Humans blink around 15-20 times per minute on average. That’s around 10,800 – 14,400 times per day, and between 3,940,000 – 5,256,000 times per year. Over an average lifespan of around 80 years, humans will blink around 315 million to 420 million times.

## How Often Do Humans Normally Blink?

Blinking is an essential body function that helps keep our eyes lubricated and protected. The average person blinks around 15-20 times per minute, or 900-1,200 times per hour. This can vary based on factors like:

• Activity – We blink more when resting than when engaged in visual tasks.
• Environment – Dry environments and staring at screens make us blink more.
• Health – Disorders or eye problems can increase or decrease blinking rate.
• Medications – Some drugs like antihistamines affect blinking.

Studies show the normal range is anywhere from 3 blinks per minute to 30 blinks per minute when in a resting state. The average person blinks around 10,000 to 16,000 times over a 16-hour waking period.

## How Many Times Does a Person Blink Per Day on Average?

Based on the average rate of 15-20 blinks per minute:

• 20 blinks per minute x 60 minutes per hour = 1,200 blinks per hour
• 1,200 blinks per hour x 16 hours awake = 14,400 blinks per day
• 15 blinks per minute x 60 minutes per hour = 900 blinks per hour
• 900 blinks per hour x 16 hours awake = 10,800 blinks per day

So the typical person blinks somewhere between 10,800 and 14,400 times over the course of a 16-hour day. Those who get less sleep would blink fewer times.

## How Many Times Does a Human Blink Per Year?

If we calculate the annual number of blinks based on the daily averages:

• 14,400 blinks per day x 365 days per year = 5,256,000 blinks per year
• 10,800 blinks per day x 365 days per year = 3,942,000 blinks per year

This suggests that the average person blinks around 3.9 million to 5.3 million times per year. The actual number can vary significantly person to person. Those with certain medical conditions may blink much more or less. Environmental factors also impact blinking rates year-round. But for most healthy adults, their bodies will trigger 3-5 million blinds annually.

The average human lifespan worldwide is around 70 years. But in developed countries with good healthcare, average life expectancy is closer to 80 years. If we take 80 years as an estimated lifespan, we can calculate total lifetime blinks:

So for a person who lives 80 years, they will likely blink between 315 million and 420 million times over their entire life. This staggering number highlights just how often we need to blink to keep our eyes functioning properly all our lives.

## Factors That Influence Blinking Rate

Many different factors can increase or decrease how often someone blinks. These include:

### Activity Level

People tend to blink less when they are focused on visual tasks like reading, writing, computer work, or driving. Blink rates decrease from the normal 15-20 per minute to around 5-10 per minute during concentration. In contrast, blink frequency increases during conversation or rest when there’s less visual focus.

### Environment

Dry air, high temperatures, sunlight, wind exposure, and staring at digital screens all raise blinking rates as the eyes work harder to stay lubricated. Blinking occurs less frequently in moist or dark environments.

### Health Condition

Some disorders like blepharospasm, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome increase blinking. Dry eye disease, Bell’s palsy, and missing eyelid muscles reduce blinking. Contact lens wearers often blink more. Overall eye health impacts normal blinking patterns.

### Medications

Many medications affect blinking, including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and Parkinson’s treatments. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can slow or increase blinking rates. The elderly also tend to blink less due to aging effects.

Blinking is vital to eye health and function. Here are some of its key benefits:

• Spreading tears – Blinking helps evenly coat eyes with the tear film layer that nourishes and protects them.
• Removing irritants – It sweeps away dust, pollen or other particles that land on the eyes.
• Moisturizing – Blinks prevent eyes from drying out by spreading oils and fluids.
• Resting – Brief blinking pauses allow eye muscles to relax between visual tasks.
• Protecting – Rapid blinking forms a defensive barrier against potentially damaging threats.

Blinking also has social interaction functions like nonverbal communication. And scientists believe it may help synchronize connections between the brain’s left and right hemispheres. Overall, this reflexive action is constantly maintaining optimal eye condition and performance.

## Problems From Not Blinking Enough

Insufficient blinking can create a range of ocular issues:

• Dry eyes – Tears evaporate off the eyes without frequent blinking to form a new tear layer.
• Irritation – Increased particle exposure and friction from eyelids rubbing on the eye surface.
• Eye strain – Overworked eye muscles fatigue more easily without regular rest periods from blinking.
• Blurry vision – An uneven tear film can temporarily affect visual focus and clarity.
• Corneal damage – Extreme dryness and particles rubbing against the cornea can lead to scarring or abrasions.

Reduced blinking from concentrating on screens or other visual tasks should be avoided. Take breaks, use artificial tears, and increase general blinking whenever possible.

## Ways to Maintain Healthy Blinking Patterns

Here are tips for making sure your eyes get enough beneficial blinking:

• Take frequent breaks when reading, using a computer, driving, or doing other intense visual activities.
• Exercise eyes by looking around near and far throughout the day, not just at one focal distance.
• Stay hydrated – drinking more water can keep your eyes from drying excessively.
• Use over-the-counter artificial tear drops or gels to lubricate eyes as needed.
• Wear computer glasses that limit blue light exposure from screens.
• Add moisture to indoor air with a humidifier.
• Don’t wear contact lenses for too many consecutive hours per day.

Making sure your eyes aren’t deprived of oxygenating blinks will keep your vision and ocular surface healthy long-term. Consult an optometrist if you experience frequent irritation or changes in your normal blinking patterns.

## Conclusion

In summary, the average person blinks around 15-20 times every minute. This translates to over 10,000 blinks daily, 3-5 million blinks per year, and a remarkable 300-400 million blinks over the average lifespan. Blinking frequently coats our eyes in protective tears, removes irritants, rests eye muscles, and benefits vision. Avoiding excessive reduction of natural blink rates can prevent problems like dry eye, strain, and cornea damage. With some careful habits, we can keep our blinks in the healthy range and eyes feeling good well into our lifetime.