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The sudden twitching of your eyes can mean a number of things. A lot of us, however, like to put it down as superstition. We come up with the most inane of reasons behind this recurring action of our eyes.
We are clueless as to what causes eye-twitching, but your good doctor does have a name for this, it is called blepharospasm. When it happens, your eyelid starts behaving abnormally. It is usually the upper one which starts blinking away to glory, and try as you might, you simply cannot make it stop.
Well, even if you would like to put it down as one of those things, we would like to delve a little deeper and find out why the lid inexplicably moves every few seconds for a minute or two.
What Triggers Eye Twitching
Before your eye twitching drives you insane and your friends call you nuts, find out why they behave the way they do. Most of the time your eye- twitching is harmless, and can be caused because of the following reasons
- Dry Eyes
- Nutritional imbalances
It is very rare, but eyelid spasms can point at a more serious brain or nerve disorder. For that, you need to get your eyes checked if the twitching continues for a while without stopping.
What is Eye Twitching?
An eyelid twitch, or blepharospasm as it is known as, is a continuous, involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles. More often than not, a twitch can occur in the upper lid, but it can also occur in both the upper and lower lids.
For most people, these spasms are manageable and all they really feel like is a gentle tug on the eyelid. For some others, it is more of an ordeal, as the spasm is strong enough to make you shut your eye immediately. However, some people hardly notice any pronounced changes.
Spasms usually occur every few seconds and can stretch for a minute or two. Instances of eyelid twitching usually cannot be predicted. The twitch may continue to bother you for several days, and then you may not experience episodes of twitching for several weeks or even months together.
Why does your eye twitch?
The twitches are usually painless and harmless, but you might feel bothered about their repeated occurrences. Though most spasms get resolved on their own without the need of intervention from your doctor, in rare cases, eyelid spasms may prove to have an underlying cause like a chronic movement disorder, especially when the spasms are assisted by other facial spasms or uncontrollable movements.
- Caffeine- If you are loading up on too much caffeine you can trigger eye twitching. If you want to keep a check on your eye-twitching, cut back on your coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drink intake for a week or two at least and see if your eye twitching disappears.
- Stress- Stress is our companion and our bodies tend to react in different ways to stress. A twitching eye can be symptomatic of stress, especially when the underlying reason is a vision problem, like eye strain.
Yoga is a great way to bust stress. Try breathing exercises, spending quality time with friends or pets and manage your schedule better, to deal with stress. Once you have conquered stress with aplomb, your twitching problem also is brought under control.
- Tiredness- You might feel a sudden attack of eye twitching after a particular night when you skimped on quality shut-eye. Lack of sleep can be put down to various reasons such as stress or any emotional problems. All these reasons can lead to either right eye twitching or left eye twitching, but then if you slowly reduce your sleep debt, you might be able to stall eye twitching completely.
- Dry eyes- The dry eyes syndrome is experienced by many adults, especially after the age of 50. This ails people who spend too much time sitting before computers, or under certain medications like antihistamines, antidepressants and so on. Also, they may wear contact lenses, which increase their risk of eye twitching.
If you have an eye twitching disorder and your eyes feel particularly dry or gritty, consult your doctor for a quick evaluation. Sometimes a simple solution for restoring moisture to the surface of your eye may stall the spasm and stop your eye from twitching in the future.
- Alcohol- Again, if you drink too much alcohol, it might cause you eye-strain, so try to stay away from alcohol for some time to get rid of eye-twitching.
- Nutritional imbalances- Eye-twitching might also result from certain nutritional deficiencies such as magnesium. Though the truth of the matter has not been proven yet, some medical practitioners are of the opinion that a magnesium deficiency can cause eye twitching.
Talk to your doctor about whether you need supplementation and whether it can fix your disorder.
- Allergies- Some people with eye allergies can experience itching, swelling, and also watery eyes. When you rub your eyes vigorously, this releases a substance called histamine into the lid tissues and the tears. Histamine leads to eye twitching.
Antihistamine eye drops is one way of combating the issue. Some doctors also recommend tablets to take care of the issue. But overuse of such drops might lead to dry eyes, so you can make use of such eye drops but only with a lot of caution and after consulting your eye doctor.
- Eye strain- You might suffer from vision-related problems and you may not know it. A change in your prescription glasses can lead to eye-twitching. Make an appointment with your eye doctor, if you think you need a change of power.
Also, too much time spent on computers, tablets, and smartphones can lead to eye twitching as well. Following the “20-20-20 rule” is a great way to combat eyestrain while using digital devices.
This rule says that for every 20 minutes spent on a computer, take your eyes away from your screen and focus on a distant object at least 20 feet away, for 20 seconds or longer. By following this method, eye muscle fatigue is greatly reduced, which leads to eye-twitching.
You can also wear special computer glasses to take care of your eyes.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Eye-Twitching
If you find your eye twitching a little too annoying, there are some wonderful home remedies for quick relief. Over the counter medicines may help, but home remedies come with zero side effects, so they’re better choices.
1. Banana– One of the main reasons that you get eye-twitching is because of a lack of potassium and magnesium; and since bananas are chock full of these two minerals, they help combat eye-twitching. Make bananas a part of your daily diet to reap its benefits.
2. Warm Compress- A quick and easy remedy is to apply a warm compress on your eyelids, they are apt for those sudden twitching movements of the eye.
Take a towel or a large handkerchief and dip it in hot water. Squeeze the excess water and put it on your eye, until the handkerchief turns cold. You can repeat the process several times a day.
3. Warm water splashes- Another very effective technique is to splash warm water on your eyes to get relief from the disorder. Alternatively, you can wipe your eyelashes with warm water.
4. Rose water- Rose water is a very effective cleanser to get rid of eye-twitching. Keep the rose water in the refrigerator. Use a cotton wool to dip into cold rose water and compress your tired eyes with it. Since one of the reasons you get eye-twitching is because of tiredness, this remedy will surely give you immense relief.
5. Cucumber- Do you place cucumber slices on your eyes when you apply a face pack? Why do you do so? It is simply because cucumber soothes down nerve movement with great aplomb. It has anti-inflammatory properties which aid in the relaxation of nerve muscles. Place slices of chilled cucumber on both of your eyes or the affected eye, and keep it till the cucumber is no longer chilled.
6. Potato- Potato has a similar cooling effect like cucumbers. It relaxes the muscles of the eyes, and thus provides ample relief. Take a potato, cut it into small thin slices, and put these potato slices on your eyes.
7. Supplement with magnesium- Load up on magnesium rich foods like avocados, beans, seeds, nuts, and leafy greens to keep eye-twitching at bay. Magnesium also helps in maintaining normal muscle and nerve function.
8. Steaming method- Steam is another effective way of treating eye twitching. It helps remove dirt right from the skin pores. It also helps to ease the nerve movement. All you need to do is boil a large quantity of water, and put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in it. Bring your face closer to the container and take in the steam. You can cover yourself with a large towel to stop the heat from escaping.
9. Employ the massage technique- Massage the area around your eyes with the help of your index finger. Massaging helps strengthen the eye muscles and increase the blood circulation. You need to repeat the process several times to get relief from a twitchy eye.
Exercises to Stop Eye Twitching
These exercises are very easy to do, and can stop your eye twitching in a jiffy. When everything else fails, these remedies work really well!
1. Try hard blinking
Doing this exercise in quick succession spreads the tear film evenly. This gives quick relief by resting the lid, hydrating the eye, and giving an ample stretch to the eye and facial muscles, which increase the eye circulation.
Shut your eyes tightly, as hard as you can, then open them up wide. Continue to do this until your eyes start to water. Give it a break if you feel uncomfortable or if the twitching, instead of stopping, gets worse.
2. Droopy lid technique
This remedy is very effective in keeping the muscles strong and hydrated so that you can put an immediate stop to eye-twitching.
Close your eyelids halfway down to give instant relief to your eye disorder. Continue to do this for at least 30 seconds.
3. Eye squeezing technique
This exercise is a very effective way of lubricating your eyes by increasing the tear production. This exercise not only helps with eye-twitching, but can also be employed to keep eye muscles strong.
Exercise the eyes with eye squeezing. Drop your lids and keep your eyes closed for one full minute. Whilst doing this squeeze, shut your eyes really tightly, then release without fully opening them. Perform three repetitions of this exercise before finally opening your eyes.
4. Do breathing exercises
Practicing breathing exercises can help you eliminate stress from your life. Just ten minutes of simple breathing techniques can make you feel refreshed and will stop eye lid twitching with ease.
Breathe in and breathe out, just take more time to breathe out, and do it gently and mindfully. Do this as soon as you wake up or when you are just about to hit the sack.
Follow the Do’s to Get Rid of Eye Twitching
Following these guidelines will help you keep a check on your eye twitching, these are simple to follow, and soon your eye problem will be a thing of the past.
- Take ample amount of rest.
- Splash your eyes with cold water from time to time.
- Look away from computers and gadgets from time to time.
- Practice the palming technique to ease off the stress from your eyes, just rub your hands together and place them on your eyes.
- Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses per day.
Follow the above tips and tricks and you will soon get rid of your eye –twitching problem with ease. Just remember that if despite all the remedies you are still not able to control your eye problem, just seek the help of your eye doctor.