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Eye and Vision Care

Excessive blinking

01/12/2009

Question:

Hello ,

my son is 5 years old. For the past week, he has been having excessive blinking. I ask him if he is playing around, and he says no... I ask him if he is hurting or if his vision is okay... he says he can see and he does not know why his eyes are blinking like that. I took him to his doctor today, and his doctor told me it could be something called tic.. he told me to watch it for a week more and if it does not stop, I should return for my son to have an evaluation. and that I should ignore the situation and not bring attention to it. I am concerned and worried. I dont know what to do, or where to go..and if this is normal. Please could you help me to understand this condition in my child.

Answer:

Thank you for your interesting question. You are correct to keep an eye on this condition as suggested by your doctor. The doctor is correct that this may be a tic or an attention-getting behavior. This is sometimes seen when a new baby or younger child receives a lot of attention, for example, associated with an illness.

One very important question is to determine whether your child can see clearly out of each eye. Perhaps in playing a game, you can determine this without an outright question thereby complying with your doctor's request not to bring attention to the matter. However, if your child is not seeing clearly out of one eye, then you should make an appointment with an eye doctor quickly for a thorough examination.

Occasionally, excessive blinking is linked with an eye condition that needs the treatment or at least management of an eye doctor. This type of blinking is increased when entering a bright environment like walking into sunlight. This is another characteristic that you can look for.

Once again, thank you for your inquiry on this important matter.

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Response by:

Paulette P Schmidt, OD, MS Paulette P Schmidt, OD, MS
Professor Emeritus of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University