Blinking a natural action of closing the eyelids momentarily and occurs whether or not one is conscious of it. An average person will blink 15-20 times per minute while a newborn baby’s average blinking rate is 2 blinks per minute. Now, while it may not seem like a big deal blinking is actually quite important for the well being of the eye. It helps clear any debris on the surface of your eye and thus brightens the image reaching the retina while simultaneously regulating tears. It nourishes the eye with oxygen and nutrients help reduce digital strain.

Ocular Surface Disease in children

While it is normal to blink several times a day, over blinking can be an indication of serious eye problems. One of these being Ocular Surface Disease (OSD) is also commonly known as Dry Eye Disease (DED). The condition is characterized by insufficient tears that is essential to lubricate and provide nourishment to the eye. Though it is seen mostly in adults, excessive blinking can be an indicator of DED in children. as they may not be able to describe their issues as clearly as adults, they may indulge in excessive blinking to convey a problem associated with their ocular surface. Ocular Surface Disease is ordinarily in air-conditioned places or when the dryness in the atmosphere is high.

When to seek Medical Help

In children, dry eye disease or ocular surface disease in children is associated commonly with meibomian gland dysfunction which are glands responsible for secreting oils onto the eye’s surface. Parents must be cautious if the child has had recurrent chalazia (slow and small lump or cyst on the edge of the eyelid) or has chronically red eyes. This condition can be treated to maintain a good and clear vision. The procedures used to administer children may be different from the approaches used to manage and treat adults. Seeking medical attention on time can save one’s child from a lifetime of eye troubles.