Episodes of excessive blinking in children are rarely indicative of neurologic disorders and frequently resolve spontaneously, according to researchers from New York’s Albany Medical College.
However, they have recommended a complete eye examination for children with excessive blinking. Additionally, they wrote that “in the absence of significant pathology, families should be encouraged to contact the ophthalmologist again should redness, light sensitivity, or other associated eye symptoms develop”. “If the blinking persists, it would be appropriate to suggest further evaluation, at the direction of the primary care physician.”
The small single centre study reviewed children with excessive blinking, excluding those with known uveitis, glaucoma, or obvious eyelid abnormalities. The children also displayed associated symptoms included eye rolling; eye itching, burning, or rubbing; eyelid squeezing and pulling; and facial grimacing.
No ocular pathology was identified in 91 per cent of children with excessive blinking.
Based on parental observation, a specific cause of blinking was reported in 21 per cent of cases. The study authors categorised the blinking abnormalities according to categories identified by D.K. Coats et al, as follows: “Eye-blinking tics are rapid, exaggerated, coordinated contractions of the orbicularis oculi. They typically arise in childhood; are more common among boys; increase in frequency with fatigue, anxiety, or boredom; and can be voluntarily controlled to some degree.”
The study was published in Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. (Jan–Feb 2016)