Infrequent Blinking

Infrequent blinking disrupts normal tear function in several ways:

  • Infrequent blinking interferes with the adequate and frequent release of meibum into the eye, causing evaporative dry eye.
  • The tear film is not spread sufficiently over the surface of the eye to keep it moist and lubricated.
  • Basal aqueous tears are reduced with infrequent blinking, leading to aqueous deficiency.
  • Infrequent blinking can lead to the release of reflexive tears that are caustic and inflammatory.

Blinking frequency can decrease whenever we stare:

  • When reading
  • When working on a computer
  • When talking on the phone
  • When watching television or other form of entertainment
  • When talking in person or on the phone
  • When becoming excited
  • When staring into space
  • When driving
  • When looking for something on a shelf
  • When scanning lists
  • When playing games on or off line
  • When playing cards
  • When scared

Occasional infrequent blinking is normal. However, when infrequent blinking is common place, like when we work at a computer or we drive, normal tear function may be disrupted for prolonged periods of time. This can lead to significant discomfort and serious, debilitating, conditions.


Blinking and tear break-up during four visual tasks
Himebaugh NL, Begley CG, Bradley A, Wilkinson JA.
Optometry and Vision Science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry
2009 Feb;86(2):E106-14. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e318194e962.
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Computer vision syndrome: a review of ocular causes and potential treatments
Rosenfield M.
Ophthalmic & physiological optics: the journal of the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians
2011 Sep;31(5):502-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2011.00834.x. Epub 2011 Apr 12.
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