Excessive blinking of eyes in children is a common phenomenon. Many parents tend to ignore it and consider it as a normal activity. However, it should be noted that excessive blinking could indicate serious health problems, which may need medical consultation. It is important to know the causes of excessive blinking in children and also about how to stop children blinking excessively.
Excessive Blinking in Children
Blinking is a movement of the eye muscles, which also protect the eyes from dust, excessive light or dryness. Excessive blinking in children may occur due to some discomfort but it is not a good sign and should be controlled.
Causes of Excessive Blinking in Children
There can be various causes of excessive blinking in children, some of which include,
- Tics: It is one of the most common reasons of excessive blinking in children. Tics are almost temporary in nature which can last for around a month. However in some rare cases blinking due to tics can extend to a year.
- Allergy and Dry Eyes: Dry eyes are one of the common causes of excessive blinking in children. When eyes get dry, children keep blinking their eyes out of discomfort. Allergies can also lead to excessive blinking due to irritation in the eyes.
- Blepharitis: Dandruff in hair or any kind of bacterial infection can lead to inflammation on eyelids, which too can cause excessive blinking in children. This leads to scratching and further adds to the infection or inflammation of eyes in children.
- Habit: It may also be noted that some children blink their eyes excessively out of habit. Such habit can develop while children are sitting idle or are stressed out, but often disappears on noticing it or when children are engaged in something else.
- Contact Lens: For people who wear contact lenses, they tend to blink their eyes frequently in comparison to other people. Contact lenses are quite comfortable, but they may irritate the eyes especially when in case of new users. This can also be one of the causes of excessive blinking in children.
How to Stop Children From Blinking Excessively?
Many parents are worried about how to stop children from blinking excessively. While some children with medical concerns may require appropriate treatment, those experiencing irritation and excessive blinking due to common causes can be managed easily.
Some of the ways to stop children blinking excessively include:
- Treating Dry Eyes – Dry eyes, being the commonest causes of excessive blinking, should be treated appropriately to stop excessive blinking n children. Physician may consider Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to produce tears and reduce eye inflammation or advice tear drops.
- Protecting Eyes – The common problem of bright light, dust, or other allergies can be easily avoided with the use of sun glasses. This helps you stay out of problems and can also reduce excessive blinking of eyes in children.
- Caring for Eyes – Just as protecting the eyes is important, taking proper care is equally essential. If eyes are exposed to dust or other allergens, it is necessary to wash eyes carefully with clean water. Any cause of pain, irritation or itching in the eyes must be managed carefully and if required, medical advice can be sought.
- Nourishing Eyes – Dryness of eyes can be managed with Vitamin A drops, oral supplements or by consuming foods rich in vitamin A. Controlling dry eyes can help in reducing blinking of eyes. For some children additional nutritional supplements and essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and others, may have to be considered to maintain proper nourishment and stop excessive blinking in children. Zinc supplements are considered as a great option for treating excessive blinking in children and one can consume sesame seeds, strawberries, banana, etc. which are rich in zinc. Hyoscyamus is one of the herbal remedies which can help to stop excessive blinking in children, and can be considered.
- Following a Healthy Lifestyle – Drinking plenty of water should be promoted to maintain hydration and can help to stop children blinking excessively. It is better to avoid sugar laden foods and drinks. Children also need to maintain control over activities related to eyes i.e. watching TV, playing video games etc. Instead outdoor or board games should be preferred to remain healthy and active. Regular exercise also plays an important role in keeping children fit and maintain good eye health too. Rest and sleep is equally important. Every child should get sound sleep of at least eight hours during night to remain healthy and fresh. This too can relieve stress and help to stop children blinking excessively.
- Managing Stress – Children may show excessive blinking when under stressful situations. Hence it is important that children learn to manage stress, cut down their anxiety levels and relieve themselves from fear or other stressful feelings. Other forms of stress relieving treatment like yoga, meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques can be used as a remedy for treating excessive blinking in children.
- Botox – It is considered as one of the most effective treatments for muscle spasms which lead to excessive blinking. If excessive blinking in children is due to muscle spasms, physician may consider such treatments to stop excessive blinking.
- Treating Deficiency and Stress – Deficiency of particular vitamin or mineral may need appropriate treatment. A combination of magnesium and hawthorn is one of the herbs which are quite helpful in relieving stress and anxiety. Valerian is also considered useful in treatment of anxiety disorder and help people come out of stressful situations. Physician may consider these for children who suffer from excessive blinking due to anxiety or stress.
Healthy Habits to Prevent Excessive Blinking in Children
It is good to adopt practices that can prevent excessive blinking in children.
- Eyes should be kept moist with regular use of lubricating eye drops or special eye drops for contact lens wearers as advised by the physician.
- Bright light, including sunlight or any kind of artificial light should be avoided. Protective eye wear should be used when being exposed to bright light.
- Avoid reading or using a bright screen while sitting in shady or dark areas.
- It is good to take regular breaks from work or studies to keep your eyes healthy and help you stay away from the habit of excessive blinking.
- Allergies which can trigger blinking should be avoided or treated at the earliest.
- Mayo Clinic – “Eye Blinking Symptoms”: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/eye-blinking/basics/definition/sym-20050871
- American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus – “Eye Muscle Disorders”: https://aapos.org/glossary/eye-muscle-disorders
- Cleveland Clinic – “Blepharitis”: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17746-blepharitis
- WebMD – “Slideshow: Tips for Eye Health and Maintaining Good Vision”: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/ss/slideshow-eye-health