Why is my eye twitching?

Why is my eye twitching?We’ve all experienced the uncomfortable, incessant twitching of the eye. Whether you were finally getting to the last chapter of the book you’ve been eager to finish or you’re only a quarter of the way through a work day after a sleepless night, your eye suddenly begins to twitch. An eye twitch can be annoying and uncomfortable, but in most cases is not harmful to your vision or health. In fact, there are a few things that may cause those annoying eye twitches to occur.

What causes my eye to twitch? 

The most common causes of eye twitching are:
  • Lack of sleep and stress.
  • Too much caffeine, alcohol or nicotine.
  • Dry eye caused by autoimmune diseases, aging, or medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and nasal decongestants.
  • Glaucoma, blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids), uveitis (another type of eye inflammation), or a corneal abrasion. 
Most twitches are minor and go away without treatment. A lingering eye twitch could actually lead to more anxiety, which prevents it from going away. If you experience double vision, a pupil that becomes irregular-looking or facial contractions outside of the eyelid, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

How do I prevent eye twitches? 

  • Make sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Try relaxation and meditation techniques if you suspect that the twitching may be coming from stress and a lack of sleep.
  • If you have been overindulging in caffeine or alcohol, cutting back your intake may help.
  • Try over-the-counter eye drops if you have or experience dry eye symptoms.
  • If you spend a large amount of time on a computer screen or reading a smartphone, try using the "20-20-20 rule," which includes giving eyes a rest every 20 minutes by looking at an object roughly 20 feet ahead of your field of vision for 20 seconds.  
While most eye twitches are harmless, those accompanied by other symptoms may be harmful. If your eye twitch is frequent or you suspect it may be related to dry eye syndrome, contact The Eye Institute. Our team of expert optometrists can assess your current visual issues through a comprehensive eye exam and provide a personalized treatment plan for any underlying conditions.