Maybe it starts small — just a whisper of movement in your peripheral vision. But pretty soon you realize that your eyelid is jumping like Zach LaVine in the NBA dunk contest.
Now you can’t concentrate on work. And you’re convinced your co-workers are staring at your twitch. Which makes your eyelid jump even more.
What can you do to make it stop? Take a deep breath — relaxation can help.
Now, keep reading to learn more about eye twitches, including five ways to help your eyes calm down and stop twitching.
What causes our eyes to twitch?
Our eyelids contain sensitive muscle fibers that allow our eyes to open and shut. When these muscles fire involuntarily, the result is myokymia — the technical name for a twitching eye.
Myokymia tends to happen more often on the lower eyelid than the upper lid, and you’ll usually experience just one eye twitching at a time.
Are twitching eyes normal?
While annoying, eye twitches are more common now than ever because of our digitally driven lifestyle. A mild twitch is usually nothing to worry about. Most instances clear up on their own in two to three days.
Are twitching eyes a sign of something serious?
If you find that your eyes are constantly twitching, if the spasms don’t go away on their own after a few days, or if your entire eye spasms shut, you might want to see a doctor.
Longer-lasting twitches may be a sign of a movement disorder like a hemifacial spasm or blepharospasm. It’s extremely rare, but an eye twitch also could indicate a neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
How do I get my eyes to stop twitching?
Fortunately, the solution to most eye twitches can be pretty simple. The spasms often come on because of predictable changes in lifestyle or routine.
Here are five ways to combat them:
- Rest your eyes — and your body. Fatigue can cause our bodies to go haywire, including the sensitive muscles in our eyelids. Take frequent breaks from your computer or mobile device (the 20-20-20 rule is a handy technique to try). And aim to get a full night’s sleep or add a power nap to your daily routine.
- Relax. Stress may be unavoidable. But being tightly wound mentally contributes to physical muscle tightness. Try to reduce tension by making time in your schedule for mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga, or chill out with friends and family.
- Check your beverage intake. Alcohol and caffeine are known causes of twitchy eyes. If you’ve been consuming more than usual, try scaling back and see if it affects your eyelid spasms.
- Moisturize dry eyes. Twitches are more common among people with dry eyes. Counteract dryness with eye drops (your eye doctor can recommend a brand that works well with contacts) or use a warm compress to lubricate your eyes and relax twitching muscles.
- Ask about a prescription: If your eye twitch is caused by allergies or a health condition like blepharospasm, talk to your doctor about medications that might help. Some people respond well to antihistamines or muscle relaxants. And in cases of serious eyelid spasms, Botox injections might be an option to keep the muscle from contracting.
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