Healthy Living

Eye Twitching: Symptoms and Solutions

Eye Twitching: Symptoms and Solutions

Key Takeaways

  • Eye twitching is usually painless and goes away on its own within a few minutes. 
  • Some of the most common causes of eye twitching include fatigue, stress, and caffeine. 
  • Certain medications such as antipsychotic and antiepileptic drugs have eye twitching as one of their side effects.

Eye twitching is the repetitive, involuntary blinking or spasm of the upper eyelid. Also known as blepharospasm, twitching affects the muscles of both eyes. 

Some of the most common causes of eye twitching include fatigue, stress, and caffeine. Twitching is usually painless and goes away on its own within a few minutes. Although very harmless, it may recur for a few months. In some very rare cases, eye twitching is seen as a chronic condition. It can result in winking and squinting. If the condition continues, it can even result in vision impairment.

Eye twitching is a problem, which most individuals face. It inhibits people from doing activities, especially when eyes are involved. In this problem, our eyes get aligned in a way that we find it difficult to perform certain tasks, which creates a problem.

Eye twitching may be a sign of the following eye conditions:

  • Inflammation of the eyelids - Whenever we do a particular task in front of the computer or any device that requires our eyes to be strained, our eyes also become inflamed. Inflammation of the eyelids can also be due to an excessive exposure to sunlight. 
  • Dry eyesOur eyes start to become dry when our eye openings become pale and we find it difficult to blink often. This condition is attributed to sun exposure or any bright light that causes dryness in the eyelids.
  • Light sensitivity - Sometimes, light sensitivity is also seen as a symptom of the problem. When a person finds it difficult to focus on the words when the light comes into his or her eyes, it might be the symptom of this problem. Light sensitivity can also be due to sunlight.
  • Pink eye - Some people have eyes with a different color from the usual ones. Pink eye can be a symptom of eye twitching. It happens when major components of the eyes become weak, which show a pink color in one's eyes.

Eye twitching may also be a sign of certain brain disorders such as:

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Dystonia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome

Certain medications such as antipsychotic and antiepileptic drugs have eye twitching as one of their side effects.

Three Types of Eye Twitching

1) Minor twitch - is often caused by lifestyle conditions such as fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, use of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine. It may also be the result of corneal or conjunctival irritation. In some cases, the causes of minor eye twitching cannot be identified.

Minor twitching is also a result of an unhealthy lifestyle that people might be following. Working in front of the computer for a long time, not having adequate sleep, and an excessive intake of alcohol in a day can be reasons for a minor twitch.

2) Benign essential blepharospasm - starts in mid to late adulthood and gradually worsens. This condition is seen more commonly in women than in men. It may be caused by fatigue, stress, and irritants such as bright light, the wind, or air pollution. The initial symptoms of blepharospasm include excessive blinking or eye irritation. Blepharospasm may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

3) Hemifacial spasm - involves the muscles of the eye and those around the mouth. Unlike other forms of twitching, it affects only one side of the face. In most cases, the condition is caused by the pressing of facial muscles on the nerves.

Consult your doctor if:

  • The twitching persists for more than a week
  • The twitching closes the eyelid
  • There are spasms that involve other facial muscles
  • There is redness, swelling, or discharge from the eyes
  • There is a drooping eyelid

In most cases, twitching disappears on its own without any treatment. Have enough rest and reduce the intake of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Dry eyes that cause twitching may be treated with over-the-counter artificial tears. Essential blepharospasm does not have a complete cure, but its severity can be reduced by other treatment options.

Botulinum toxin is the most common treatment option for essential blepharospasm. It is used for hemifacial spasm as well. The drug relieves the spasms for several months but the effect wears off within a few months and repeat injections become necessary.

Mild cases of benign essential blepharospasm may be treated with:

  • Clonazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Trihexyphenidyl

Biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, and nutrition therapy are also used in the treatment of the condition. Surgery is recommended when all other treatment options fail to provide any improvement. Myectomy is a surgical option in which some of the muscles and nerves of the eyelids are removed.

In the case of hemifacial spasm, a neurosurgical procedure is recommended to relieve the pressure of the artery on the facial nerve and to alleviate the symptoms. Although the procedure may provide some relief, it may also lead to serious complications. The side effects of the procedure may also become permanent.

Home Remedies for Eye Twitching

Eye twitching is a problem caused by improper lifestyle habits and not caring for one's eyes. There are several remedies that can remove the problem of eye twitching. Most of them are basically home remedies, which include:

1) Warm compress

One of the remedies that can get rid of eye twitching is a warm compress. Our eyes are a very sensitive organ, which needs to be taken care of properly. Our eyes get dry because of exposure to brightness and other situations.

You can do this remedy by gently applying a warm compress to your eyes. The warm compression to the eyeballs can provide relief to the eyes. A warm compress is done using a piece of cloth or any material that can provide warmth to our eyes.

2) Bananas

Bananas can be quite beneficial for our eyes. Our eyes get strained and can create a problem when we are reading. Our eyes can also start to twitch after an exposure to bright light. Bananas can be useful since they have various components and nutrients, which can make our eyes healthy.

Bananas contain vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, which adds up to the fruit's effectiveness to the eyes. They help in increasing the strength of the cornea and other important parts of our eyes as well as significantly reducing the risk of eye twitching.

3) Rose water

This is also one of the most beneficial home remedies that can reduce the risk of eye twitching. Eye twitching creates a problem in the opening of the eye. Rose water can work as a miracle to improve one's condition in a quick and efficient manner. Rose water contains rose essence, which is quite useful for the eyes. Rose water increases the content of eye water and can reduce the risk of eye dryness. Moreover, it has several properties that are found useful for the eye twitching problem.

4) Steam

Another home remedy for eye twitching is steam. Applying steam for a period of time can do wonders for our eyes. Steam provides the necessary fluids to our eyes, which make our eyes strong and decreases the risk of eye dryness. Steam also provides a gentle warmth to our eyes, which itself has a lot of benefits. There are many benefits of steaming and it can reduce the risk of many eye problems. It can also remove dust from the eyes and make one's vision clearer and better. 

5) Cucumber

Cucumber can also be used to relieve eye twitching. Eye twitching can very harmful to the eyes as it can provide a gateway to dust and chemicals as we rub our eyes to remove them. Cucumber can provide the necessary fluids to our eyes to reduce the risk of eye dryness.

It also maintains the proper coherence of one's vision by providing certain vitamins and minerals. Cucumber is also used as part of a beauty regimen as it removes dirt and unnecessary substances in our eyes. The application of cucumber on the eyes provides minerals and proteins. These proteins can help us achieve a better vision.

6) Eye massage

Eye massage can be very useful to eye twitching problems. Eye massage provides the necessary warmth to the eyes and can help in gaining focus. Better vision and an improved eye reliability are necessary when you have eye twitching. An eye twitching problem makes our eyes blink in a different manner and with the eye massage, such problem can be reduced to an extent. Eye massage is done in various ways to get rid the problem.