What are the signs of eye blinking problems?

Eye blinking symptoms include both an increased and decreased rate of blinking. Most commonly, increased eye blinking results from eye irritation caused by bright light, dust, smoke, or a foreign body in the eye. Allergies, infections, and dry eye may also increase the rate of blinking. Conditions of stress, anxiety or fatigue may lead to increased blinking. Facial tics, which are habitual repetitive twitches or movements of the face that occur most often in children, may include increased blinking. Congenital glaucoma is a rare cause of increased blinking.

Eye blinking symptoms may also be caused by conditions occurring in the nervous system. Blepharospasm, a condition characterized by rapid, uncontrolled blinking and even involuntary eye closure, is classified as a dystonia, in which the nervous system signals the muscles to contract inappropriately. These spasms may be accompanied by other quick facial changes such as eye rolling or grimacing. Increased blinking may also occur in several nervous system disorders, such as stroke, tardive (slow or belated onset) dyskinesia, Tourette’s syndrome, or Aicardi syndrome (rare organic brain disorder acquired in early childhood).

A severe decrease in blinking is seen chiefly in Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder that impairs movement and coordination. The decrease in blinking may be accompanied by facial paralysis and apparent staring or lack of facial expression.

Eye blinking symptoms are not usually serious unless they occur in reaction to a strong chemical in your eye or to trauma or corneal abrasion. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if a caustic chemical has gotten in your eyes or if you have pain or vision changes. You should also seek immediate medical care for signs of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of the face or a limb, especially on one side of the body, sudden confusion, difficulty seeing, sudden vision changes, sudden difficulty with coordination, or sudden severe, unexplained headache.

Seek prompt medical care if eyelid twitching (blepharospasm) does not resolve within a week, if an eye blinking symptom closes your eye completely, if you experience facial paralysis, if you experience discharge and swelling in or around the eye, or if your upper eyelid droops.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with eye blinking symptoms?

Eye blinking symptoms may accompany other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the eye may also involve other body systems.... Read more about eye blinking symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes eye blinking symptoms?

Most commonly, increased eye blinking results from eye irritation caused by bright light, dust, smoke, or a foreign body in the eye. Allergies, infections, and dry eye may also increase the rate of blinking. Conditions of stress, anxiety or fatigue may lead to increased blinking. Increased blinking, especially in children, may be a type of facial tic. Congenital glaucoma is a rare cause of increased blinking.... Read more about eye blinking symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision


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