Most people have experienced involuntary eye twitching at least once in their life – have you ever wondered why that may happen? Here are answers to some of the most common questions behind eye twitching, as well as solutions to speed up the recovery process.
What Causes Eye Twitching?
There are many potential causes behind an eye twitch—a result of your eyelid muscle contracting involuntarily. Did you know that stress, eyestrain and sleep deprivation can cause your eyes to twitch? Caffeine consumption can also lead to eye twitching. The most important thing is to rule out any major medical concerns with your eye doctor. If there are other abnormal symptoms alongside your eye twitching such as a facial twitch, droopy eyelid, or redness/swelling, be sure to let your doctor know.
When To Worry About Eye Twitching?
In general, an eye twitch should resolve on its own within a few days. If you notice that the eye twitching remains over a longer period of time, or occurs in conjunction with other symptoms similar to what is listed above, you should contact a professional. In addition, if you are unable to control your eyelids in other ways (ie: blinking/closing your eyes properly), take note of it and tell your doctor.
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How To Stop Eye Twitching
Eye twitching is relatively common, and only rarely requires any medical treatment.
If you want to help speed up the recovery process, or prevent eye twitches in the first place, there are a number of things you can do. For stress or caffeine-induced eye twitching, some simple lifestyle changes may be helpful in reducing your symptoms. Make sure you get a proper 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and limit your caffeine intake.
Eye strain can also lead to twitching and is very common now that many of us spend our days in front of tablets and computers. Practice healthy digital screen habits such as the 20-20-20 rule, where for every 20 minutes of screen time you look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Increased exposure to blue light can also lead to eye strain, so you may want to look into a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Zenni Blokz offers tons of stylish (and affordable!) options.
For a more fast acting approach, you can try applying a warm compress to help relax your eyelid muscles. Next, make sure that you are getting your annual eye exam and updated prescription to ensure that your eyes are getting the proper vision correction they need.
Eye twitching, although usually a problem that resolves quickly by itself, can still be a nuisance to deal with. Prevention can be done by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, eye exercises and regular health checks. Finally, remember to speak to your local eye care professional if you notice anything abnormal – after all, they are here to help!
Tanya Nguyen earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at UCLA. During her gap years, she worked in a private practice optometry office, where she was inspired to pursue a career in eye care. She is currently studying at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry.