• Question: Maybe I don't notice it but when i'm on my laptop I don't seem to blink as much, why is that?

    Asked by The Ge Ni U S to Andrew, Jessica on 26 Jun 2015.
    • Photo: Jess Wade

      Jess Wade answered on 26 Jun 2015:

      Hey Genius-

      you’re not actually wrong. We blink about 30,000 times a day, because the little tear glands near our eyes are always making liquid to stop our eyes drying out. It also helps to get any nasty pollution or irritants out of our eyes.

      Now-a-days, we spend lots of time in front of the computer, but before people used to read. They also find that they don’t blink as much. When you are concentrating, you have a slower blinking rate. This can mean some people get left with dry eyes after long periods in libraries or on their laptops! Usually we blink around 15-20 times a minute, but whilst we’re concentrating we blink around 4 times a minute.
      Scientists have actually named the condition ‘computer vision syndrome’!

    • Photo: Andrew Fensham-Smith

      Andrew Fensham-Smith answered on 26 Jun 2015:

      It’s possible that when you’re focusing on something which needs your full attention from your eyes, you blink less because it interrupts how you see the screen. It would probably be the same if you were reading a book, or watching TV, or anything which needed your eyes. When having conversations with people you probably blink more because you need to hear what they’re saying and not necessarily see them.

      If you ever have a baby brother or sister or cousin, and see how often they blink, you’ll notice they blink much less often than adults. This is because the membrane on their eyes (a little layer of molecules which stops bacteria or other nasties getting into our eyes), which need to be wet, is much thicker in babies. As a result, it can hold more water, so they don’t need to wet it as often to keep it in good working order! As you get older, it gets thinner, and you need to blink more often to keep it wet.

      Hope this helps!