What Causes Excessive Blinking?

What Causes Excessive Blinking?

Blinking is a normal function, but too much of it could signal one of these underlying issues.

Blinking is an important part of your eye health. Our eyes are covered by layers of fluid called tear film, and blinking helps distribute this fluid to keep your eyes moist and clean. However, too much blinking can be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. Here are some of the most common causes of excessive blinking.

#1 – Eye Discomfort
When we feel any form of irritation in our eyes, our natural reaction is to try to remove the source by blinking. Common causes of eye irritation include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Eyelashes
  • Smoke
  • Foreign objects

#2 – Allergies
Allergies affect an estimated 20% of the population. Pollen, dust, animals, and other allergens cause a variety of symptoms, such as red, itchy, and watery eyes. To deal with this discomfort, your eyes may start to blink more often than normal.

#3 – Habitual Tics
A habitual tic is a small, repeated movement of the body. Habitual tics are most common in small children, and they are typically harmless and resolve on their own. The only way to know for certain that excessive blinking is only a habitual tic is to have an ophthalmologist rule out other eye issues.

#4 – Undiagnosed Refractive Error
Having uncorrected vision issues can cause changes in your eyesight that lead to excessive blinking. This is because your eyes are trying to remove whatever’s affecting your vision, even though no physical object is present. With regular eye exams, refractive errors can be diagnosed and corrected with glasses or contacts as soon as possible, reducing the chances of excessive blinking.

#5 – Stress
Everyone deals with stress at some point. For some people, stress makes their eyes more sensitive to light, resulting in strain that could lead to an increase in blinking. Other conditions associated with stress—like anxiety and fatigue—are also potential causes of excessive blinking.

Whatever its origin, excessive blinking should not be ignored. Be proactive about your eye health by going to your annual vision exam.

Sterling Vision consists of experienced optometrists, ophthalmologists, and other specialists capable of delivering effective treatments for a variety of eye conditions. To schedule an appointment with us, call 541-262-0597 or schedule online.