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What causes excessive eye blinking in children?

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Quick Answer

Excessive blinking in children can be triggered by problems with the anterior segment or the eyelids, such as eye strain, tics, allergies, dry eyes, refractive error, intermittent exotropia and stress. This condition can affect one or both of the eyes and the blinking may tend to be very forceful. Excessive blinking is also linked to movement of the neck, face and head, as stated by AAPOS.

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Full Answer

Naturally, human beings blink to protect the eye from bright light, dryness and as a protection against objects. Newborns usually have two blinks per minute, but the rate increases to 14 or 17 per minute when in adolescence, as stated by New Kids-Center. Children experiencing excessive blinking usually have a blinking rate that exceeds 14 to 17 blinks per minute. In most cases, this condition can be treated using over-the-counter medications, but if it persists, it is wise to take the child to a doctor for diagnosis.

A doctor will conduct a thorough examination using an instrument called slit lamp, a special microscope that magnifies the eyes. If conjunctivitis or an abrasion is detected during an examination, the doctor will recommend the use of eye drops to treat the blinking. Eyeglasses may be prescribed to a child if the excessive blinking results from blurred vision.

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