Eye Twitching: Causes and Treatments

  • An involuntary movement of the eyelids causes eyes to twitch. 
  • Eye twitching may be caused by several reasons, including stress, sleep deprivation, eye strain, and consuming too much caffeine and alcohol. 
  • Botox injections can help prevent eyelid spasms. 

What is an eye twitch?

An eye twitch, also called myokymia, is a spasm in the eyelid. Eye twitching may last for only a few minutes or persist for days or longer. Most eye twitches are subtle and unnoticeable by others. 

What causes eye twitching?

Several reasons cause eye twitching, and treatments include making minor changes to your diet and lifestyle. 

1. Stress

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Stress is the most common reason for eye twitching. Reduce your stress by doing yoga, breathing exercises, spending time with friends or pets, and giving yourself some downtime. 

2. Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause eye twitching. Have a consistent sleeping schedule to make sure you get enough amount of sleep. 

3. Eyestrain

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Eyestrain from the overuse of computers, tablets, and smartphones is a common cause of eyelid twitching. To reduce fatigue that may trigger eye twitching when using digital devices, look away from your screen every 20 minutes, and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This is called the 20-20-20 rule and will help reduce fatigue that may trigger eye twitching. Using computer eyeglasses is also advisable to relieve digital eye strain. 

4. Caffeine

Too much caffeine from coffee, tea, and soft drinks can trigger eye twitching. Try to cut back on these beverages for a week or two to relieve your eye twitching. 

5. Alcohol

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Drinking beer, wine, or liquor may also cause eyelids to twitch.

6. Dry eyes

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Having dry eyes is common, especially among adults above 50 years old, people who use computers, take certain medications, wear contact lenses, and consume caffeine or alcohol. If you get dry eyes, consult your doctor on how to restore your eyes’ moisture and decrease eye twitching in the future.

7. Nutrition problems

According to some reports, deprivation of certain nutritional elements, like magnesium, can trigger eyelid spasms. If you think you need supplements to maintain healthy vision, consult with your eye doctor before buying over-the-counter supplements.

8. Allergies

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Eye allergies can cause itching, swelling, and watery eyes. When you rub your eyes because of allergy symptoms, histamine is released into your eyelid tissues and tear film, which may cause eye twitching. While over-the-counter eye drops that reduce allergy symptoms can help, antihistamines in these drops can cause dry eyes.

Can Botox stop eyelid spasm?

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In cases of persistent eyelids twitches, Botox injections may stop the involuntary eyelid spasm that causes twitching.

When to seek medical help

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See medical help right away if you experience the following:

  • persistent eye twitching
  • unexplained changes in appearance or movement of half your face
  • inability to open eyes because both eyelids have clamped down so tight

These symptoms could signal a severe neurological condition that needs immediate medical intervention.  

Source: All About Vision

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