The annoyance of an eye twitch can drive you almost batty. Eye twitching or myokymia is the spasm of an eyelid muscle. It can affect either your top eyelid or your lower eyelid. An eye twitch can come and go. Some last a few days, or weeks to even months. Usually the twitches are harmless and will go away on their own. There are some eye twitches that are persistent and if they persist after a few weeks should be checked by a doctor.
Causes of Eye Twitching
There are a lot of different causes of eye twitches. Some of them include:
- eye strain
- alcohol consumption
- dry eyes
- nutrition problems
One of the most common triggers is stress. If you learn that your eye twitch is worse when you are stressed, learn to lower your stress level by deep breathing or meditating, or yoga.
Another cause that is becoming more and more common with the times is eye strain particularly from electronic devices. Make sure that you are letting your eyes rest, by taking frequent breaks from looking at a computer screen or another electronic device.
If your eyes are twitching as well as feeling extra dry you can try moisture drops, to help restore moisture to your eyes. That can help lessen the twitching as well. Other things to do to try and stop eye twitches are limit caffeine, apply warm compresses, and eliminate stress.
To diagnose the cause of a recurrent eye twitch, just monitor the twitching and keep a written journal that records what is happening around you. This should help you determine your eye twitch trigger.
A normal length of time to have an eye twitch is a couple of days. They sometimes can last even up to a week or two. If they prolong much longer after that you will want to consult a doctor. If an eye twitch is continuous it could mean there is a neurological issue but this is less common.
Talk to a heath care professional if:
- The twitching doesn’t go away within a few weeks
- Your eyelid closes completely during each twitch
- The twitching spreads to other parts of your face.
- Your eyes become red and swollen or your eyelids start drooping
If you experience any of these they can be symptoms of a severe eye twitch which may be a sign of Bell’s Palsy, Dystonia, Parkinson’s, or Tourette’s. This is very rare and many times eye twitches are not severe enough at all to be any of these things.
Eye twitches can affect anyone at any age, but most common in adults in their mid to late stages of adulthood.
Make sure if you notice a twitch you keep track of what is going on in your life when the twitch happens. And if it becomes persistent and lasts longer than a few weeks reach out to your doctor to see if something serious is going on.
Make sure you de-stress, take breaks from electronic screen time and limit the alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Most eye twitches are harmless just extremely annoying!
- 1Your eye twitch could be telling you something about your health.
- 2Stress and fatigue are common triggers of eye twitching.
- 3Persistent eye twitches should checked out by a health care professional.
Sources: mayoclinic.org; allaboutvision.com