eyes. When it is inflamed, you will feel severe pain and experience light sensitivity.
9. Other Causes
There are some other causes that can lead to eye pain when blinking. Trauma around the eye (such as a blow in the eye) can cause eye pain when blinking. Also, migraine which is linked to headaches can be one of the most common causes of eye pain while blinking.
When to Seek Medical Help
Usually, eye pain while blinking not indicates a serious issue. Yet, in certain cases, you need to seek medical help timely.
- The eye pain becomes unbearable
- Vision becomes impaired
- Touching the eye causes pain
- The eye pain is accompanied by vomiting or abdominal pain
- The pain is due to chemical contact with the eye or a foreign object
- Halos start appearing around light
- There is an outward bulge of the eye
- Eye movement becomes difficult
How to Deal With Eye Pain When Blinking
Treating the root cause of the pain is the best way to deal with eye pain. Home remedies can be first applied if the symptoms are not that severe. Also, medical options like pain medication (analgesics) can come in handy till the pain subsides.
1. Medical treatment
- Eye drops: If you have eye pain when blinking, eye drops might be the first medical treatment you receive. It will clean out dirt and any alien objects in the eye. Most have antibacterial properties that can cure infections or prevent them.
- Painkillers: If the pain is mild, you can try to use painkillers like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen to counter the pain.
- Antibiotics: Patients with corneal abrasions or infections like conjunctivitis can be prescribed antibiotics to treat or as a preventive measure.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines are prescribed to relieve conjunctivitis that results from allergies.
- Corticosteroids: Serious infections like optic neuritis and iritis can be treated using corticosteroids.
- Surgery: Surgery is hardly needed, but in the case there is need for damage repair in the eye, it is used as a long term form of treatment.
2. Home Remedies
- Flushing the eye: Use clean water or a sterile saline solution to flush out any dirt or objects that could be in the eye. Do not rub or touch the eye when you are doing this to avoid spreading the infection or making the irritation worse.
- Warm compress: A washcloth dipped in warm water will help unblock clogged follicles or oil glands. It is recommended for people with stye.
- Green tea: With anti-inflammatory properties, green tea bag can be applied on the eye after being dipped in warm water for several minutes. Keep pressing that tea bag on your eyes for about 5 mins every day. The same effect can achieved with black tea bags.
- Aloe vera: Commonly used as a home remedy, aloe vera can also work on eye pain when blinking. You can cut a leaf and get the gel inside, and then spread the gel on the affected area. Keep it for about 20 mins then wash away with lukewarm water. You can repeat this method several times per day, and continue for 5 days.