26 answers

Eye Blinking/scrunching in 6 Year Old

My son has started to do this weird thing with his eyes. He scrunches them up really tight just for a second, and does it repeatedly. He says his eyes are wet and he has to do that. I thought that maybe it is allergies, but I am also concerned that it could be something else (torrets? OCD?) We are going to his pediatrician in a few weeks when he turns 7, but I am wondering if I should bring him in sooner. Thanks for your help!

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It may still be allergies or if he got something in his eye there may be a scratch or infection. Could be he is having a harder time seeing now too. Maybe at least call the Dr now let them know the symptoms and how often and how long and see if they think he should be seen sooner.

2 moms found this helpful

My son who is 4 was doing the same thing for about 6 weeks. The pediatrician said they don't worry about it if it is just one "tic". They only worry if there are several. It will most likely just pass.

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It may still be allergies or if he got something in his eye there may be a scratch or infection. Could be he is having a harder time seeing now too. Maybe at least call the Dr now let them know the symptoms and how often and how long and see if they think he should be seen sooner.

2 moms found this helpful

His vision was my first thought. Then allergies. I'd take him to an eye doctor first. A pediatrician will simply refer him to an eye doctor and if he thinks it is allergies will simply prescribe medication. There are natural ways to get rid of allergies that don't involve weakening his immune system.


2 moms found this helpful

It wouldn't hurt to take him to an eye doctor. Perhaps he needs glasses.

1 mom found this helpful

I did this when I was in elementary school. I knew I was doing it, but I couldn't stop it. My mother was also concerned, but after several visits to the pediatrician and some tests run, nothing was wrong with me. It was just a weird thing I did, kind of like a nervous twitch or something. I eventually outgrew it. My best advice is to not draw attention to it. I got made fun of a little bit at first for doing it, but soon the other kids just got used to it and eventually I stopped doing it....I can't even tell you when it stopped.....I probably did it for a couple of years.

Last year around June I started noticing my son (6) blinking repeatedly. After observing this behavior for a month I started noticing repetitive noises. I quickly made an appt with the doctor. My son was diagnosed with motor tics. If you do not know tourettes cannot be diagnosed unless the symptoms are present for more than a year without remissions lasting longer than three months. If you haven't already done so, talk to his teacher to see if he is doing this at school. Also observe your son and watch for more signs. Children with tourettes have greater issues than just tics. Not to alarm you but some of the combining issues associated with tourettes are Sensory Processing Disorders, OCDs, Asperger’s Syndrome, and anxiety issues. Check out these great websites for more information: http://www.tsa-usa.org/; http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-dis...; for more information. When you make an appt with your doctor tell the receptionist that you need a longer appt time due to more in depth questions. I want to also share with you that if you son is diagnosed with motor tics or tourettes he and you will be in for a long confusing wild ride. Good Luck and Best Wishes!

I did this when I was about 6 as well. It has turned out , (I'm 29 now) that it was just a sort of nervous twitch. I have a few others, but they really only come out when I am super stressed or tired. If it's a tick, then it should go away with age, or at least as he grows he will be able to control it more. I still do weird little tick like things, but generally no one notices unless I point out to them that I am doing it. Once you have ruled out a medical problem, then don't worry about it. Likely the more you point it out to him, the more he will do it. Good Luck!

Has he been to see an optometrist? I ask, because he isn't too young. And anything specifically with his eyes, I think it is best to go to an optometrist first off. My personal thoughts are this: Perhaps he is squinting his eyes in order to clear up his vision - squinting makes my eyes water, but because I am nearsighted, it also helps clear up my vision... If he hasn't been to see an optometrist, that would be my suggestion. My son has been wearing glasses since preschool. One day, prior to glasses and prior to him ever going to an optometrist, he was watching the purple dinosaur on TV. They were showing a blurry screen, which depicted how a child who needed glasses sees the world. Luckily, I was standing right there, because my son told me "Mommy, that's how I see!". Wow. I took him to my optometrist's office, and sure enough! He was sorely in need of glasses! (And his pediatrician's simple eye exams never caught this) Once my son got his glasses, he was a new child! He had been very quiet and kept to himself at preschool - but once he had glasses he became very confident of himself and now is very outgoing and friendly.
I hope this has helped somewhat. Best of luck to you and your son!

Rule out the physical first before you think about nuerological issues. I would go to the eye doctor first, and also go to the pediatrician and address allegies, and if those turn out not to be invloved, you will probably be referred. If it were Torrette or OCD, the blinking would not be the only thing you were seeing, unless there are other behavioral issues too, you are probably dealing with a phsyical problem.


