Optometrist in Glenn Dale, MD
What Is An Eye Twitch?
Myokymia, more commonly known as an eye twitch, occurs when the eyelid muscles spasm uncontrollably. Eye twitches can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the underlying cause.
Although eye twitches are generally nothing to worry about, persistent eyelid spasms can be a symptom of an underlying illness.
Common Causes of Eye Twitching
Any of the following reasons could be causing your eye to twitch:
Stress. This is the most common cause. Any type of mental or physical stress leads to the release of cortisol, a hormone in the body that acts as a stimulant.
Fatigue. If you aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep every night, your eye twitch may be a sign that your body is craving a few more hours of shut eye.
Allergies. Itchy, watery, sore eyes caused by allergies can make your eye twitch.
Dry eyes. Dry, irritated, sore eyes are sometimes prone to eye twitches.
Eye strain. Eye muscle fatigue from prolonged reading, driving or use of a digital device can lead to dry eyes, blurry or double vision, headaches and, oftentimes, an eye twitch.
Caffeine. While many of us rely on caffeine to help us get through the day, too much caffeine can over-stimulate your eye muscles and cause an eye twitch.
Alcohol. Similar to caffeine, consuming too much alcohol can have stimulating effects on your eye muscles and cause an eye twitch.
Nutrient deficiencies. According to research, a deficiency in electrolytes, magnesium, vitamin B12, or vitamin D can cause an eye twitch.
Blepharospasm. This rare condition is caused by a neurological problem that results in uncontrollable facial and eyelid spasms or twitches.These spasms generally worsen over time, and may also result in increased blink rate and intensity.
Neurological disease. In rare instances, an eye twitch can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease or Bell’s Palsy.
What Can You Do To Relieve Your Eye Twitch?
- Speak with your eye doctor about stress-relieving eyeglasses or dry eye treatments. Botox injections,or oral medication may be needed to treat blepharospasms.
- Practice stress-relieving activities such as yoga and deep breathing exercises, or simply spend more time relaxing with friends.
- Use eye drops to help relieve dry eyes and allergies.
- Limit screen time, take frequent breaks from the screen and consider wearing computer glasses to reduce eye strain.
- Reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption for a few weeks to determine if these stimulants are causing your eye to twitch.
- Speak with your physician about taking nutritional supplements and ruling out a neurological disorder, if other symptoms are present.
An eye twitch is generally not a cause for concern, but if it persists for longer than a few days or you notice any changes to your vision, contact Dr. Saya Nagori at Vision MD Eye Doctors today to schedule an eye exam.
- A: Unfortunately, no. Most eye diseases will not affect your vision until they are quite advanced. The only way to determine if your eyes are really healthy is to have them examined.
Q: I regularly use over the counter eye drops when my eyes feel irritated. Is this good for my eyes?
- A: No, it's not helping your eyes or vision. If you feel that you need eye drops, there must be something medically wrong with your eyes. You should schedule a consultation so we can have your eyes checked to understand the cause of the discomfort in your eyes and recommend a suitable course of treatment for your condition which may or may not include eye drops.
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