We've all had one - a twitch in the bottom or top lid of our eye. It seems to come out of nowhere and is ever-so-annoying. Sometimes it takes a few minutes or hours for it to subside, sometimes weeks or even months. Today we are going to discuss a few reasons why your eyes twitch, when to talk to your doctor about it and how to prevent it. Eyelid twitching is called myokymia - and is a rippling muscle contraction of the eyelid. There are many common causes of eyelid twitching, here are a few of them;
- Stress Everyone's body reacts differently to stress. If you find yourself straining your eyes or having a particularly stressful week and an eye twitch appears, try some stress relieving tactics like exercise, yoga or rest.
- Exhaustion or Tiredness Overdoing it, late nights, early mornings - too little sleep can mean a lot of things for your health but it can also cause eye twitching. The best remedy is catching up on your zzz's.
- Eye Strain If your eyes are straining to read and do basic daily tasks - it can lead to eye twitching. The solution? You might need new glasses. If you are staring at a computer screen all day, remember to follow the 20/20/20 rule - every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, this helps to reduce eye strain and prevent twitching. If you are experiencing frequent twitching that comes back often, it is probably time to schedule an appointment for an eye exam as you may need a new prescription.
- Caffeine & Alcohol Experts believe high caffeine and alcohol consumption can lead to problems with eye twitching. If you are a drinking more than two cups of coffee per day (or other caffeinated beverages) you might want to consider cutting back or switching to herbal tea to see if that helps reduce your eye twitching.
- Dry Eyes Dry eyes can be cause of eye twitching. You are especially prone to experiencing dry eyes from: aging, computer use, taking antihistamines, taking antidepressants, wearing contact lenses, consuming caffeine or alcohol or are under stress. There are many treatments available for dry eyes, make an appointment for a dry eye evaluation and we'll examine your eyes and help you find the best treatment for you needs.
- Allergies If you suffer from seasonal allergies or indoor allergies, you may experience itchy, watery eyes. If you rub your eyes - the histamine is released into the lid tissue and tears - there is evidence suggesting that that histamine release can cause eyelid twitching. If your eye allergies are not manageable with an oral allergy medication, it may be time to visit your eye doctor to discuss options for treatment - such as antihistamine eye drops.
Most of the time sudden eyelid twitching is not serious nor is it a sign of a medical problem, but this often means that it can be difficult to treat. Usually, treating an eyelid twitch that comes on suddenly means finding the root of the problem and solving that - whether its reducing caffeine intake, reducing stress, treating dry eyes or getting a new glasses or contact lens prescription.
However, there are more serious forms of eyelid twitching that are caused by neurological conditions such as blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm. These conditions are somewhat rare and should be diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor.
If you are experiencing eyelid twitching and think it may be caused by any of the triggers we discussed today, schedule an appointment with eye2eye and let's get to fixing that annoying eye twitch!