Eye Twitching

Information on involuntary, twitches in the upper and lower eyelids.

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  1. What is Eye Twitching?
  2. What Causes Eye Twitching?
  3. More Information on Eye Twitching

What is Eye Twitching?Image of a man's eyes

Developing an eye twitch out of the blue can be perplexing, not to mention very annoying. In most cases, however, eye twitching is a harmless condition that goes a way with time. Small twitches or fasciculations of the upper or lower eyelid need to be distinguished from eye tics, as they only involve a few muscle fiber bundles as apposed to tics which involve whole muscles.

These fasciculations may feel very noticeable, but in most cases they can barely be seen. More serious eye twitching is usually classified as eye tics and in some cases these can become so severe that it affects visual functioning and may disrupt other aspects of daily life.

The severity and duration of eye twitches often depends on the underlying cause.

What Causes Eye Twitching?

Certain conditions such as Tourette’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, hemifacial spasms or essential Blepharospasm can cause severe and chronic eye tics and twitches which may become extremely disruptive. Other more common causes of eye twitching include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Irritation of the cornea
  • Eye strain (often caused by too many hours staring at a computer screen, or television)
  • Genetics
  • Side-effects or withdrawals of certain medications
  • Magnesium deficiency

More Information on Eye Twitching

How to help manage eye tics
  • Cut down on your caffeine by drinking less tea and coffee. Opt for fruit juice and plenty of water instead.
  • Lean to relax and de-stress. Try deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to help you relax after a long day. Yoga and Pilates are also great.
  • Make exercise an essential part of your daily routine. 30min of moderate exercise can go a long way in reducing stress and encouraging healthy sleep.
  • Try soothing a twitching eye with a cold or warm compress.
  • 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.
  • Wash your eye out with some warm water.
  • If eye twitching persists, or becomes severe then it is always s good idea to get a professional opinion from your health care provider.
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