Eye Blinking

Dr. Kisling Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The Blink Of An Eye

What is the average rate people blink?  Usually 10 to 15 times per minute. A number of things can increase or decrease the blink rate. Infants blink about 2 to 3 times per minute. Stress can increase the blinking rate. People who are better at shifting between tasks appear to blink their eyes at a higher rate (so blink more and look smarter!). Some psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia are correlated with a higher blinking rate and more frequent eye movements. Parkinson’s Disease and severe depression can decrease the blinking rate.

Dry Eye Syndrome Causes Blinking

An eye blink takes about 3/4 of as second from beginning to finish so the maximum blink rate is close to 125 times per minute (thats eye flutter really). Blinks are unconsciously initiated most of the time but the eyes are open and closed on purpose occasionally.  Drying out of the tear film on the front of the eye may initiate most blinking. The tears are vital to resurface the cornea on the eye and provide a clear optical surface. They also supply nutrition to the corneal tissue and remove waste products. The tears are pushed into the drainage punctal ducts with each eyelid closure. Women blink at a slightly higher rate than men which may be due to an increased incidence of dry eye syndrome in females. With dry eyes syndrome the tears may vary in their quality and vision may clear up right after blinking the eyes.  Blinking may also be used as social cues in interactions. Blinking may be flirtatious and it can serve to break a stare and act as a calming signal to other people. Contextually it can also indicate stress, which could be related to lying.

Eyes That Blink All Of The Time

Severe spasm of the eyelids is known as blepharospasm.  Blepharospasm closes the eye as the muscle spasms and may result in a rapid eye twitch. Frequently there is not a known cause for this eye condition. If you notice a change in blinking  rate it should be seen by your eye doctor to make sure their are no underlying eye diseases or medical conditions that may be contributing to the problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *