Why Is My Eye Twitching?
03 January 2020
Believe it not, there is a medical term for eye twitching. Myokymia is the involuntary twitching of the eyelids. Is it serious? Probably not; it is, however, extremely irritating.
The spasms usually occur in the lower lid (but they can happen in both) and feel like mild pulses; which generally subside quickly on their own.
On rare occasions, the twitching may become severe enough to uncontrollably force the eyelid to close; this is known as blepharospasm. Myokymia is not the same as blepharospasm; although some people think of myokymia as a mild form of blepharospasm.
In this article we dig into the causes, treatments and complications associated with eye twitching.
What causes eye twitching?
Because eye twitches are generally no cause for concern, it can be hard to pinpoint a precise cause. People don’t generally seek professional advice for an eye twitch; however, the following factors have been said to contribute:
- Tiredness/lack of sleep
- Eyelid strain
- Side effects from medication, such as epilepsy medicines
- Dry eyes
Eye twitches usually stop on their own in a matter of minutes. If twitching becomes chronic, lasting for hours or even days, speak to an optometrist or book an eye examination.
When is eye twitching the sign of something serious?
Very rarely, eye twitching is caused by a brain disorder. In these cases the twitching will be accompanied by other more serious symptoms and changes in vision.
Brain and nervous system disorders that can cause eye twitching include:
- Bell's palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
- Tourette's syndrome
It’s time to consult an optometrist if your eye twitching is supplemented with the following symptoms:
- Red and swollen eyes
- Involuntary closing of the eyelids
- Chronic twitching that lasts for weeks
- A drooping upper eyelid
Be mindful of sudden changes in your vision and if you feel concerned, book an eye test to put your mind at ease.
Is there treatment for eye twitching?
Because eye twitching doesn’t usually indicate anything serious, small lifestyle changes can be sufficient to reduce occurrences. For the mild, yet annoying twitches, here are some tips…
Around 74% of adults asked in a mental health survey admitted to suffering physical symptoms of stress- an alarming statistic when you really think about it!
Stress is actually one of the most common causes of eye twitching; what with trying to juggle a career, household, family, hobbies and having a social life- we feel exhausted just thinking about it!
Finding the time to relax and de-stress is essential for your body and mind.
We suggest finding your go-to stress reliever and scheduling in time each week for it. Here at the Ultralase HQ we swear by yoga, reading, bubble baths, meditation, catching up with loved ones and taking long walks.
We’re not suggesting that you should be the designated driver for each and every social occasion, but excessive alcohol consumption can lead to many health issues. One of the less serious being eye twitching.
There are countless benefits in reducing alcohol intake. Read up on the positive effects abstaining from alcohol for one month can have on your body here.
Even cutting back on caffeine just a little may help if your eyes twitch often. Opt for a caffeine free beverage every now and then, and see what difference it makes.
Do you get your 8 hours a night? Lack of sleep causes havoc with our health and wellbeing. When we don’t sleep well, our eye muscles have not had adequate rest; which causes them to spasm. So next time your eyes start twitching, have an early night and give them the rest they are screaming for!
Computers, tablets and smartphones are the main culprits of eye strain today. As good as a digital detox sounds; we don’t think our bosses would be best pleased!
This is why we are advocates of following the 20-20-20 rule (especially for office workers). Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This should reduce the eye twitching that comes as a result of eye strain.
Approximately one in every three people over the age of 65 experience symptoms of dry eye syndrome. There are numerous causes associated, including smoking, dry environments and contact lens use.
One of the less common or spoken about symptoms of dry eyes is eye twitching. Eye drops, or artificial tears as they are also known, can help to relieve the undesirable effects of dry eye syndrome.
Although eye twitches are generally no cause for concern, they can be disruptive to daily life. Try to pinpoint what triggers your eye twitches and make these small changes to your lifestyle. If all else fails, book yourself in for an eye test; just to be sure!
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