Do we need to worry about occasional eye twitches? An eyelid twitch is a type of tic, and it is a repeated, involuntary jerking of the muscles in the eyelid. The twitch is often reported in the upper eyelid. These spasms could be mild, but sometimes, the twitches can force both eyelids to shut; this refers to a condition known as blepharospasm. Usually, there is no way to predict eye twitching. Some episodes last for a few seconds or a few minutes.
But what could be causing the spasms? Optometrists in Boca Raton say the phenomenon seldom signals a pressing health issue; thus their cause isn’t usually studied.
Eyelid twitches are brought about by many factors, but the most important factor is stress. Stress is often cited as the root cause of eye twitching. Many stress relievers like breathing exercises, yoga, and spending time with friends or pets are good ways to cut down on stress and get rid of your eyelid twitch.
Unreported corneal injuries can also lead to eyelid twitches. Tired eyes due to prolonged use of computers, tablets, and smartphones may also cause eyelid twitching. If you cannot avoid this, then try out the “20-20-20 rule”. Every twenty minutes, step away from your monitor and focus your eyes on an object twenty feet away for twenty seconds.
Excessive caffeine and alcoholic drink intake also result in eyelid twitching. Try cutting back on these alcoholic drinks, tea, soft drinks, and coffee (or try the decaffeinated one) for a week or so and see if the twitching stops.
Dry eyes are a common issue for those above age 50, and it can cause twitches. Dry eyes are also common among those who cannot miss certain medications (especially antihistamines and some antidepressants), or use contact lenses. If you feel like you have sand in your eyes and a twitching eyelid bothers you, consult your eye doctor immediately.
Some reports indicate that deficiency of some minerals, like magnesium, can lead to eyelid spasms. Consult with your eye doctor before taking nutritional supplements.
People dealing with eye allergies can develop itching and watery eyes. Eye drops that help minimize allergy symptoms will do the trick and provide some relief. Talk to your doctor first before buying these, since histamine-containing eye drops can cause dry eyes.
If eye spasms are severe, your doctor might diagnose your condition as “benign essential blepharospasm”. These eye spasms are characterized by chronic and uncontrollable blinking or winking. Little is known on its cause, but some factors may worsen the spasms which result in this condition. These factors include eye inflammation, dry eyes, and fatigue.
It is essential to mention that on rare occasions, some nerve and brain disorders can lead to eyelid twitches. These include Bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
Although eye twitches are unexpected and suddenly appear, still, prevention is better than cure. Take good care of your eyes. Maintain adequate protection to minimize the risks of developing eye spasms.