Help for excessive blinking and other involuntary, repetitive eye movements.
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What are Eye Tics?
Eye tics are rapid, repeated and uncontrollable movements of the muscles and nerves surrounding the eye. Excessive blinking is a common example.
These excessive movements range from barely noticeable to severe spasms that interfere with vision. This can impact other areas of daily life, such as self-confidence.
Many people interchange the terms “eye tic” and “eye twitching.” But, there are important distinctions between the two.
People are able to suppress a tic for a while. Suppressing can make a person physically uncomfortable, like trying to hold in a sneeze. They relieve the discomfort by performing the tic.
Most muscle twitches are not repeated actions. An eyelid twitch cannot be suppressed or controlled.
These unwanted movements are most common in children. About 20% of children experience them, especially when stressed. Boys are 3-4 times more likely to have them than girls. The condition may run in families.
Experts aren’t sure exactly what causes the muscle spasms, but stress and fatigue seem to make them worse.
What Causes Eye Tics?
Your doctor may not be able to give you a specific cause for your eyelid spasms. The most common cause of all types of facial spasms is a nervous system disorder such as Tourette syndrome.
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
Diagnosing Eye Tics
Doctors diagnose eye spasms based on a patient report along with a physical examination. They evaluate the duration and severity, and make a recommendation for relief.
Help for Eye Tics
Most unwanted muscle spasms aren’t severe and resolve on their own. In many cases, patients need no treatment. If symptoms they become troubling enough, they can interfere with daily life. If your quality of life starts to decrease, your doctor may suggest behavioral therapy, medication or both to ease your symptoms.
Medication such as Risperidone may help, but can cause unwanted side effects. Many people seek out a more natural solution.
Natural medicines can help relieve symptoms in kids and adults. Tic Tamer™ for Muscle Spasms & Jerking, Epi-Still-S™ for Overactive Nervous System and PureCalm™ for Naturally Soothed Nerves are all safe, natural remedies without side effects.
Tips for managing eye tics:
- Relax. Practice relaxation techniques and keep anxiety levels low. Try deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to help you relax.
- Exercise. Make exercise a can’t-miss part of your daily routine. 30 minutes of moderate exercise can reduce stress and anxiety. Sports and outdoor games are a great way to get active and reduce stress levels.
- Magnesium. Make sure you’re eating enough magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods include green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, as well as green beans, peas, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine, found in sodas, coffee, tea and chocolate can make tics worse.
- Get enough sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough good quality sleep.
- Seek professional help. Psychotherapy or counseling can help you learn to manage underlying causes such as stress and anxiety.
- Parker, H. “Tic Disorders and Twitches.” WebMD. Accessed September 8, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/brain/tic-disorders-and_twitches
- “Kids and Tics: What’s ‘Normal’ and When to See a Specialist.” Children’s MD. Accessed September 8, 2021. https://childrensmd.org/uncategorized/kids-tics-whats-normal-see-specialist/
- “Tics.” TeensHealth. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/tics.html