Have you ever had that weird and uncomfortable twitching feeling in your eye? The one where you really hope no one can see your eye spasming? That feeling is the rippling of muscle contractions in the eyelid called myokymia. Many of our patients ask if their allergies or stress can cause eye twitching, but the truth is it can be triggered by a number of things. Fortunately, most of these causes are typically not related to serious medical problems, as we’ll discuss later in this post.
When Is Twitching Serious?
Sometimes, there are more serious forms of eye twitching such as blepharospasm, a neurological condition characterized by forcible closure of the eyelids, and hemifacial spasms, an involuntary twitching of the facial muscles on one side of the face. These two conditions are not very common and should be treated by an eye doctor.
5 Common Causes of Eye Twitching
Common eye twitching has some trigger points that can be easy fixes.
1. Stress and Eye Strain
Whether it is from work, family, or friends, we are all under stress at some point. Learning to manage the stress, though, is not only good for your eyes but also your health.
Eye twitching is related to vision strain and can be reduced by limiting your time in front of the many screens that we put in front of our eyes on a daily basis. Check out one of our past blogs about vision strain to learn about ways to reduce eye strain.
Lack of sleep can cause the eyelid to spasm. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 8 hours per night. For some people, getting that much sleep just isn’t feasible. And for others, even that’s not enough sleep. Establishing a set sleep and wake schedule, though, will help your body sync into a routine. Exercising regularly and avoiding eating anything for 2 or 3 hours before going to sleep also helps. If all else fails, try counting sheep. Just get your rest, your eyes will thank you.
We start our day with it, then follow with the requisite mid-morning pick-me-up. By the time afternoon rolls around, it’s time for another beverage of caffeinated delight. Coffee, soda pop, and tea all have caffeine in them (unless you are drinking the decaf variety) and can increase eyelid spasms and twitching. If you think your caffeine intake may be to blame, try to cut back. It may be rough, but it could get rid of the annoying twitches.
4. Dry Eyes
Dry eyes don’t just make your eyes itchy, they can also make them twitchy. Dry eyes are very common among the older population, as well as people who use computers, wear contact lenses, or take certain medications. Using eye drops to keep your eyes moist can help quell the twitching. Read our related blog post for more tips to combat dry eyes.
We all dread certain times of the year when allergies strike hard. They make you sneeze and have itchy, watery eyes. When your eyes itch, the natural reaction is to rub them, which releases histamine into the lid tissue. This histamine then causes—you guessed it—eyelid twitching.
Not only do you now have a runny nose and itchy eyes, but you also have twitching eyelids. To offset this problem, antihistamines can help.
What To Do for Persistent Eye Twitching
As you can see, most causes of eye twitches are easily fixed with simple changes to your daily routine. For those really stubborn twitches, though, don’t flinch at the thought of seeing an eye doctor in OKC for medical attention; involuntary eye spasms could be the cause of a more serious problem.