What Causes the Eyes to Twitch and How to Stop it?
"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." Isn't it really true? However there are conditions, disorders and symptoms which can ruin away the beauty at times. One of such irritating condition is Eye twitching. This Eye twitching is a common perplexing phenomenon where all of a sudden your eye starts to twitch; it affects millions of people. Medically termed as Myokymia, this pretty common phenomenon is actually a repetitive and uncontrollable blinking or ticking or spasm of the eyelids which mostly come and go, although at times can stay for weeks or even months. Though in most cases eye twitching is absolutely not a reason to worry and can result from stress or fatigue; at times it can be considered to be serious if it results from the serious genetic disorders which can also lead to various visual issues. Eye twitching is also known as Blepharospasm and it usually affects the eye muscles from both the eyes, though is most common in the upper eyelids. Sometimes it is also known as "Blinking disorder". This current article is all about the eye twitching where we will be discussing on what causes the eye to twitch and also discuss about ways to stop the twitching of eyes in an effective manner.
Definition of Eye Twitching: The medical/technical term for eye twitching is known as Blepharospasm and is defined as, "An uncontrolled, episodic contraction of the surrounding muscles of the eye." It can also be defined as, "An abnormal and involuntary blinking of the eye lids".
Epidemiology of Eye Twitching:
Now let us come straight down to the epidemiology for eye twitching.
- Eye twitching is more common is women than in men
- About 50, 000 Americans are affected by this condition of Blepharospasm or eye twitching.
- Usually Eye twitching develops at a middle age and can affect people till their late adulthood.
- With time if not treated the condition worsen and may also lead to blurred vision, facial spasms etc.
Symptoms of Eye Twitching:
Below are some of the notable symptoms of eye twitching.
- Uncontrollable blinking of eyes or repeated twitching of eyelids, mostly the upper eyelid
- Sensitivity to light is also a symptom seen in the person affected by eye twitching
- Sometimes blurred vision in the affected person can mark the condition of eye twitching.
- Sometimes eye twitching is also accompanied by eye irritation.
What Causes the Eye to Twitch?
Most Common Causes of Eye Twitching:
- Stress & Eye Twitching: It might happen with you that if you are stressed or over strained; you might show the symptoms of eye twitching. By controlling the situations that can cause stress, eye twitching can be controlled.
- Eye Twitching Caused Due to Lack of Sleep and Tiredness: Lack of proper sleep and tiredness can result in twitching of eyes.
- Strain in Eyes: Over strains on eyes, like people who are more habituated towards working in front of the computer screen, watching television, working on tablets etc are more prone to experience eye twitching. It is better to limit the habit of giving excessive strain to your eyes unnecessarily. There are also computer eye glasses available which can be worn while working in front of the computer screen
- Dry Eyes: Dry eyes are mostly the results of ageing. They can also be seen in people who are more engaged with the computer jobs, who are more into alcoholism and who take excessive caffeine content.
- Eye Twitching Caused Due to Alcohol and Caffeine Intake: It is believed by many experts that taking excessive content of alcohol and caffeine can trigger eye twitching. Cutting back the amount can be worth a try for controlling the condition of twitching of eyes.
- Allergies: People having eye allergies do suffer from eye twitching, irritation and watery eyes. Rubbing of eyes causes the release of histamines in to the tissues of eye lids and the tears. It is known that histamines can cause eye twitching.
- Eye Twitching Caused due to Imbalances in Nutrition: Lack of certain nutrients like magnesium can trigger eye twitching. So nutritional imbalances or nutritional deficiency can cause your eyes to twitch. By taking proper nutrients in diet one can reduce the symptoms of eye twitching
Some Rare Causes of Eye Twitching:
Apart from the above mentioned causes, there are also some rare causes which can make your eye to twitch. Certain brain disorders and certain disorders of the nervous system can rarely cause eye twitching. Below we will note down some of the rarest causes of eye twitching.
- Eye Twitching Caused due to Bell's Palsy: This is as condition which results in drooping of one side of the patient's face downwards. It is known that Bell's Palsy can rarely cause eye twitching.
- Eye Twitching Caused due to Dystonia: Dystonia is a condition which causes an unexpected spasm of the muscle leading to twisting or contorting of the affected portion of the body. There are rare chances that dystonia can cause eye twitching.
- Eye Twitching Caused due to Cervical Dystonia: This is also known as Spasmodic torticollis. Such a type of dystonia causes the neck to spasm uncontrollably and the head to twist in to some uncomfortable positions. Cervical dystonia can also rarely cause eye twitching.
- Oramandibular Dsytonia and Facial Dystonia: These are a form of dystonia which are sometime accompanied by eye twitching.
