Eye Twitching: What Does it Mean and How to Stop it

Eye Twitching - Causes and Natural Remedies
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If you’ve ever had an eye twitch, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Eye twitches are involuntary, repetitive spasms of the eyelid muscle. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or two. Most of the time, eye twitching is harmless and fairly common. Mostly, only the bottom lid of the eye is involved, but the top eyelid also can twitch.

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Although it may occur without any real cause, eye twitching is provoked or made worse by certain conditions. So what does it mean when your eye twitches? Let’s look in more details at the causes of eyelid spasms and what it can tell you about your health. I will also look at various ways to stop the annoying eyelid tics.

What Are Eyelid Twitches (Eyelid Spasms)?

Eyelid twitches are also called eyelid spasms, eyelid myokymia, or eyelid tics and they are quite common. In many cases only one of your eyes will be affected, so you may have left eye twitching or right eye twitching.

Usually only the lower eyelid of your right or left eye is involved, but sometimes the upper eyelid can also twitch. In most cases eyelid spasms come and go, but sometimes the twitch in your left eye or right eye can last for weeks or even months.

Eyelid twitches are caused by involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscle. Just as you may experience an involuntary muscle spasm in your knee, you can also experience it in the eyelid.

Sometimes you many suffer from a left or right eye twitch all day long and this may come and go for a very long time. But in most cases eyelid twitching is not something you should worry about. However, there are a few rare exceptions, and these are related to neurological conditions like:

  • Hemifacial spasm —an involuntary muscle twitches on one side of the face, typically caused by compression of nerve in the brain.
  • Blepharospasm —an involuntary increased twitching that progresses to spasms in both eyes. It can cause a functional blindness since the person can’t open his or her eyes long enough to function visually.

Both of these problems are rare, and involve spasms in more than just one eyelid.

Very rarely, eyelid spasms may be an early sign of other neurological disorders, including Bell’s palsy, dystonia (movement disorder), Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, but this is highly unlikely in most cases.

Sometimes eyelid twitching can be a sign of serious condition such as

  • Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
  • Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pinkeye

 If you notice other symptoms, like muscle spasms in your face, redness or swelling in the eye, a discharge from the eye, or if your eye completely closes when it twitches, see your eye doctor quickly.

Eye Twitching – Causes and Home Remedies

Let’s look at the more common causes and remedies of eyelid twitching and what it means when your eye twitches.

Stress

Every one reacts differently to stress. Eye twitching can be a sign of stress, especially when it occurs in conjunction with vision problems. While we’re all under stress at times, our bodies react in different ways, and a twitching eye can be one sign of stress. So don’t be surprised if the twitching in your left eye starts when you are under stress or your right eye twitches when you feel under pressure. Stress is also one of the most common causes of lip twitching.

To combat your stress, you can use a range of natural remedies. For example, meditation is a great way to help you relax, and is one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health.

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You can use the tips for meditating without even sitting down, or do yoga which is another great way to relieve stress and stop the annoying eyelid spasm.

You can also use these effective natural remedies to relieve stress and anxiety or these essential oils for anxiety and depression. This may not happen overnight but by de-stressing you will be able to cure the eyelid twitch.

Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation can affect your body in so many ways and I’ve already written about it in my article about the 23 dangers of sleep deprivation. If you’re not resting well at night, you may experience an eye twitch as a result of lack of sleep.

The best way to stop your left (or right) eyelid twitch is to get plenty of rest and sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep at night by turning off all electronics approximately two hours before you go to bed. Your last meal should be eaten two to three hours before bedtime. You may also want to consider going to bed an hour earlier to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

To improve your sleep you can consume these foods for better sleep, try these herbs for insomnia, or use these essential oils for better sleep. You can also try this breathing technique promoted by Dr. Andrew Weil, that will help you to quickly fall asleep.

Caffeine, Tobacco and Alcohol

Products that have a stimulating or depressant effect, such as caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, can cause your eye to twitch. If tobacco use is your vice, here are five scientifically proven ways to stop smoking that may also help you to get rid of the eyelid spasm.

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Caffeine drinkers may find that swapping out their second or third cup of coffee for the day with herbal tea or fruit infused water may provide just as much energy. Best of it, it will also keep you hydrated.

