Sometimes our eyes twitch, it happens, you may not even notice a twitch here or there. Eyelid twitches are caused by involuntary muscle contractions around the eyes, called myokymia. Most eye twitching comes and goes without recognition, though, some cases can extend for weeks or even months.
While eye twitches are generally considered benign, they can be uncomfortable and irritating. This uncomfortable feeling will often have us asking why is my eye twitching and what can I do about it? Eye twitching will generally dissipate on its own over time and can also be controlled with self-care. Causes of eye twitching are generally well known along with there treatment methods. Here is a list of 8 common eye twitching causes and what you can do to treat it.
8 Eye Twitching Causes
Stress can be the root cause of many ailments, including eye twitching.
Stress results from a variety of causes and effects everyone differently. If you’re overextended, with a lot on your plate, consider trimming your workload. Try taking some time for relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or walking.
Fatigue can result from lack of sleep and is often related to stress. Addressing the underlying causes of fatigue and finding time to rest can help reduce eye twitching.
Excessive caffeine intake is a common cause of eye twitching.
To help control eye twitching, consume caffeine in moderation. About 2-4 cups of coffee is usually considered safe. Monitor your caffeine intake with regards to your eye twitching activity. If eye twitching occurs during periods of high caffeine intake, adjust your intake accordingly.
Alcohol consumption has been linked to eye twitching. Abstaining from alcohol consumption will help limit the possibility of eye twitching
Dry eyes can be common in adults, especially over the age of 50. Dry eyes can be brought on by excessive computer screen exposure, contact lenses, certain medications (antihistamines), stress, fatigue or being in a dry environment.
Over the counter artificial tears are known to help relieve dry eyes. Artificial tears will help keep the eyes lubricated and protect against dry eyes. It is suggested to consult with a doctor before administering artificial tears to find the best treatment for your case (1).
Medications used to treat various diseases can cause eyelid twitching. Medications related to eye twitching include ones used to treat mental illness and epilepsy.
Medication induced eye twitching will usually cease once an individual comes off the medication.
Allergies are known to cause eye irritation, watery eyes, itching and swollen eyelids. These symptoms may prompt individuals to rub their eyes which releases histamine, a known cause of eye twitching.
Should you be present with allergies, resisting the urge to rub your eyes can help prevent eye twitching.
Eye strain can be summed up as vision-related stress. Stressors may be due to far-sightedness, near-sightedness, astigmatism or perhaps it’s time for a change of prescription.
In any case of eye strain, it is recommended to see your optometrist to discuss treatment solutions.
Alternative Eye Twitching Treatment
Eye twitching is generally considered a mild condition which will go away on its own. Causes can often be treated through addressing stress, gaining sufficient rest and lowering caffeine intake.
Should eye twitching develop into a chronic condition, extensive forms of treatment exist. The following treatments are used only for serious cases, where conventional treatments have proven ineffective (3).
- Facial Injections: Injections are administered to cause localized paralysis around the affected area. In most cases, the eyes are immediately responsive, and symptoms are relieved between injections.
- Surgery: Surgery to remove muscles around the eyelids or surgery to remove part of the nerve to lessen the severity of the spasms.
More Serious Eye Twitching Causes
Rarely, eyelid spasms may be a symptom of more serious conditions, generally related to brain and nerve disorders. These conditions include Bell’s palsy, dystonia, cervical dystonia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome.
How To Proceed?
As mentioned, most eye twitching causes are harmless. Rest assured that with time and self-care your eye twitching woes will pass. Should you be concerned your eye twitching is related to a more serious issue, don’t hesitate to consult your optometrist or physician.
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