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Eyes Aching When You Blink? (A Few Possible Causes!)


It’s common for people to complain about pain while blinking. Eyes are sensible and easily prone to injuries or damage caused by various reasons. Even glasses or lenses can’t 100% save you from pain while blinking.

Here are a few possible reasons why you feel pain while blinking:

Causes of Pain While Blinking

All the following eye conditions can cause pain while blinking:

1. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis means the transparent membrane covering the eye and the underside of the eyelid gets inflamed. When blood vessels get swollen, the white part of the eye becomes sore and red. Typically, conjunctivitis happens because of allergies or infections, like pet allergy or hay fever.

2. Stye

When the oil glands or eyelash follicles become infected, it swells, causing stye. This can cause excruciating pain while blinking. Bacteria (like Staphylococcus aureus) are the main culprit that causes stye infection. A stye isn’t contagious, but the bacteria that cause it can be passed to another individual and spread through close contact.

3. Eye Injury

The eye is sensitive and can be damaged easily. Debris and acute trauma can damage the eye or eye socket, causing pain when blinking. Scratches on the cornea (surface of the eye) are a common eye injury that can occur from touching or rubbing the eye.


The sun can also cause eye burn due to overexposure to UV rays. These burns can also occur from other substances. For example:

  • Acid Burns - These burns aren’t that severe and can be caused by vinegar or polishes containing hydrofluoric acid.
  • Alkali Burns - These burns are the most severe, and cleaning products like lime and ammonia can cause them.
  • Irritants - These generally don’t damage the eye but can be uncomfortable. Products like pepper spray, shampoo, or detergents can cause eye irritation.

4. Blepharitis

Blepharitis causes inflammation of the edges of the lower and/or upper eyelids. Blinking with inflamed eyelids is painful. A blocked eye gland, bacteria, or specific skin conditions can cause blepharitis.

5. Tear Duct Infection

Bacteria can block the tear ducts. This can be because of debris stuck in the eye, causing pain at the end of the eye while blinking.

6. Sinusitis

Sinuses are small cavities present around the nose and the eyes. This condition causes inflammation of the sinuses (largely due to viral infections). Sinusitis can cause a headache, blocked nose, facial tenderness, pain while blinking, and other symptoms similar to the flu.

7. Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye disease, or dry eye syndrome, disrupts the production of tears, causing dryness in the eyes and irritation. It can also be a source of pain while blinking.

8. Optic Neuritis

In the optic neuritis condition, the optic nerves get inflamed. This can disrupt the transmission of visual information between the brain and the eye. While an individual moves the eye or the eyelids, it can cause pain. Moreover, you may face temporary vision loss or difficulty while looking at colors.

9. Graves Disease

This autoimmune eye condition increases the antibodies produced by the thyroid that mistakenly attacks the body. This is also called overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. Therefore, the inside and around the eyes can become inflamed and cause pain while blinking.

Other symptoms that graves disease causes include:

  • Itchiness
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Persistent thirst
  • Sleeping problems

10. Keratitis

Keratitis is caused by a bacteria or virus that infects the cornea. This infection can cause pain while blinking, light sensitivity, or a gritty/sandy feeling in the eye.

When Should You Consult A Doctor?

Glasses won’t be the cause for the pain while blinking your eyes. Glasses are there to protect your vision and protection from dirt and debris. Moreover, pain while blinking can be treated at home. For example, a cold compress, taking off contact lenses or avoiding irritants.

If the persists, this could be for some other reasons. It’s best to consult a doctor to eliminate the chances of causing permanent vision loss. Other symptoms that require immediate doctor consultation include:

  • Severe eye redness
  • Loss of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Severe headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Deep pain in the eye


The eyes are a highly sensitive part of the face. A little dirt or debris can cause pain while blinking, or as little as an eyelash falling in the eye can cause irritation and redness. Learning about your eye sensitivity is important to protect them.

Make sure that you wear glasses for added eye protection. If the pain persists, don’t wait for it to subside and visit a doctor quickly. This way, they will design the best treatment and course of action.


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