19 answers

3 Year Old Blinking Alot

Hello-My three (almost 4) year old son has started blinking a lot lately. I would say for the past month or so. I have noticed it getting worse in the past couple of days. His preschool teacher mentioned it to me today when I picked him up and she has noticed it just this week. He told her that his eyes hurt and told me that it "stings". His eyes look fine with no redness. I'm not sure if he is just saying that because my husband and I have asked him if his eyes hurt. Maybe he has developed a tick?? Has anyone seen this happen with their child? I was thinking I should call his pediatrician tomorrow.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for everyones responces and advice. I contacted my son's pediatrician who referred us to a pediatric opthalmologist. He tested my son's vision and dilated his eyes. He said everything was fine and most likely it was a tick. He told me to ignore it, which we have. He said ticks come and go during childhood and they are very common. My son has stopped the blinking, since we stopped talking about it. I'm glad it all turned out fine.

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I would go to an eye dr. could be allergies, dry eye. who knows? but, one of my kids has sooo many eye problems, and his ped isn't so great in that dept-if it isn't pink eye then he is clueless

HI J., you might want to make an appt with the eye Dr. If it is visual - eye strain can make the eyes tired and irritated causing excessive blinking. If not the Dr. can also let you know if it is anything else eye related and you can go from there.

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I have eye allergies and my eyes itch and burn but are never red. Might ask the doctor if there are eye drops you can try and see if that will help.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J. - Sounds like allergies! My grandson was doing the same thing this passed month. In the SB area with the dry conditions - it turned out to be environmental allergies and will clear up when the weather changes. Her son is almost 5 yrs. This may be the case with your son.
Your Dr. can give him something to help him through it.

1 mom found this helpful

sounds like his eyes are blurry, common sign with young kids blinking alot to focus the eyes, check if eyelash is in the eye or something like a fume is bugging him, take him to the eye doctor make sure he doesn't need glasses. Does poor eye sight run in yur family ? By the way does he wear alot of white shirts ? T-shirts, school uniform if so are you using bleach on them.. double rinse the bleach, you would be surprised how bleach still smells after washing with it.

My DS used to blink a lot (around the 2-3 year period) and sometimes the extended and hard blink. We had the ped. check out his vision and all was well, so we just stopped mentioning it and it went away. He sometimes blinks a lot now (5-1/2 years old), but it coincides with his eyes "leaking" (his word) and I see it also coincides with him being tired (although never admitting it). Doesn't hurt to look into it.

Since he is mentioning hurting and stinging it is probably allergies so see what the dr. says, maybe get a referral to an optometrist. Keeping a log of the occurances will be helpful.

Eye blinking can also be a motor tic. It can be a nervous tic or a tic of Tourette Syndrome, which I saw another mom mention.

Tourette Syndrome is a hereditary neuroligcal disorder consisting of involuntary motor and vocal tics. Both of my children have this and it is not as bad as most think thanks to media stereotypes. Tics get better or worse over time and come and go. Symptoms can begin as early as age 3 but usually a diagnosis occurs in the school-age years when tics become more previlent. My son had a blinking tic where he would blink in rapid succesion over the course of a minute or so.

If you would like to know of other tics related to TS let me know or you can look it up on webmd.com. But the stinging would lead me to think it's not TS but an eye related problem.

Southern Calif. School of Opt has an Eye care center that has a great pediatric staff. I knew of a young girl who also had the same complaints and similar problems as your son and it turned out she had tiny tiny eyelashes growing towards the eye. I don't recall what the treatment was, but this center is a great start.


My 5 year old started doing this a few months back. I was told that it was probably a tick that he developed, or allergies was a strong possibilty. My aunt who is a nurse told me to try Benadryl for a few days. It worked. We also stopped giving too much attention to this, in case he did it for the attention. You should check with your doctor if there is any other worry with it. I got freaked out when I started doing research on the internet. He stopped the blinking within a couple weeks. Hope this helps

hi! when i was little i did the same thing and every so often i catch myself doing it still! it turned out i had seasonal allergies. mine werent really bad, just the sniffles and itchy eyes and or throat. hopefully its not a big deal, you can try giving him childrens benedryl, if that doesnt work then definitely take him to a doctor to see if it isnt something worse.

always remember to stay calm and dont freak out! its never really bad when youre afraid it is! but you would know deep down if it were!

good luck!

