Blocked oil glands and eyelash growth problems are causes of hurting eyelashes, but blepharitis, a medical condition that affects eyelids, is the major cause, according to Mayo Clinic. Blepharitis results when oil glands located where eyelashes grow malfunction. An inflamed oil gland, called a sty, also causes eyelash pain.
Symptoms of blepharitis include eyelid pain; swollen, watery, red and itchy eyes; a gritty, burning sensation in the eye itself; eyelid sticking; loss of eyelashes; misdirected eyelashes; skin flaking around the eyelid; more frequent blinking; increased sensitivity to light; and having crusted eyelashes when waking up, states Mayo Clinic. Blepharitis is a secondary condition that follows other medical conditions and diseases and may lead to more health complications if untreated. The disease is usually chronic but does not cause permanent eye damage.
When one of the oil glands in the eyelid blocks or is inflamed, an eye lump develops. The eye lump, called a sty, allows bacteria to grow, leading to more inflammation. Stys normally heal on their own but may sometimes return or develop into a chalazion, interfering with the patient’s vision, according to the Medline Plus. If the eyelashes continue hurting despite good hygiene, a visit to the doctor is necessary for diagnosis and appropriate medical action.