Blinking is one of our body’s functions that we have the least control over and neither do we give any thought to it. But if you think about it, do you not want to know why we blink or how many times do we blink? Have you wondered that excessive blinking could signify any health problem that you may be suffering from and don’t know of?
Let’s discuss all these questions and doubts related to why do we blink?
Why do we blink?
Blinking is a function that is a constant closing and opening of our eyelids in a semi-automatic manner. It is a continuous process where we may don’t even notice it, although its main function is to protect the eyes from drying up and uniformly spreading the water other than this, blinking also helps in keeping away any kind of object that may irritate our eyes.
What will happen if we stop blinking?
If we discontinue blinking or force our eyes to not close, they will get dry and irritated and start watering to fulfil the eye’s need to stay hydrated.
Our eyelid does the job of spreading the moisture from the tear ducts to the whole eye and to cover our eye in case of any harmful irritant trying to get inside.
What do you do in a sandstorm? You shut your eyes.
When you are afraid of something? You close your eyes.
When you are surprised? You stretch your eyes wide.
According to some studies, there can be many causes for blinking less often. Blinking may vary for different age groups.
An infant blinks less often. They may only blink twice or thrice in a minute, which could be for several reasons like smaller eye size and their tear ducts develop after a few months; numerous other reasons that are still to be known. According to some research, an average individual could blink up to 20 times in a minute and almost 28,000 times in a day.
Whoops! That’s a lot of blinking.
There is a further distinction in this rate of blinking when it comes to gender. It is found that women tend to blink twice as much as men. The rate that we blink at is further determined by the activities we are doing; we tend to blink less when we are trying to concentrate on the task. This is the reason why people start feeling sleepy when they are studying.
Why blinking frequently could be a problem?
Although blinking is an automatic process, excessive blinking other than the usual. So, it is important to look into the causes of blinking more frequently
Most of the times blinking excessively could be for the following reasons
These are minor issues that can go away by taking proper rest or simple medication. Sometimes the reason behind it could be more severe and could indicate disease
Wilson’s disease is caused by the deficiency of copper in our body and is a result of various neurological problems.
Blepharospasm is the proper term for the condition of excessive blinking due to a neurologic condition.
Tourette syndrome is another neurological condition that leads to engaging in various involuntary actions or movements of our body parts.
There are other serious conditions that you need to look out for when you find that you or anyone around you are Blinking more than normal.
How to check?
If you want to check it is advised to visit an Ophthalmologist regularly and not only when you think your eyesight is weakening. We need to take care of ourselves. In the current scenario, when we are working from home and constantly sitting in front of our laptops or mobile phones, we mustn’t ignore our eyes.
- your eyes are getting irritated frequently
- constantly watering
- people around you notice anything different
How to avoid this situation?
After looking at all the problems related to your blinking frequency you would want to know how to avoid it. We should keep this in mind that excessive eye blinking is not always a serious issue, nor you should worry if this happens to you. Several reasons can be behind this and all you need to do is keep a check to do the things which give your eyes proper break
- Get your eyes examined: It should be the first thing you should do when you have an eye problem. An eye specialist would be able to best explain the issue to you or suggest you be more careful.
- Use Eye Drops if necessary: There are lots of eyes drops available in the market that you can use frequently or on days you feel your eyes are strained. Always consult a doctor before buying one for your eyes.
- Wear your prescription glasses: If you have prescription glasses, remember to wear them all the time and especially when you are working in front of a screen. If you do not have prescription glasses but feel that your eyes get tired while you work on a computer you should get them checked.
- Follow proper hygienic routine if you wear contact lenses: If you wear contact lenses, it is very important to follow a hygienic and proper routine for them and store them properly as that can get bacterias to your eyes.
- Avoid smoke and pollution: When traveling or outside make sure to cover your eyes or wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollution damage. When you get home remember to wash your eyes with water.
- Take frequent breaks when working on a computer: If you work on a computer for longer durations you should take timely breaks to give some time. This is a healthy practice to follow, even if you use your phone for long periods.
- Engage in activities that reduce stress: Sometimes stress can be a reason your eyes get irritated and tired. Try to get yourself into activities that reduce stress such as Putin cucumber slices on them or massaging your eyes can help to reduce stress.
There are so many other things that we know are good for our eyes that we tend to avoid or feel lazy to do. You should keep in mind that eyes are important and if we overlook them it won’t be good. So, it is better to take precautions when we have time than to regret it later.