Some people may have experienced a twitching of the eyes and may have asked “My eye is twitching. What could this be?” In all actuality, eye twitching, for the most part, is something that commonly occurs and it may be caused by a number of different reasons. In this article, we will look at the three (3) main reasons your eye twitches, some other possible reasons for the eye twitch and what can be done to address the said eye condition.
What is an Eye Twitch?
People usually think that it is their eyes that twitch when in reality, it is their eyelids that do the twitching. Commonly called myokymia by medical professionals, these eyelid twitches can be quite annoying. Myokymia usually affects the lower eyelids but the upper eyelids can also be affected. Most of these eye twitches usually come and go but some would last for several weeks even months and may raise concerns to those who are affected. The good news is that eye twitching is usually harmless. There are some unique conditions, however, that may warrant a visit to the doctor’s office such as some serious neurological condition like blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm.
What are the 3 Main Causes of Eye Twitching?
As mentioned earlier, eye twitching is usually no cause for concern as they are normally harmless and resolve on their own. The three (3) main causes of eye twitching can also be called ordinary and mundane as they are things every individual encounter on a daily basis. These are:
Fatigue or the feeling of being tired can be caused by a variety of reasons. For eye twitching though, fatigue caused by sleeplessness or lack of sleep could be the main culprit. Lack of sleep can greatly affect your level of fatigue throughout the day and may lead to eyelid twitching. Getting enough sleep and rest and setting a regular sleep schedule can greatly help in addressing and decreasing the instances of a twitching eye.
Stress is the body’s reaction to various harmful situations, whether real or perceived. This fight or flight reaction of the body sets off a chain reaction of chemical processes within our bodies and the stress response usually increases the heart rate, quickens breathing, tightens muscles and increases the blood pressure to prepare us for the upcoming attempt to protect ourselves from the perceived threat. This, in turn, can contribute to the twitching of the eyes Relaxing exercises and activities such as yoga, deep breathing techniques and spending time with family and friends may help reduce stress and lessen the instances of an eye twitch.
Caffeine is a chemical compound found in various products such as coffee, tea, sodas and energy drinks. It is generally used to improve mental alertness and focus as it the general properties of a stimulant. Too much caffeine can trigger episodes of eye twitching and cutting back on some caffeinated products may help lessen or even eliminate eye twitches.
Other Causes of Eye Twitching
The three (3) main causes of eye twitching have been enumerated above but there are other factors that may contribute to eye twitching. Below are some of the other causes for eye twitching:
Similar to stress, eye strain caused by constantly being in front of a computer and an LED screen can contribute to eye strain and consequently, to eye twitching, The solution to eye twitching caused by eye strain is to follow the recommended 20 by 20 rule. Rest your eyes for 20 minutes from any digital activity and focus your eyes on an object for at least 20 seconds.
Alcohol consumption, be it beer, wine or liquor can cause the eyes to twitch. If an individual observes eye twitching after alcohol consumption then abstaining from the bottle may be a great solution to eliminate and prevent eye twitches.
A number of factors may cause the eyes to become dry such as old age, extended use of computers, certain medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants, wearing of contact lenses and consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Twitching eyes caused by any of the aforementioned factors of dry eyes will most often result in twitching but the gritty feeling of the eyes. Moisturizing the eyes with the use of eye drops may help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes.
Certain deficiencies may lead to eye twitching. Magnesium deficiency may be linked to increased instances of twitching eyes and should immediately be coordinated with a medical professional. Doctors can usually provide some form or appropriate medication or supplement to address magnesium deficiency and other nutritional concerns of patients.
Individuals experiencing some form of allergy may have swollen and watery eyes, and when these eyes are rubbed due to being itchy, and this, in turn, may release histamines into nearby tissues and tear ducts which may result in eye twitches, Antihistamine eye drops and tablets may ease the symptoms of twitching eyes due to allergies.
Complications and Considerations for Eyelid Twitches
The aforementioned causes of eyelid twitches may have some very simple workarounds and cures as well/. However, there are a few ailments one has to look out for especially since they can also have symptoms similar to eyelid twitching such as:
- Bell’s palsy – Bell’s palsy is a medical condition that causes half of the face to sag
- Dystonia – This ailment causes involuntary spasms with the affected body part twisting and contorting due to the said spasms
- Cervical dystonia – similar to the previous entry, this ailment specifically causes spasms to the neck and may twist the head and the neck towards uncomfortable positions.
- Multiple Sclerosis – An illness primarily of the central nervous system which causes movement problems and fatigue
- Parkinson’s disease – Parkinson’s disease can cause involuntary shaking of the limbs, muscle stiffness and balance issues.
- Tourette syndrome – An ailment that can cause involuntary limb movement and verbal tics.