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My 3-year-old son has started blinking a lot while watching TV and watching some cartoons on the iPad. Nowadays we see him blink more in the evening. Do you know what might be causing this?

Several years ago we studied a large number of children who exhibited excessive blinking and/or excessive force of blinking. Our study was published in the journal Ophthalmology.

Most children fell into one of four major categories: (1) The need for glasses or a change in glasses; (2) a habit tic or a psychological issue such as excessive stress; (3) misalignment of the eyes, including misalignment that is so subtle that it is not easily detected; or (4) a problem with the front part of the eyes such as dry eyes, a foreign body under the eyelids, et cetera. Often, no obvious cause can be determined. If an obvious problem is detected, it should be treated. When no problem is detected and there are no other associated signs or symptoms, observation is usually all that is warranted.

Answered by: David K. Coats, MD Dr. David K. Coats

Categories: Eye Conditions, Children's Eye Health

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Answered: Jan 30, 2013

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