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What are Eye Tics?
Eye tics are rapid, repeated and involuntary movements of various muscles surrounding the eye. These excessive motor movements may vary from mild and barely noticeable, to more severe cases where they may actually begin to interfere with normal visual functioning, and may affect other areas of life such as self-confidence.
Eye tics must be differentiated from eye twitches which are often less noticeable and generally affect only a small bundle of muscle fibers, as opposed to the whole muscle which is characteristic of an eye tic.
What Causes Eye Tics?
Eye tics are an involuntary and unwelcomed muscular action that can become very frustrating. Many people can suppress the tics for a short while; however this can be difficult and it usually does not last long. The severity and duration of the tics often depends on the cause, and in some cases eye tics will come and go, or disappear all together without apparent reason.
The most common cause of eye tics can be attributed to a tic disorder such as Tourette’s syndrome; however other causes may include the following:
- Stress or anxiety
- Extreme fatigue
- Side-effects from some medications such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall
- Withdrawals from medications such as benzodiazepine
- Infections of the brain such as encephalitis
- Neurological conditions
- Magnesium deficiency
More Information on Eye Tics
Tips managing eye tics
- Lean to relax and keep anxiety levels low. Try deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to help you relax in stressful situations. Children also benefit from learning constructive ways of dealing with their anxiety.
- Make exercise an essential part of your daily routine. 30min of moderate exercise can go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety and can therefore help reduce eye tics.
- Make sure you are eating enough magnesium. Magnesium rich foods include green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, as well as beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
- Ensure that you are getting enough good quality sleep and try to stick to a good sleep routine. If you suffer from insomnia, then take the necessary steps to resolve it, or help manage it.
- Psychotherapy or counseling is often useful as it helps you manage many of the underlying causes of the tics such as anxiety or stress, and it can also help you to cope with the emotional impact that tics often have.