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What is eye twitching?

Eye twitching is a harmless symptom usually, but it can become annoying. This twitch of your eyelid, known as myokymia, is a common discomfort for many people. These spasms will usually only lasts for a couple minutes, but for some people they can last for weeks. If your eye twitching persists then it may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as blepharospasm, an uncontrollable contraction of the eyelid that leaves patients unable to see, or hemifacial spasm, a movement disorder that affects one side of your face muscles.

Causes

Fatigue - A lack of sleep can contribute to eye twitching. Make sure to get enough rest and create a sleep schedule that works for your lifestyle.

Stress - Stress is the most common cause of eye twitching. Try to calm your daily stress by spending time doing things you enjoy, like reading a book, doing some yoga, or taking your dog for a walk. Anyway you can manage your stress will improve your overall health and, hopefully, will eliminate your eye twitching.

Allergies - Allergies are a big issue for your eye health. Besides causing eye twitching, allergies can cause redness, itchiness, and eye discomfort. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, when you rub your eyes they produce a substance called histamine to fight off allergens. This release of histamine can then cause your eyes to react by twitching.

Eye strain - Eye strain is a very common problem that is caused by us constantly looking at our phones, computers, and TV screens. According to WebMD, we should all be following the 20-20-20 rule to help our eyes cope with all this screen time. This means looking away from your screen every 20 minutes or so and looking at something around 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Remember to blink often to keep your eyes moist.

Caffeine - Too much caffeine can cause eye twitching. Try cutting back on sodas, coffee, and energy drinks, while drinking more water throughout the day instead. Or you can switch to decaffeinated versions of your favorite drinks and see if your eye twitching decreases.

Alcohol - If you notice your eye twitching after you have consumed alcohol, try cutting back for a couple weeks and see if this makes a difference in your eye health.

Diet - Our diet has a lot to do with our eye health. If you are deficient in any area such as vitamin C, vitamin D, or iron it may be causing your eyes to twitch. You may want to learn more about all of the many nutrients that can improve your eye health and prevent your eye twitching episodes.

Dry eyes - Dry eyes are a common problem that can be caused by things like spending a lot of time in front of screens, taking certain medications, or wearing contact lenses. Dry eyes could be the reason for your eyes twitching. For a quick solution, try using eye drops to keep your eyes moist. If your dry eye problem persists it may be due to a larger issue with your eyes.

When do eye twitches require a doctor visit?

Eye twitching is rarely a sign of a more serious problem, but it is a possibility. If your eye twitching persists for more than a couple days, see a doctor immediately. Here are some other symptoms to look for that, along with your eye twitching, mean you should visit your eye doctor:
  • Your eyes are swollen, red, or have any kind of discharge
  • Your eyelids are drooping unnaturally
  • Your eye twitching is causing your eye to close completely and hindering your eyesight
  • Your eyes are twitching for weeks at a time
  • The twitching spreads to other parts of your face

Prevention

If your eyes start twitching regularly, look at your lifestyle and see if anything has changed to cause these symptoms. Try to destress, drink less caffeine, and get as much rest as possible. Eye twitching has become a common annoyance for people, especially those who look at computer screens all day. This is usually just a harmless symptom of your daily life, but if it continues for long periods of time, or starts to affect your eyesight, contact us today.
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