Why Is My Eye Twitching?

Eye Twitching

It’s a disconcerting phenomenon. You’re going about your day, minding your own business, and your eye starts twitching. Maybe you’re even in a conversation, and the eye twitch feels downright embarrassing. Why does it happen? And what can you do to make it stop?

Eye twitches are spasms of the eyelid muscle that occur involuntarily. They can happen in either lid but typically affect the upper eyelid. You can go months without having an eyelid twitch, also known as myokymia, and eyelid twitches have no set pattern of occurrence. They can happen every few seconds for a about a minute, or last for hours at a time. Eyelid twitches are more common in women than men and usually go away on their own. A muscle spasm strong enough to close your eye may be a different condition, called blepharospasm. In that case, you should probably schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

So, what causes eye twitching? Eye twitches can be caused by stress and fatigue, but they can also be caused by too much alcohol or caffeine, smoking, an eye infection, light sensitivity, dry eye, or an irritant. Sometimes, eye injuries like corneal scratches can cause eye twitching. Rarely, eye twitching can be a symptom of a serious condition like Bell’s palsy, dystonia, Tourette syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis.

How do you stop your eye from twitching? Getting enough sleep is a good start. Stay well-hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and try to find ways to manage your stress. Cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and smoking can also help. Sometimes eye twitching can be caused by dry eye, so if you think that could be an issue, use hydrating eye drops. A warm compress can also help your muscles relax and minimize future spasms. Limiting exposure to screens can also be beneficial.

It’s rare that an eye twitch warrants a visit to the eye doctor. If your eye twitch lasts more than a few days, your eyelid is drooping, your eye is red and swollen or there’s discharge coming from it, or some other part of your body is twitching, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, you can wait and talk to your doctor about troublesome eye twitches during one of your regular eye exams.

If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, or Raymond, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating over thirty-five years of eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.