Total Vision Care – Rancho Bernardo
Blog Hero

Why Is My Kid Excessively Blinking?

Book Appointment
A close-up of a young girl forcefully blinking.

If you’ve been noticing that your child is blinking far more often than usual, there’s no need to panic. Blinking is perfectly natural, and it’s rarely a sign of any eye conditions or diseases—though it’s often a sign they should visit their eye doctor. However, it’s not uncommon to worry about your little one. Why could they be blinking so much?

Usually, excessive blinking is due to allergies or dry eyes. But if you notice your child is squinting often, they could be developing an eye condition. If their vision is clear and they don’t have any conditions, it could simply be an involuntary tic that’ll go away with age.

Why Is My Child Blinking So Much?

Blinking is a perfectly natural and necessary function. It helps keep the eyes clean, moisturized, and protected. But if you’ve noticed your child is blinking more than usual, you might be a little concerned. It’s a cause of concern for many parents—after all, you want your child to have clear vision.

In most cases, frequent blinking isn’t a sign of a serious issue. But it’s crucial to understand what could be causing this to start developing. There are several things that can cause your child to begin blinking excessively, including:

  • Allergies
  • Dry eyes
  • Vision problems
  • Involuntary tics

If you’re worried that your child is blinking too much, schedule a children’s eye exam with your optometrist. This can help you gain a better understanding of what’s developing.

Allergies

An allergy is like your body overreacting to a certain allergen. Whether it’s dust, pollen, dander, or something else, allergens can often cause a significant reaction across the body. And when this starts to happen, sensitive areas—like the eyes—are particularly vulnerable.

When your body has an allergic reaction to any kind of irritant, the eye starts to:

  • Produce excessive tears, resulting in watery eyes that need to be blinked away
  • Become inflamed and itchy, which can cause discomfort
  • Become light sensitive, causing frequent squinting

In many cases, people subconsciously try to blink away the irritant. Look for other signs of allergic reactions, like visible redness or sneezing, to determine if this is what’s causing your child to blink excessively.

Dry Eyes

A boy rubbing his eyes while reading a book.

Have you ever felt like your eyes are burning and irritated? That’s often dry eye disease, a condition that develops when the eye can’t produce enough tears or produces tears that evaporate too soon. It leads to dryness and discomfort, and many people find themselves blinking often to try and accommodate.

This condition is often caused by an issue with the meibomian glands, small glands located near the base of your eyelids that produce oils for your tears. These oils stop the tears from evaporating too quickly, so when there aren’t enough produced, the tears aren’t stable enough to do their job. Fortunately, this problem can be fixed with dry eye therapy with your optometrist.

Dry eye disease can also develop due to:

  • Exposure to smoke, dust, or too dry air (like in air-conditioned or heated rooms)
  • Excessive screen time, as people tend to blink less when using these screens
  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications like antihistamines or decongestants

This condition often causes children to blink rapidly as they try to replenish their tear film. Fortunately, dry eye disease is highly treatable!

Vision Problems

Children may also blink more if they’re having trouble seeing. Several vision problems can start to develop when you’re younger, and if you don’t know what to look for, they might go unnoticed until they’re significantly affecting your child.

Refractive errors are a common development. These occur when the eye grows unusually, and its shape leads to light refracting wrong. There are three types of refractive errors that can develop in children:

  • Myopia, better known as nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia, or farsightedness
  • Astigmatism, where the cornea is shaped improperly and causes vision problems at various distances

These can all cause eye strain if they’re undiagnosed. Your child’s eyes may be working harder than they have to, and blinking may be bringing them relief. If you’ve noticed your child is squinting often, moving things closer or further from their face, and complaining about headaches, you should schedule an eye appointment with your optometrist.

Involuntary Tics

Involuntary tics are sudden, uncontrolled movements or sounds that people can make. And blinking can often simply be this. If your child has no eye problems or allergies, they may have developed an involuntary tic.

There’s good news: these tics are common and usually go away on their own. However, it can help to visit a healthcare professional if it is frequently recurring. Tics can be a sign of a neurological disorder or a response to stress, so it’s important to understand what’s causing your child to be developing their tics.

What to Do if Your Child Is Blinking Too Much

If you’re concerned about your child’s excessive blinking, come visit us at Total Vision Rancho Bernardo. We can perform a comprehensive children’s eye exam to determine the underlying cause and may be able to recommend appropriate treatment. We’re committed to taking care of your child’s eye health, so book an appointment with us today!

Written by Total Vision

instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax