Eye Twitching: Common Causes and How to Treat It

Ophthalmology concept. Male patient under eye vision examination in eyesight ophthalmological correction clinic.

Have you ever been reading a book or watching television and suddenly your eye twitches? It’s a strange sensation – not painful but certainly uncomfortable. 

Occasional eye twitching is normal. But if you experience it frequently or for long periods of time without relief, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Take control of your eye health – they’re the only two eyes you have!

Read below to learn about the causes and treatment of eye twitching. 

Eye Twitching

An eye twitch, or eyelid twitch, is an involuntary muscle spasm in the eyelid. Believe it or not, even your eyelid has muscles! It can happen to the lower or upper eyelid.

The lid feels like it’s being moved or closed without your control. Like other muscle spasms, eyelid twitching can happen just once or a few times over the course of minutes or hours. It could also happen on and off over the course of a few days.

Usually, the symptoms go away without any medical treatment. If your eye twitching does not subside on its own, consider contacting your doctor or an eye specialist to talk about your concerns.

What Causes Eye Twitching?

So, what causes eye twitching? Well, sometimes eye twitching happens for no reason at all. But there are a few situations that can cause eye twitching or make it worse. Keep reading to find out the most common culprits of eye twitching.

Fatigue or Stress

Whether you’re up late finishing a project or binge-watching your favourite shows, you might notice that your eye twitching is worse at night. This is your body’s way of telling you that you’re fatigued. Getting plenty of sleep will prevent this from happening.

Similarly, stress can cause eye twitching. Everyone experiences stress, but if you don’t handle stress in a healthy way it can cause eye twitching to start or become worse. 

Caffeine or Alcohol

Certain beverages with caffeine or alcohol can cause eye twitching. If you find yourself wondering, why is my eye twitching, while you’re drinking your fifth cup of coffee, you probably have your answer. Limit your caffeine consumption for a few days or a week and see whether the eye twitching stops.

Alcoholic beverages can also cause eye twitching. And while we don’t know exactly what ingredient in alcohol causes it, it’s best to take a few days off from drinking while the eye twitching subsides.

Eye Strain

When your eyes are working too hard they can become strained and might start to twitch. Examples of eye strain include staring at a 100-page document for hours or reading news on your phone before bed.

Digital eye strain is becoming an even bigger problem in our modern age. We spend hours at work looking at a computer screen and then we come home to relax by watching television or playing on our smartphones which are just two more screens. The uninterrupted screentime is a major culprit of digital eye strain and eye twitching.

It’s best to limit your screen time especially close to when you’re going to bed. If you can’t avoid the screen time, take frequent breaks to let your eyes rest and look at something further away than the screen. 

If digital eye strain is a problem for you, consider getting computer glasses or adjusting your current lenses to filter blue light.

Dry Eyes

If you have dry eyes you might be prone to eye twitching episodes. Certain medications can make dry eyes worse and therefore make eye twitching worse too.

Talk to a medical professional about using eye drops to reduce symptoms of dry eyes. 

Other Causes of Eye Twitching

Sometimes eye twitching is a symptom of a serious medical condition, usually affecting the brain or nerves. However, in these cases, eye twitching is usually accompanied by other symptoms. For example, a person with Parkinson’s disease may have eye twitching but also have other involuntary muscle spasms.

If you are experiencing eye twitching but no other symptoms, it’s likely being caused by one of the reasons above. However, if your eye twitching happens with other muscle twitching or facial changes, contact a medical professional.

Eye Twitching Treatment

You may be able to treat eye twitching by making lifestyle changes, like sleeping more and spending less time looking at screens. Proper nutrition and hydration will also protect your eye health. Most of the time eye twitching symptoms will go away on their own.

If you are having an eye twitching episode you can try a warm compress over your eyes to relieve symptoms. If your eye twitching comes and goes, write down when the spasms occur along with what you were doing at the time. Tracking your eye twitching episodes will make it easier to find the right eye twitching treatment for you. 

When to Call the Doctor

You should have regular visits to the optician for eye exams. If you have had eye twitching for over 48 hours, you should call the optician for suggestions or to make an appointment.

If you notice swelling or discharge from your eye, contact a medical professional. Similarly, if you notice drooping around the eye or any other part of your face, contact a doctor. These could be signs of serious nervous system disorders.

If you have questions about your eye health or how to prevent eye twitching, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a local optician.

Resolve Eye Twitching Today 

Eye twitching is normal. But there are changes you can make to your lifestyle to prevent twitching or stop it from lasting longer. Try to manage the stress in your life and get a good night’s sleep – it will do wonders for your eye health.

Taking care of your eyes should be a top priority. Don’t ignore symptoms of eye twitching or anything else out of the ordinary.

If you’d like to book an eye exam, contact us online or over the phone. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your eye health.