20 answers

Excessive and Hard Blinking

My almost 2 1/2 year old daughter, for about two weeks has started blinking really hard. She squeezes her eyes closed instead of just blinking regularly and does so more often than I remember her blinking previous to this. I am not sure why she is doing this.

Her eyes were checked when she was about 7 months old and no problems were detected, but that was a long time ago since she is now 27 months old.

I am somewhat worried about this being an eye muscle problem and have visited our pediatrician. He was not very concerned about it. I would like to head off any problems early.

I do not believe that she is doing it for attention. I have not given her any and she is sort of too young to be this manipulative as well. She does not seem to pay any attention to it herself. It seems to be arbitrary in terms of when it is happening. It is happening all times of day and is about half the time at least that she blinks now.

Has anyone else had this problem with the blinking?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I do the same thing every year from late Sept. through early Dec. because of allergies. That is harvest season around here and my eyes get itchy so I blink harder and more often.


If it worries you, call the nearest children's hospital's occupational therapy department and ask for a referral to a developmental optometrist. This kind of eye doctor will look at the development of the muscles in the eye and not just vision acuity.

If you think that it is involuntary, and she does not always blink like this, it could be a "tick" so you should watch it carefully to see if it happens because of stress. I would just watch her development carefully, read some books about typical development so that you know that she is on track.


More Answers

My 22 month old has started doing the same thing within the past three weeks. He blinks hard with a slight jerk of his head each time. The blinks typically come in sets of two to four hard blinks, then several seconds or minutes may pass and he will do it again. He may then go twenty or thirty minutes before he does it again. Like your child, mine doesn't seem to even notice it, but my wife and I certainly do. It seems to be only when he is focusing in on something, like the television or a book, or something he is examining up close. At first we were thinking he may need glasses, but as the days pass it becomes more frequent and more obvious, and the fact that it just started suddenly is a concern. It started about the time he developed an ear infection, but before he was on any medication for the infection, so it wouldn't be the meds. We took him to his pediatrician today, who suggested we see a pediatric ophthalmologist. He said it could be nothing at all, although my son didn't do it in front of the doctor, but he did say we should have it checked out. He didn’t want to start guessing as to what it could be. We have an appointment in a couple of weeks with the ophthalmologist. It really concerns me because it started suddenly and was subtle at first, has become more and more frequent and seemingly more intense, and he doesn't seem to notice it or be able to control it. If anyone has any experience or knowledge of this, I would certainly appreciate knowing about it.

I would take her to an ophthalmologist just to have everything checked out.
Otherwise, it is probably just a phase. Maybe she has seen people wink and is trying to imitate that.

Actually, your girl is at the perfect age to be manipulative. That's one of the things 2 year olds begin to explore and one of the many reasons that the age of 2 is often referred to as the terrible 2's. Testing the limits, that's all. Trust me, my little one is the same age and she's pushing her limits.

I also don't think it's an attention getting thing. It could be nothing or it could be serious, I would get her checked out just in case. It could be that she finds it amusing to make her eyes go all stars. You can try it and you'll know what I mean. There's also an ear muscle that can sometimes contract and make a sort of "woosh" sound when one closes their eyes tightly. This could also be what she's doing because it's amusing to her.

Good luck to you.

I have heard of something like this, but I am so sorry, I do not remember the name of the condition or any details, but I think I remember the mom saying that it started with blinking and tugging at the eyelids???
I would recommend seeing an opthalmologist at Cincinnati Childrens -- they are great! My daughter sees Dr Motley.

God Bless,

One of my sons did this same thing at around age 3. I was worried just as you are and took him to the doctor, but nothing was found to be wrong. He did stop doing it on his own after about a month. He has never had any problems seeing or any other eye complications since then and he's 8 now. So it seems that at least with him it was just a phase that happened and then went away. Hope this helps to ease your worries!

Both of my kids did this. They're just trying to figure out where light goes when they close their eyes. Its part of the learning process and I made a game out of it, turning it into a sort of peek a boo game that they loved to play. I wouldn't worry about it.

I do not have any personal experience with this..but am wondering. Tis the season for hayfever and allergies..Could she be having an allergy problem of some sort and maybe have dry eyes? Maybe that is her way of itching them or lubricating them with a long blink. Good Luck

I'd have her eyes checked by an optomitrist to be sure.

However, Just an FYI: Your daughter is not too young to be very manipulative. I doubt that this is what she is doing now, but two is definitely not to young for some serious manipulative moves. Two y.o. temper tantrums are all about control and manipulation.

Good luck with the blinking issues. I hope that a thorough eye exam will solve the mystery and/or relieve your concerns.

Carol B

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