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Has your child suddenly started blinking a lot?

If your child has suddenly started blinking excessively, you might wonder if this is a sign of an underlying problem. While this symptom is not particularly worrisome in itself, it’s important to bring them in for a comprehensive assessment to rule out relatively rare things like a neurological problem. A large study of children under 16 revealed four common causes of excessive blinking.

  1. A problem with the cornea is the clear part of the front of the eye. This could include dry eye, ingrown eyelashes, a corneal abrasion ( a scratched front of the eye), a foreign object in or under the eye like an eyelash, allergies, or an infection like pink eye.

  2. Habitual tics have also known as involuntary repetitive body movement. A common physical tic is blinking. They can be caused by anxiety, stress, fatigue, or even boredom. The good news is most tics are harmless and many children naturally outgrow them.

  3. The uncorrected refractive error is another way of saying needs a prescription pair of glasses or an updated prescription. These could include myopia (nearsighted), hyperopia (farsighted), and, astigmatism (asymmetrical curvature of the cornea).

  4. Strabismus or misaligned eyes where the eyes are not lined up correctly.
     

Sometimes there is no obvious cause, but we should always rule out the easily fixable causes. We can remove a foreign body like an eyelash. We can treat an eye allergy. We can prescribe a pair of glasses.

Dr. Kobayashi completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry. Dr. Kobayashi has specialized training in Low Vision and hospital-based optometry.  She obtained her license to utilize pharmaceutical agents in the state of California in 1997.

Dr. Kobayashi is married to Randy and has two beautiful children.  She enjoys traveling and fine dining.

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