If he is saying that his eyes are "wet", I would say take him to an optometrist. Dry eye syndrome can cause excessive tearing. He won't know how to describe how it feels to you or to the doctor. I would schedule with a pediatric optometrist. http://www.visionsource.com/Locator.aspx
good luck

I agree with taking him to the eye doctor first. I don't know about your doctor, but in my experience most pediatricians only just refer you out to the experts anyway. I have to wonder if these disorders run in your family and that is why you think maybe he has one? If they do run in the family, it is likely to be the case. On the other hand, if you aren't aware of it in your family, maybe it's just a phase. My son just turned 6 and he's doing all kinds things out of character, so he could just be trying things on and trying to get a reaction? Don't panic, mama, it will be okay!!

Has he had his eyes checked?
my son was doing same thing, and he needed glasses....

Any update on his condition. My 6 year is doing it too. We took him to eye doctor and he said that his eyes are fine and its something he has seen and it will pass in time. I think its Tick. Can you tell me what is going on with your son? Had he stopped? Did you give medication?
Thank you

My brother used to do this, at a bit older age, and it was because he was sensitive to the lights.

He got glasses (no correction) with tinting to shade the lights from above and it helped a whole lot.

You might try some moisturizing eye drops. My son would do this every so often. My brother has Tourette's and that possibility freaked me out some. His vision tests have been okay. He is pretty allergic and that's kind of what I have attributed it to. He doesn't do it all the time. It's just for little periods at a time. I have used some moisturizing eye drops a couple of times.

Do bring it up to the doc when you see him and get his input.

My older kid did that a couple of years ago. He wears glasses now, and he is also very allergic to different kind of pollens and grass. Take him to the Eye doctor and start from there.

As a school nurse I have seen these symptoms be signs of OCD or Tourette's. Then again, it could just be allergies or something benign. It may be a good idea to call your pediatrician and ask if you should bring him in sooner or wait until appointment.

I had a younger child (4yo) do this & had him seen by his dr & an eye dr right away. It turned out to be nothing and he stopped doing it after a few weeks. I was sure there was something wrong! But in the end, I think I overreacted.

I would suggest taking him to the eye doctor. It could be that he's having a hard time seeing. It can be a pretty common sign. My 9 year old daughter has worn glasses since her first birthday. I can always tell when her prescription has changed and we need to get her rechecked because she starts doing the same thing.

I'm wondering if it has something to do with his tear ducts. Or maybe it's time to take him in to a optometrist to get his eyes checked,

my daughter started this and our doctor had us try calcium magnesium. we noticed a difference pretty, pretty fast, and she has no problems now. we use the liquid form by Intergrative Therapeutics, called liquid calcium magnesium-- it's the vanilla flavor ratio 1:1. it has to be the vanilla flavor because of the ratio 1:1 our pediatrician says this is the best one. this might be a first choice to try. we alerted our pediatrician right away, just in case. good luck, i know this can be hard. C..

Is he aware that he is doing this? Can you talk to him when he does it and does he respond? If he is responding and talking when he does it then I would make an eye appointment.

If you aren't getting any response then I would talk to the ped. and ask about petit mal seizures. My son began with staring. His first EEG in November didn't show anything though. Things progressed though and he's now on seizure meds. (That's for a whole other post) Our friends son though started with staring then went to blinking/fluttering of his eyes. If your son was actually having a seizure though he would not be talking/responding to you. He could be startled though if you end up standing right in front of him when he comes out of it. After he does it is he startled?
If this doesn't sound like him then just start with the eye doctor.
Good luck.

My son has tourette syndrome and this is about the age we had him diagnosed. He did the eye blinking and nose scrunching/sniffling. The ped put him on medication for it because other kids noticed and we didn't want him to be teased. My son is a mild case. At 14 he doesn't even take meds for it anymore. It's not nearly as bad as it used to be. I hear that teenage years are a wild card and it could go either way.

I think it would be fine to wait until his appointment coming up. Get educated on it in the mean time. (It's more common in males. OCD and tourettes often come hand and hand. So you might see some of that. Fortunately, it is a small percentage that actually cuss. etc. )

Good luck!

I didn't even think of an OCD or torrets when reading your post , I straight away thought a vision problem , I'd make an appointment for an eye test.

My son who is 4 was doing the same thing for about 6 weeks. The pediatrician said they don't worry about it if it is just one "tic". They only worry if there are several. It will most likely just pass.

yes, bring him in sooner. having good vision makes world of difference for a child. I personally know 3 children who suffered silently and struggled terribly in school until they had an eye exam. Take your child in now.

my ex did this - he had tourettes

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