- Eye Twitching Caused due to Parkinson's Disease: This is a disease which can cause the stiffening of muscles, trembling of limbs, problems in balancing and improper or unclear speaking. Parkinson's disease can be considered as one of the rare causes for eye twitching.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis is also known to be one of the rarest causes of eye twitching.
- Tourette Syndrome: A condition marked by involuntary movement and verbal tics is known as Tourette syndrome. It can also cause the eyes to twitch.
- Eye Twitching Caused due to Side Effects of Drugs and Medications: It is possible that certain drugs and medications, especially which are used to treat epilepsy and psychosis can cause eye twitching in rare cases.
How to Stop Eye Twitching?
It is very true that most of the eye twitching episodes typically gets resolved within few days without any treatment. However there are some episodes of the eyelid spasms, which might require some kinds of treatment for eliminating the symptoms. In this current section we will talk about various ways of treatment for eye twitching. To make it more clear and understandable we will categorize the ways of treatment in to the following sub headings.
Medical Treatment to Stop Eye Twitching:
Below are some of the ways to treat eye twitching as per the optometrists medically and naturally.
- Cold treatment helps relieve eye twitching at home naturally. You can use a cool compress to your eyes for relaxing and getting rid of eye twitching. Take a clean towel or wash cloth and soak it in the cold water. Now wring it and fold it to a comfortable size to apply on your eyes as cold compress. Place it over your eyes for at least 20 minutes. Cold treatment constricts the eye muscles present around the eye lids and draws blood from them thus relieving from the eye twitching.
- Make sure you are lubricating your eye surfaces with the artificial tears or the eye drops available in the chemist stores.
- Sometimes Botox or Botulinum toxin injections are used to treat the twitching of eyes.
- There are also surgical treatments for removing some of the muscles and nerves in the eyelids causing eye twitching. This is prescribed in more severe benign eye twitching conditions.
Psychotherapy Treatment to Stop Eye Twitching:
Psychotherapists believe that stress and strains can cause eye twitching. Following are some of the ways in psychotherapy to get rid of eye twitching:
- It is at first essential to judge and point out the situations which calm or aggravate the eye twitching. It is required to know if it get worse at work or while at home, to know and pay attention to what actually triggers the twitching of eyes. Once you are known to the triggers that cause your eye to twitch then you can look for ways of controlling the eye twitching by various means in psychotherapy treatment.
- You can practice mindful meditation for getting relief from eye twitching caused by stress and strain.
- Practicing certain kind of breathing exercise at least for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night can get you a lot of benefits and also control the problem of eye twitching.
Acupuncture as a Treatment to Help Stop Eye Twitching:
As per acupuncturist, a liver-gall bladder imbalance can cause the eyes to twitch. Below here we will look for the ways to treat eye twitching as prescribed by the acupuncturists.
- It is primarily advised to take required rest and keep the body hydrated which helps your liver to stay healthy for long. To ensure that your liver doesn't work while you sleep, you need to avoid eating before bed and also cut down the intake of alcohol and caffeine.
- In treating eye twitching via acupuncture, acupuncture needles are required which are applied usually on the Du-20 point on the top of the head; which in turn helps in balancing the yin and yang.
- Placing the acupuncture needles between the big toes and the adjacent toes, or the liver 3 point, placing the needle between the pointer fingers and thumbs( the large intestine 4 and on the elbows or the Heart 3; one can treat eye twitching.
- In order to treat the chronic eye twitching, it is recommended to take 9 grams of Gastrobia uncaria per day in pill or granule form for at least 10 days.
Ways to Stop Eye Twitching via Natural Diet and Nutritional Supplements:
Twitching of eyes can be treated by taking some of the natural diets and nutritional supplements which can promote effective functioning of the nerves and muscles present in the eyelids and thus get rid of eye twitching. Below we will talk more about the diet and nutrition for eye twitching in this nutritional therapy.
- Potassium is an essential nutrient required for treating muscle spasm and other disorders. This is considered highly essential for promoting an effective functioning of cells, tissues and organs.
- Thus potassium supplements can be taken for treating eye twitching. Banana fruit naturally contains a lot of potassium in it and thus taking bananas in daily diet can help treat the twitching of eyelids.
- Apart from strengthening the bones and teeth, calcium also helps in maintaining the nerves and the nervous system of the body. Calcium helps in maintaining the neurotransmitters that links the signals from brain to the body and thus help in treating various conditions including the spasms or the twitching of eyes. Taking diets rich in calcium including milk, taking calcium nutrient supplements etc can help greatly in treating eye twitching via nutritional therapy.