My son started blinking his eyes hard and often in Kindergarten, but he never said they hurt. I didn't think he had vision problems because he was learning to read and never seemed to have trouble seeing anything. I took him to a pediatric optometrist and it turned out he had amblyopia, which is also known as lazy eye. He didn't actually have a "lazy eye" but one eye was much weaker than the other and his strong eye was overcompensating. Now he wears glasses and is doing wonderfully...no more blinking. Good luck to you.

Call your pediatrician.

I had the same problem when I was little and it was allergies. My eyes also watered when I was out in bright sun. The ped. dismissed it because it didn't seem like normal allergies but turns out I am allergic to apricot trees and a few other random plants so random that nobody ever figured it out until I was an adult.

There is a chiropractor in LB that has a great treatment for allergies. He helped my cousin who was in the hospital almost weekly with allergy attacks. After several treatments he was fine, no problems for a couple of years until after a car accident.

It can't hurt to give him a call.
Dr. Mark Stokes

I would go to an eye dr. could be allergies, dry eye. who knows? but, one of my kids has sooo many eye problems, and his ped isn't so great in that dept-if it isn't pink eye then he is clueless

Hi J.,
I went through this with my daughter when she was about that age. We brought it up at her 4 year check up and the doctor said not to worry about it. They put it to me this way...

At 3 years old kids start paying attention and learning everything their bodies can do, including thier eyes. Think about how cool it is that you can close your eyes tight and make it really, really dark then open them again to let all the light and color come in. We're jaded by this because we're older, but this is still all new to them.

My daughters blinking stopped about the time she hit 4 1/2.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't get your son checked out if you feel something is "off" or wrong. Just another perspective.

Good Luck.

see professional classical homeopath. there is a lot homeopathy can do if approached correctly. make sure it is not someone who is also using other medical modalities as MD, ND, OD and chiropractors tend to use homeopathy as shortcut - may work for some cases, but not for yours.
Good Luck

I don't want to alarm you, but it could be Tourette's Syndrome (TS). My brother has this and it usually starts with one a single tick. My brother's didn't start until age 18 but it began with him sticking out his tongue. He got in trouble at school for it. It was very upsetting to him. Try not to put too much attention on his eye blinking until you see a doctor. If it is TS, you will need to see a specilist like a neurologist. I don't mean to freak you out, I am one who tries to stay as calm as possible until I have some facts. This is just one of many possibilities. God luck and keep us posted.

Have you had his vision checked? My 4yo daughter had her eyes checked at her 4 year check-up and we were told there was a problem. The "specialist" we went to (the same one my husband went to) essentially blew us off and said she was too young to be tested. The Elks did free vision testing at her preschool and sent us a letter saying she should be followed up. We got a referral from the pediatrician to see someone who deals with kids. My daughter now wears glasses and we're hopeful the problem will be corrected and she won't have to wear glasses forever. Love the new doctor. She said NOT to not worry...if the kids come in early, often times the problem can be corrected, but if they come in at 7-8 years old it's too late and all you can do is prescribe glasses.

The two most probable causes are vision problems and a nervous habit. Get his eyes checked to see if he needs glasses. If not, it's just a habit. My kids went through a ton of those - hair twirling, blinking, scratching, you name it. If that's the case IGNORE IT and ask everyone else to do the same. The mose you ,mention it, the more it will happen.

HI J., you might want to make an appt with the eye Dr. If it is visual - eye strain can make the eyes tired and irritated causing excessive blinking. If not the Dr. can also let you know if it is anything else eye related and you can go from there.

Hi J.,
This may seem an odd question, but are his eyes twitching, rolling back into his head, etc? Also, has he been tripping and falling excessively lately? If so, these could be absence seizures. If not, I would suspect that he has allergies.

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