1. What is Eye Twitching?
Eye Twitching has several names. It is also known as Blepharospasm and has a medical term Myokymia. Eye Twitching is the involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids and can last anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes. But on rare occasions, eye twitching can be present for long periods of time. Eye Twitching can sometimes occur on the lower eye for some people, others may experience it on their upper eyelid.
2. What causes Eye Twitching?
In most cases, Eye Twitching is not a serious problem and can come and go occurring for a few seconds to minutes and can last for a few days. Though annoying, it is usually harmless.
If you experience Eye Twitching from time to time, it is most likely caused by:
- Lack of sleep
- Excessive caffeine
- Irritation of the eye (outer and/or inner surface)
If you experience mild Eye Twitching chronically, it is most likely caused by:
- Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelash area that causes eyelid irritation
- Bacterial or Viral Conjunctivitis, also known as Pink Eye
- Dry Eye
- Light Sensitivity
Rarely, chronic Eye Twitching can be caused by a brain or nerve disorder. But it is usually also associated with other signs and symptoms of these disorders. If you are experiencing Eye Twitching only, don't fret. It is most likely a harmless cause or an easy to treat cause.
Brain or nerve disorders that can cause chronic Eye Twitching are:
- Parkinson's Disease
- Bells Palsy
- Tourette's Syndrome
- Dystonia and Cervical Dystonia
- Side effects of certain drugs that treat psychosis and epilepsy
3. What can I do or take to make my Eye Twitching stop?
A mild eye twitch will usually go away on it's own. If you are experiencing higher amounts of stress, you may try some stress relieving exercises like meditation or yoga. If your eye twitch is induced from fatigue or lack of sleep, try going to bed an hour earlier every night or take a nap in the afternoon if your schedule permits. Simply cutting out caffeine, alcohol or nicotine can relieve eye twitching if those are it's causes.
More severe eye twitching can be treated with certain vitamins that can help with nerve cell production and growth and balance, such as Potassium, Calcium, Folic Acid and Vitamin B.
In rare and severe cases, Botox can be injected into the eye muscle to temporarily paralyze it's movement and thus treat the Eye Twitch. However, this is usually reserved as a last option treatment, after all other treatments have failed.
4. When should I see a doctor?
You should make an appointment to see your eye care provider if your Eye Twitching continues for more than 2 weeks. If your eye twitching is caused by surface irritation secondary to Pink Eye, Blepharitis or Dry Eye and it can easily be treated with the proper medication or eye drops.
Your eye care provider can also help determine if there are other more serious conditions causing your eye twitch.
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