Does Your Child Blink Excessively? Follow These Eye Care Tips For Children
Does your child blink their eyes a lot? If yes, and he/she blinks more than 15 times in a minute, then it could be worrisome. Wondering why? Eye blinking is a natural bodily function that involves the rapid closing of the eyelid. Excessive blinking is characterized by over-stimulation of the blinking reflex. Rarely, excessive blinking can be a symptom of a neurological problem and requires immediate attention for treatment.
Cause of excessive blinking in children
There are many factors associated with excessive blinking in children, like:
Ocular surface issues in children
A check on refractive errors
Any eye condition like dry eyes, a foreign object in the eye or under the eyelid, ingrown eyelash, any eye allergy, or corneal abrasion can result in excessive blinking in children.
Strabismus or squint is an eye condition in which both the eyes are not aligned in the same direction. Children who have squints tend to blink a lot.
If your child wears prescription glasses and blinks a lot, then you should seek a nearby ophthalmologist to check if his/her refractive error needs are corrected with different eyeglasses.
Excessive blinking can happen because of facial tics. Facial tics are usually involuntary and characterized by uncontrolled muscle spasms in and around the eyes. Stress, anxiety, and fatigue are some of the factors that are often associated with tics.
How is excessive blinking in children diagnosed?
Your ophthalmologist will do some tests to check the movement of your child's eyes.
Assessment of the front part of the eye
Analyzing eye alignment
Visual acuity tests
The ophthalmologist uses a slit lamp that is a microscope with a bright light to check for any irregularities in the cornea and different structures of the front part of the eyes.
The ophthalmologist also checks if both the eyes of the child are working together. Sometimes, squints aren’t obvious, hence different eye tests are done to see their movement, and then the treatment course to cure this condition is planned.
Visual acuity tests are done to check the sharpness of the vision.
How is excessive blinking in children treated?
Depending on the actual cause of excessive blinking, your eye specialist will suggest different treatment options.
Dry eyes or eye allergy
Patch for corneal abrasion
Over-the-counter medication and prescription drops are given to treat dry eyes or allergies that lead to excessive blinking.
If your child is blinking too much because of corneal abrasion, then he/she might need to wear a patch to reduce blinking. Patch also prevents the eyes from infection. Antibiotic eye drops and ointment also helps in healing corneal abrasion.
Some blinking exercises can be done to align the eyes. Your doctor will tell you about the set of exercises that prove helpful in treating squints or strabismus.
If your child is blinking excessively due to some ingrown eyelashes or presence of any foreign object inside the eyes, then it is removed.
Blinking exercises for relaxing eyes
Practicing a few eye exercises can help in reducing excessive blinking. These blinking exercises are:
In this blinking exercise, you need to close your eyes and keep it closed for 3-4 seconds. Don't squeeze your eyes while closing, do it gently. Now slowly open and relax. Try not to blink while practicing this exercise. Repeat 5-6 times.
Without squeezing, close your eyes gently. Pause and keep your eyes closed for a while. Now squeeze your eyelids together while keeping your eyes shut. Now, open your eyes slowly and relax them again. Repeat this blinking eye exercise 5-6 times.
Simple eye care tips for your child
It is difficult for children to understand what is wrong with their eyes. Parents should take care of their children's eyes by keeping in mind a few essential things:
Avoid sharp and wooden toys for them
No to eye cosmetics
Tell your child not to rub their eyes constantly
Limit exposure to TV/ digital screen
Sharp toys can hit a child's eye and cause a corneal abrasion. Try to keep soft toys around them so the chances of getting hurt could be minimalized.
People put kajal or soorma in their child's eyes to make them look beautiful. But the contents of kajal are not safe. The chemicals in kajal can affect the eyesight of your child.
Don't let your child rub their eyes frequently. It can lead to irritation as rubbing allows the germs and bacteria to enter into the eyes.
Spending a lot of time on a digital screen and television leads can result in dry eyes. It can also lead to computer vision syndrome at a very young age. So, limit your child's screen time.
At the Centre for Sight, our pediatric ophthalmology department strives hard to give your child the kind of eye care they deserve. Our team of eye specialists concentrates on the right diagnosis first. Strategically located in New Delhi and other parts of the country, the objective of the CFS team is to help all people struggling with eye disorders, diseases, and problems.
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Jun 8, 2020 | UPDATED 01:19 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.