- Apart from calcium and potassium, magnesium is one more nutrient which helps in treating the eye twitching. This helps in regulating the circulatory as well as the nervous system of the body. Magnesium is known to promote a strong and steady rhythm of heart and a normal blood pressure which in turn helps in preventing the uncontrolled functioning of the muscles. Thus magnesium acts as an essential nutrient for treating twitching of the eyelids.
Exercises to Help Stop Eye Twitching
How would it feel if you could treat eye twitching right at home by doing some of the effective exercises or taking a bit of care and effort for eradicating the symptoms of eye twitching? Here below we will discuss on some of the most crucial "do it yourself exercising steps" for eye twitching.
- Hard Blinking Exercise to Stop Eye Twitching: Here all you need is close your eyelids as tight as possible and immediately open your eyes as wide as you can. Do this in a quick time for repeated number of times unless you get tears from your eyes. This would keep your eyes moist or hydrated and help in stretching of eye and facial muscles which can in turn help you get relief from eye twitching by increasing eye circulation.
- Massage your Eyelids to Get Rid of Eye Twitching: It is also known that the eye circulation can be improved and the eye muscles can be strengthened by massaging the eyelids in an effective manner. Take the two middle fingers of your hand and massage the eyelids for at least 30 seconds to get relief from eye twitching.
- Follow the 30-seconds' Eye Blinking Exercise to Stop Eye Twitching: Here you need to lightly blink your eyelids for approximately 30 seconds so as to keep your eyes lubricated and enhance the eye circulation. By doing this you can relax your eyes and get relief from twitching of eyes. Make a note to stop immediately the blinking procedure in case you begin having pain or irritation in eyes.
- Eye Squeezing Exercise to Stop Your Eyes From Twitching: This is a wonderful eye exercise which can be done by you at home so as to treat eye twitching. You need to close your eyes effectively for about one minute. Within this time, in your closed eye condition you need to squeeze your eyes inside and quickly release them without actually opening the eyelids. Do this for at least 3 times and then open your eyelids. You can help your eyes be lubricated by doing this. Eye squeezing helps in stimulating the eye muscles, strengthening them and helps in treating twitching of eyes.
- Closing of Eyes Halfway Down: This is one more eye exercise which can be done by self at home so as to treat eye twitching. You need to close your eyelids halfway down. By doing this you can notice that your upper eyelids tremble in different amplitude. Concentrating your efforts on controlling the trembling of eyelids, you can help you lower the strain on the eyes. This type of treatment can help in treating eye twitching caused by over strain and fatigue of eyes.
Prognosis for Eye Twitching:
In most cases the twitching of eyes stops within a week's time. However the outlook of the eye twitching depends on the specific underlying causes of the eye twitching condition. It is essential for you to visit a doctor in case eye twitching or the symptoms persists for more than two weeks.
Preventive Measures for Eye Twitching:
Here below are some of the preventive measures for eye twitching:
- Limit your coffee and alcohol intake
- Take proper sleep and rest.
- Try to protect your eyes from getting excessively strained in case you are working for long in front of computer, tablets etc. You can wear a protective eye glass while working in front computer screen
- Check on your balanced and proper diet and nutrition.
- Keep a note with you to write down when you get the episodes of eye twitching, in case they are occurring frequently. This will be helpful in keeping a check on self next time as well as be helpful while consulting your doctor about the same
FAQs on Eye Twitching:
Can Eye Twitching be Serious?
In most cases eye twitching is benign or is not serious and do not usually require medical treatments. However at times such a type of condition in eye twitching can be hard enough treating. The more serious forms of eye twitching are the ones which are caused by neurological conditions.
When is it Necessary to Visit a Doctor for Problems Related to Eye Twitching?
It is essential to visit a doctor in case you experience the following symptoms in eye twitching.
- In case the twitching also happens in other parts of your face apart from the eyes.
- In case your eye turns red, gets swollen or has discharge.
- In case you notice drooping eyelids in eye twitching conditions.
- It is essential to immediately visit doctor in case your eyelids completely get closed and you are unable to open the eye.
- If the eye twitching remains for more than several weeks.
So, now that you are very much known to various causes of eye twitching and also much aware of the various treatment procedures for treating the twitching of eyes; why worry about the condition? Make sure you are taking enough care and preventive measures so as to keep you away from being encountered by the condition of eye twitching and also be brave enough to deal with the chronic condition of eye twitching in case you suffer from the same at any part of the time. Go for an immediate doctor's visit in case it turns out to be more serious or an emergency and follow the essential steps as prescribed by your physician to help self come out of the condition at the soonest.
"Keep your eyes open. Keep watching. You never know what is going to inspire you!"