Eye-Twitching: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
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Eye-twitching is an abnormal eye blinking condition where a person experiences rapid, recurring and uncontrolled spasm of the eyelid muscles. Know types, symptoms & treatment of eye-twitching.
Eye-twitching is a condition where a person experiences rapid, recurring and uncontrolled spasm of the eyelid muscles. These are mostly painless, harmless and last only for some seconds or minutes. It mostly affects the upper eyelid but can also occur in both upper and the lower eyelid.
In most cases, eye-twitches are not a cause of worry and often go away on their own. But, in other cases, the eye-twitching problem can cause extreme irritation and discomfort. Moreover, in some people, eye-twitching can last for more than a week or a month. In the latter cases, the problem of eye-twitching could also signal an underlying issue to be treated and diagnosed by an eye doctor.
Types of eye-twitching
There are essentially three types of eye-twitching issues:
- Myokymia: A mild spasm in the lower or upper eyelid or both. It is caused because of tiredness, lack of sleep, excess caffeine, etc. This does not affect the vision and usually resolves on its own.
- Blepharospasm: Blepharospasm is categorized by increased blinking of the eyes, which further intensifies to both eyelids being closed involuntarily. The latter stage can cause temporary loss of vision and can also impact other facial muscles.
- Hemifacial spasm: It is generally caused by an artery that irritates or pressurizes the nerves of the face. A hemifacial spasm begins near the eye and later causes the muscles of one side of the face to tighten up.
Symptoms of eye-twitching
Eye-twitching is a common phenomenon. It is mostly a temporary issue, which is categorized by repeated and uncontrolled movement of one, two or all four eyelids. Hence, a person can experience both left eye-twitching or right eye-twitching. It can irritate the eyes and cause fatigue and light sensitivity. However, in cases where the problem persists for a longer duration, such as for more than 2 weeks, consulting a doctor becomes necessary.
Some symptoms that indicate the need to visit a doctor include:
- Consistent twitching for several weeks.
- Involuntary closing of eyes disrupting vision.
- Tightening of the facial muscles.
- Pain in movements such as speaking, yawning, etc.
- Unusual discharge or swelling in the eyelids.
- Drooping eyelid.
- Blurry vision.
Causes of eye-twitching
Eye-twitching can be caused due to many reasons, such as below:
- Stress: A quite common cause of eye-twitching. Stress can occur because of tight schedules, lack of sleep, emotional troubles, or any other reason.
- Fatigue: Weakness or consistent tiredness can also cause eye-twitching. Lack of sleep, bad quality of sleep, stress, physical exertion, etc. can add to the issue and intensify the twitching.
- Eye strain: Another extremely critical cause of eye-twitching is the excessive strain to the eyes. The strain can be caused due to too much screen usage or blue light exposure from TV, mobile phones, laptops, etc. Even unfiltered contact with the sun rays can seriously stress the eyes.
- Caffeine and alcohol: Uncontrolled and too much consumption of caffeine can cause left eye-twitching or right eye-twitching issues. Moreover, alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, etc. can also cause recurring twitching of the eyelids.
- Eye irritation: A significant cause of eye-twitching is the irritation to the eyes due to factors such as dust, pollution, etc.
- Dry eyes: Lack of hydration and drying out of tears can cause dry eyes which is a prime cause of eye-twitching. Dry eyes are common among older people. But in today’s time, prolonged exposure to digital screens has caused dry eyes in people of all ages.
In some cases, lack of proper nutrition, adverse reaction to some medications or other allergies can also cause flickering of right or left eye.
Treatment of eye-twitching
Most eyelid twitches do not require any treatment. They go away on their own in some days. However, for cases, where the twitching lasts longer than several weeks, a few steps can be adopted to treat the condition:
- Reduce consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
- Adopt proper eye hygiene – cleaning and washing the eyes several times a day.
- Keep the eyes lubricated through eye drops.
- Wear protective and preventive lenses such as blue-light protection, anti-glare lenses, etc. to avoid straining the eyes
- Safeguard UV rays exposure though UV protected lenses, photochromic lenses, sunglasses, etc.
- Protect drying out of eyes by limiting digital screen exposure and using preventive gear such as computer glasses, blue-light protection lenses, etc.
- Prevent eye irritation through anti-dust, anti-fog, water-repellent lenses, etc.
- Engage in activities such as meditation to reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep and avoid exerting the eyes through too much reading. It is also advisable to wear reading glasses while reading a newspaper, magazines, books, etc.
In case the problem persists or has severe symptoms, consulting an ophthalmologist at the earliest is recommended.
Should you visit an optician?
Yes, if you have dry, stressed, or irritated eyes, visiting an optician to get the preventive lenses will help with eye-twitching. The optician can advise on the best lenses and glasses that will help prevent eye strain and eventually eye-twitching. You can buy your computer glasses, sunglasses, or any other protective lenses such as anti-dust, anti-glare, blue-light, etc. from the optician.
However, in cases of severe symptoms, it is essential to first visit an ophthalmologist and get proper treatment and prescription before visiting an optician for the glasses/lenses.
How to stop eye-twitching?
Eye-twitching can be stopped by preventing strain, stress, irritation or drying of eyes through preventive and protective solutions such as UV lenses, anti-dust lenses, sunglasses, reading glasses, computer glasses, etc. Moreover, getting good sleep, improving nutrition, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption can effectively help prevent eye-twitching.
When to worry about eye-twitching?
You should worry about eye-twitching if the issue persists for more than 2 weeks or tends to cause other symptoms such as involuntary closing of eyes, disrupting vision, tightening of the facial muscles, unusual discharge or swelling in the eyelids, or drooping eyelids.
What is eyelid twitching?
Eyelid twitching is the repetitive and uncontrolled flickering of the right eye or left eye that feels like a small tug.
What is the spiritual meaning of left eye-twitching?
According to superstitious beliefs, left eye-twitching indicates impending bad news. However, there is no scientific proof of the theory.
What is the spiritual meaning of right eye-twitching?
According to superstitious beliefs, right eye-twitching indicates impending good news. However, there is no scientific proof of the theory.