Fruit infused water is also a great replacement for alcoholic beverages. Put down the alcohol and reach for some water or herbal tea the next time you notice an eye twitch coming on.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are especially common in the older generation. They also occur in people who sit in front of a computer for long hours every day, people who wear contact lenses, caffeine and alcohol drinkers, and those who take certain medications. Insomnia and stress may also cause dry eyes.

For immediate relief of your dry eyes and to soothe a twitching eye, try applying a warm compress or warm tea bag over your eyes. You can make your own compress by soaking a washcloth in warm water and applying it over your closed eyes while lying down.

Eye Strain

If you work a desk job or just spend a large amount of time looking at a computer screen or electronic devices, you may experience eye strain that can result in eyelid spasm. This may only happen in your right eye or just in the left eye.

If you’re working, try taking a quick 5 minute break every hour or so to get away from your computer screen to reduce the eye strain and eliminate your eyelid spasm. Step outside if you can to get some fresh air and natural sunlight which will also help you to feel more relaxed.

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Eye strain may also be an indication of poor eye sight. In this instance, you may want to have your eyes checked to rule out poor vision as a cause for eye twitching or try these eye exercises.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Some nutritional deficiencies can cause an eye twitch.

Potassium. Potassium deficiency might be the reason why your eye is twitching. Potassium is an electrolyte that is effective in treating muscle spasms (such as eyelid spasms) and other disorders by supporting proper functioning of the tissues, cells and organs.  You can learn more about potassium deficiencies and which foods contain potassium in my article about potassium deficiency – causes, symptoms and what to do.

Magnesium helps regulate the nervous and circulatory system and a deficiency might causes a twitching on the right eye or twitching on the left eye. Magnesium prevents uncontrolled muscle spasms by steadying heart rhythm and stabilizing blood pressure as well as maintaining nerve impulses. Learn more about magnesium deficiency and foods containing magnesium in my article about the top signs that you have magnesium deficiency and what to do about it.

Calcium is also a nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining the nervous system, an important factor in treating spasms such as eyelid tics.

It should be mentioned that calcium alone is often not enough to cure your twitching. Without magnesium, calcium may be not fully utilized, as magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. Also vitamin K2 and vitamin D are very important for calcium absorption in the body, so as you can see, there is a synergy between different nutrients, and the combination of them gives the full health benefits. You can find more information about calcium in my articles about osteoporosis and discovering better sources of calcium than dairy products.

Allergies

Some people suffer from allergies due to environmental irritants which can cause itching, swelling and watery eyes. In these cases the eyes are usually rubbed and this can cause eyelid twitching. In this case try to identify the element that causes the eye irritation and eliminate it if you can or use these essential oils for allergy relief.

Eye Twitching – When to See a Doctor

If you think your eye twitching may be a sign of poor vision, you’ll need to see an optometrist that can put you through a series of tests.

You will also want to see an eye doctor when eye twitching becomes chronic or lasts for several months. When other symptoms accompany an eye twitch, you will want to get checked out by a doctor as this can be a sign of a brain or neurological disorder.

See a doctor if the following symptoms accompany your eye twitch:

  • Swelling or redness of the eye
  • An unusual discharge from the eye
  • A drooping eyelid
  • The eyelid completely shuts each time it twitches
  • The twitching affects other areas of your face

You may also develop a chronic eye twitch if you have an undiagnosed corneal abrasion. In this case there is a scratch or an injury on the eye’s cornea which is the clear, protective lens that is in front of the iris. You should see a doctor immediately if you think you may have injured your eye as corneal scratches can cause permanent eye damage.

Read my other related articles:
1. 10 Health Warnings Your Eyes May Be Sending
2. Foods and Herbs to Improve and Protect Your Eyesight
3. How to Improve Your Vision With Eye Exercises
4. 10 Reasons to Use Cucumber on Your Eyes

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One Response to Eye Twitching: What Does it Mean and How to Stop it

  1. Lack of sleep is for me one of the most important factors to keep an eye on. Did not know about vitamin k2 and D to help calcium absorbtion, thanks for all these useful tips!
    Cerelia

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