Eye twitching: Causes and treatment

It is very likely that every one of us has experienced eye twitching at some point.

It is usually barely noticeable but for some people, it may get bothersome.

What is actually the essence of this condition and how can it be treated?

Let us find out!

Introduction

Eye twitching or medically known as myokymia affects only the eyelid of one eye, more often the low one.

However, it is possible to affect the upper lid as well.

It is a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the muscles of the eyelid.

The spasm happens every few seconds for about a minute or two.

In most cases, twitches come and go without the need for treatment.

Yet, sometimes they can last for days, weeks or even months.

If the twitching starts to become present in your life for a longer period, you should definitely make an appointment with your doctor.

 

It can be a sign of a serious brain or nerve disorder.

Do not panic immediately though – we are going to clarify the most common reasons why twitching occurs and what are the remedies.

The possibility of signaling for a more complex condition will be discussed too.

Causes for myokymia

As it has been specified in the previous paragraph, eye twitching is painless and normally harmless.

Here are some of the factors that may contribute to the occurrence of twitches:

  • Stress and fatigue
  • Eyestrain
  • Caffeine or alcohol consumption
  • Dry eye
  • Nutritional problems
  • Allergies

Does any of the following sound familiar to you?

Are you put under pressure in your office? Do you drink too much coffee or alcohol? Do you eat a balanced diet?

If the answer to any (or, I hope not, to all) of these questions is β€œyes”, keep on reading – the possible solutions are coming your way!

Reliefs

Not sure how to deal with what is bothering you and potentially causing your eyelids to twitch?

We are going to make it a bit easier for you by giving you some tips for the causes we have listed above.

Stress and fatigue

Stress can be responsible for a lot of health and mental problems since it affects all areas of our lives.

First of all, you should recognize the causative agent of it and preferably remove it or at least reduce its negative influence.

You can also try to minimize stress by doing yoga, exercising, spending time with your loved ones.

There are a lot of possibilities out there, you just have to find out what you enjoy and what makes you forget all of your worries!

Fatigue and lack of sleep are further reasons for eye twitching.

They can be related to stress or some other reasons.

Getting your sleep is surely going to make your twitching go away!

Eye strain and especially digital eye strain

To reduce eye strain and therefore the risk of eye twitching and more serious eye conditions, make sure to take regular breaks from your devices and do some eye relieving exercises such as the β€œ20-20-20 rule” – every 20 minutes look at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.

Caffeine or alcohol consumption

Try limiting both your caffeine and alcohol intake since too much of any can trigger eye twitching.

Dry eye

This condition is common among adults older than 50, but also among people who work at a computer or take certain medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, etc.), wear contact lenses or drink caffeine, alcohol.

If your eyes twitch and feel dry as well, see your doctor in order to get professional help.

Nutritional problems

It is not scientifically proven that nutritional problems cause eye twitching.

Yet, according to some reports, the lack of vital nutritional substances like magnesium can be the spasm reason.

If you think this might refer to you, it is advisable to talk to a medical professional.

Allergies

People who have eye allergies are more prone to eye twitching.

Their eyes itch, swell or are sometimes watery and when being rubbed, histamine is being released into the lid tissues and the tears, causing the eyelid muscles to twitch.

Benign essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm

In very rare cases, when the eye twitching won’t go away despite all of the efforts, Botox injections may be used as a remedy.

They ease spasms but only for a few months. Afterward, the effect wears off and you may need more injections.

In fact, there are two more main conditions that can cause eye twitching.

They are benign essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.

Benign essential blepharospasm refers to increased blinking of both eyes and it is possible to progress to the eyelids being squeezed shut.

This condition is rather uncommon but it can be extreme. It is actually a movement disorder of the muscles around the eye.

The exact reason why it occurs is not known but it is suggested that it may be a malfunction of cells in the nervous system called basal ganglia.

Hemifacial spasm involves spasms of muscles on one side of the face, including the eyelid.

The usual cause for it is the irritation of a facial nerve by a small artery.

Is it something more than eye twitching?

It was mentioned in the beginning that eye twitch may be a sign of a serious brain or nerve disorder.

Now we are going to specify which conditions it might precede and when it is time to see a doctor.

It happens very rarely eye twitches to signal a more complex problem.

You will probably know it is not just because of stress or lack of sleep because disorders are almost always accompanied by other symptoms.

 

 

  • Bell’s palsy (facial palsy) – it is the cause one side of your face to droop downward.
  • Dystonia – causes unexpected muscle spasms.
  • Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) – the neck spasms randomly, whereas the head twist into uncomfortable positions.
  • Multiple sclerosis – a disease of the central nervous system, is the cause of cognitive and movement problems and fatigue as well.
  • Parkinson’s disease – causes trembling limbs, muscle stiffness, balance problems, and difficulties while speaking.
  • Tourette syndrome – involuntary movement and verbal tics.

Any of the above-mentioned conditions and their characteristics are serious.

Therefore they have to be medically treated and we strongly advise you to make a doctor’s appointment if you notice such symptoms!

Conclusion

Eye twitching may be an outcome of stress, lack of sleep or eye strain.

By calming your mind, sleeping well and protecting your eyes in front of the computer (for example with Iris) you can eliminate the unpleasant spasms.

However, eye twitching can be caused by a more complex problem that should be taken into serious consideration.

For your own comfort, you can visit an eye specialist, just to make sure your eyes are in good condition and get more good advice about your eye health!

Author: Ilina Stoyanova

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