Why does my Eye Twitch?

by Simon on February 18, 2011

Eye twitchingEye twitching or myokymia is an uncontrolled twitching or episodic contraction of the muscles, typically involving the eyelids. Another condition is rapid uncontrollable blinking which is often caused by stress, fatigue, or an irritant that came in contact with the eye. Eyeball twitching or nystagmus involves twitching of the eyeball itself and can occur when under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

These conditions are common and are rarely a sign of something serious. In most cases the problem corrects itself with no intervention. However If you persistently suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above you should seek the advice of a doctor to rule out any neurological problem that may be causing it.

Why Does my Eye Twitch?

There are a number of causes for eye twitching. These include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Colorings in soft drinks
  • Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Eye strain
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Neurological disorders

Stress
Stress of any sort tends to cause the body to behave in peculiar and unexpected ways and it often affects people in very different ways. One possible effect is to create minor muscle spasms around the eyes and face. Sometimes simply relaxing can reduce or eliminate the problem. A sufferer might try taking up a stress-relieving pastime such as yoga, for example.

Irritation
It is also possible that some sort of irritation is causing the problem. Dirt, mote or dust can find its way in the eye and cause irritation. It is also possible for some people to get dry eyes, which may have a similar effect. Essentially, the eye may be trying to blink in order to wash or lubricate itself. Either of these problems should be seen by an eye specialist.

Eyestrain
If you regularly sit in-front of a computer screen or you wear incorrect glasses or contact lenses this can cause eye-strain or vision related stress. Squinting or straining to see can affect the muscles around the eyes triggering eyelid twitching.

Diet And Nutrition
A final issue to consider is simply that of what you eat and drink. Many miscellaneous problems may be caused by a poor diet. Sometimes simply expanding your diet to include a more varied selection of fruit and vegetables can really improve your health generally and can clear up odd issues like eye twitching. An excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol can also be the cause. Try cutting back for a couple of weeks and seeing whether the situation improves at all.

Treatment for Eye Twitching

Treatment for eye twitching will vary depending on the cause. Sometimes simply getting enough sleep, changing your diet to ensure you do not have vitamin deficiency and reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake can stop eye twitching. I discovered that my eye twitching was related to alcohol consumption and a vitamin deficiency.

If you believe stress is the cause you can participate in stress management courses or programs. Cognitive therapy and other supportive help can relieve the stress and anxiety that is causing the problem.

If you are unable to cure eye twitching by changing your lifestyle or through stress reduction one solution is a botox injection. Botox injections are designed to rid the face of wrinkles by relaxing muscles in the face – usually around the eyes. A Botox injection near the eyelids will paralyze the muscles in the eyelids thereby stopping the twitching.

A more extreme treatment for eye twitching is myectomy. Myectomy is a surgical procedure to remove some of the muscles and nerves of the eyelids and is a possible treatment option.

Remember that most people are unable to see a twitch that may seem obvious to you, and do not worry about it too much; eye twitching is a common problem and is usually not a sign of any major illness.

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