An eyelid twitch, or medically termed as myokymia, is a repetitive and involuntary movement of the eyelid muscles. A twitch mostly occurs in the upper lid, but it can happen with both the upper and lower lids as well. In most cases, these spasms are mild, while others might experience a severe or strong spasm, making natural eye movement difficult. This is a different health condition called blepharospasm. Spasms usually occur after every few seconds for atleast a minute. It is unpredictable and can happen anytime. The twitch might be recurring for several days. And there might be a time when you may not see any eye twitching for days or even weeks.
The eye twitches are painless but can make your day to day life uncomfortable. In most of the cases, spasms stop on their own without giving any treatment. With rare patients, eye twiches can be an early indication of a chronic movement disorder, especially if the spasms are occuring along with other facial uncontrollable movements. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Sanjay Dhawan, Senior Director & Head of Department, Ophthalmology, Max Panchsheel Park, about the causes, treatment and prevention of eye twiching.
Eye twich causes
Eye twiching may occur without any exact known cause. It does not show any serious problem, due to which the cause is mostly difficult to identify. According to Dr. Sanjay, here are the main causes of eye twiching:
Eye muscles can easily get affected by stress and anxiety, leading to eyelid twiching. If you take too much stress, it can get worse or even more triggered. The muscles and nerves around your eyes get stimulated which is a way of your body to respond to stress.
Dehydration can result in an imbalance of electrolytes such as magnesium, which can cause muscle spasms including eye twitch. It is important to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. This is one of the common causes of eyelid twiching.
3. Lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation can also be a cause behind eye spasms. Not taking enough sleep makes your body respond in different ways. Taking proper sleep makes your body as well as the eye muscles rest. If you sleep and rest, the eye twiching stops and stays temporarily.
4. Too much alcohol or caffeine
Taking too much alcohol and caffeine can lead to dry eyes and eyelid twiching. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to vitamin B deficiency, which can trigger eye twiching. It is important to take alcohol and caffeine in moderate quantities.
Eye twich treatment
Eye twitches usually do not require immediate medical treatment, but also should not be ignored. But, chronic eyelid spasms can be an early sign of a more serious brain or nervous system disorder. These eyelid spasms mostly go away without any treatment in a few days or weeks. So, here are some treatment options for eye twiching:
1. Warm compression
Gently massaging the eyelids using your fingers and applying warm compression can help in relieving eye twiching. It can help in slowing down the eyelid muscle contractions. Therefore, you can use warm compress as it helps in relaxing eye muscles.
2. Proper sleep
Taking adequate sleep is an effective treatment for temporary eye spasms. If you are sleep deprived, it can trigger your eye muscles. Therefore, the best treatment for such eyelid twiching episodes is filling that lack of sleep.
3. Reduce stress
Stress is one of the main causes behind eyelid twiching. If you get less anxious and reduce stress, the eye spasms will stop accordingly. You can try stress reducing techniques such as yoga and meditation.
4. Cut caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine is present in many beverages including coffee and alcohol, thus it should be avoided as much as possible. It can trigger eye twiching and make your condition even more worse. Cutting alcohol and caffeine from your daily diet can help in keeping your body and eye muscles in control.
Eye twich prevention tips
If your eye twiches are happening now and then, so you can keep a note of when they occur. If they do not go away on their own, then you can try to treat the possible causes. The most common causes of eye twitching are less sleep, stress, and caffeine. Therefore, here are some prevention tips that can help:
- Take a healthy diet
- Stay hydrated
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce stress
- Cut caffeine intake
These were the causes, treatment and prevention tips for eye twiching by Dr. Sanjay Dhawan. Eye twitches have several causes and the treatment depends upon the same. Mostly, eye twitches are caused by stress, lack of sleep, and many other lifestyle factors. If the root cause is an underlying medical condition, then treating the health problem is the best way to get rid of the twitching.
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