Why Does My Eye Twitch: Common Causes of Eye Twitches

Most people experience eye twitches at some point in their life. It may last for only a few seconds to several minutes. However, some individuals experience eye twitches that lasts for days and even weeks. Eye twitching, also known as eye tics, are not really harmful. However, they can be downright distracting and annoying especially when reading. Although it feels like there is a big movement happening when your eyelid twitches, the movement is really minimal that a person looking at you may not even notice it.

What Causes Eye Twitches?

Eye twitches occur when the muscles around the eye are in a state of excitement and are fired up.  Although the real cause is unknown, there are many studies pointing to external stimuli and chemicals as probable causes of eye twitching.

For instance coffee, alcohol and diet soda are associated with eye tics.  Other caffeine drinks such as tea and soda are also thought to trigger eye tics. If you experience frequent twitches, it is advised that you stay away from these beverages.

Eye strain, fatigue and excessive use of computers and electronic gadgets can also make your eyes twitch. When you stare too much at the computer, the glare can cause vision problems and eye strain. Lack of sleep deprives the eye muscles from the rest it needs.

Dry eyes may also cause eye twitching. Taking anti-histamines or depressants, lack of sleep, computer overuse, wearing contact lenses, and excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine can lead to dry, irritated eyes. To correct this, visit your doctor for a prescription of eye lubricant or special eye drops.

Magnesium deficiency can possibly trigger episodes of eyelid twitching. Although this is not scientifically proven, this factor should also be considered if you experience eye twitches.

Eye tics can also be a symptom of an underlying disease. For instance, Bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease may cause twitching of the eyes. If you experience frequent eye tics, talk to your doctor so proper diagnostic and medical examination can be undertaken to rule out the presence of a medical condition.

How to Stop or Reduce the Incidence of Eye Twitches?

To stop eye twitching, identify the possible causes. If it is caused by consumption of alcohol or caffeine, then stop drinking them. If it is caused by stress, eye fatigue and anxiety, then get enough sleep or rest. Some of the recommended eye relaxation techniques include massaging the area around your eyes with your fingers, applying a warm washcloth over closed eyes or applying cold and warm compress alternatively.

In case your eye twitches last more than a few days to weeks, visit an ophthalmologist to have your eyes checked. Oral antihistamines or eye drops containing antihistamines may be prescribed by your doctor, although regular antihistamine use may also trigger twitching.

There are cases when eye twitches worsen and cannot be remedied by these interventions. If this happens, Botox injections are sometimes recommended.

Photo / Image credit: CouchAvenue

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