Eyelid twitching or eye twitching (also called blepharospasms) can be embarrassing, inconvenient, and downright annoying. It can also seem scary when you have never experienced it before. Eyelid twitching is an involuntary muscle contraction that can have many causes, including eyestrain, fatigue, dry eyes. excessive use of stimulants (such as coffee or medications), dehydration, or excessive alcohol use, but the main cause is stress. Regardless of the cause, don’t panic. You have several options available to stop eye and eyelid twitching.
EditStopping a Twitch
- Start with hard blinking. Shut your eyes as tight as you can. Then open them up as wide as possible. Continue this type of blinking until your eyes begin producing tears. Stop immediately if you experience pain or if the twitching becomes significantly worse.
- Doing this in quick succession spreads tear film evenly. This will cause relief by hydrating the eye, resting the lid, stretching the eye and facial muscles, and increasing eye circulation.
- Relax your eyes with an eye massage. Lightly massage your bottom eyelids in a circular motion using your middle fingers. Massage the lid of the twitching eye for approximately thirty seconds. To prevent irritation or infection, be sure your hands and face are clean first.
- This method has shown results with increasing circulation as well as stimulating and strengthening muscles.
- Blink for thirty seconds. Try to do this with adequate speed. You should also make the movements very light. Imagine that your eyelashes are butterfly wings. The process of blinking is extremely important to your eyes. It relaxes most of the eye muscles, as well as lubricating and cleansing the eyeballs, which can stop the twitching. Stop immediately if you experience pain or if the twitching becomes significantly worse.
- Close your eyelids halfway down. You will notice that your upper eyelids constantly tremble with different amplitude. Concentrate your efforts on stopping this trembling.
- By squinting and helping visual acuity, you place less strain on the eyes. This may help a twitch resulting from a tired eye.
- Exercise eyes with eye squeezing. Close your eyes for one full minute. During this time, squeeze your eyes shut more tightly then release without actually opening them. Perform three repetitions before opening your eyes.
- This exercise can lubricate eyes by increasing tear production. In addition to helping with twitching, you can use the exercise to keep eye muscles strong.
- Give yourself an acupressure massage. Use the above image to locate the acupressure points around your eye. Massage each point lightly in a circular motion for 5-10 seconds before moving to the next. Once you finish the sequence, start again from the beginning. Repeat for approximately two minutes.
- For a similar acupressure technique, place your index and middle fingers on your eyebrows. Press gently and rotate them on the edges of your eye socket bone for five minutes.
- Acupressure methods help eye twitching by increasing circulation to the eye while the closed lid allows tear film to hydrate the eye.
- To prevent irritation or infection, ensure your hands and face are clean first.
- Try eye hydrotherapy techniques. Alternate between splashing your closed eyes with cold and then warm water. The cold water will constrict blood vessels, and the warm water will dilate the same vessels. This process will help increase circulation and blood flow to the eye, which can help with twitching.
- You can also run a wet ice cube over the eyelid before splashing with warm water as opposed to alternating between warm and cold water. Repeat the process 7-8 times.
EditAddressing Possible Causes
- Limit caffeine and other stimulant intake. Too much coffee, soda, or even stimulant medications can lead to eye twitching. Try cutting back on your intake. Consult with your doctor first before altering your dose of any prescribed medications, though.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause eye twitching. Try increasing your water intake. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day.
- Get more sleep. General fatigue can lead to dry, tired eyes and result in more occurrences of eye twitching. Try to get a full 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Also, limit your use of electronic screens such as TVs, mobile devices, and computer screens leading up to bedtime.
- See an eye doctor. Any of the following symptoms may indicate a more serious condition and warrant a trip to an eye specialist:
- Twitching that persists for more than one week
- Twitching that completely closes an eyelid
- Spasms that involve other facial muscles
- Redness, swelling, or discharge from an eye
- A drooping upper eyelid
- Accompanying headache or double vision
- If your doctor suspects that a brain or nerve disorder is responsible for eye twitching (such as Parkinson’s disease or Tourette syndrome), he or she will examine you for other common signs. The eye doctor may refer you to a neurologist or other specialist.
- Make sure you discuss your current supplements, medications, exercise routine, and diet with your doctor when you go.
- Discuss supplements. Your doctor may run tests to measure your vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte levels since certain deficiencies (such as calcium) can cause eye twitching. Based on the test results, your doctor may prescribe something as simple as an over-the-counter supplement.
- Discuss treatment options. If you experience chronic, benign eye twitching, your doctor may discuss several treatment options. Botulinum toxin (Botox™ or Xeomin) is the most commonly recommended treatment. For mild cases, your doctor may also recommend medications such as Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Trihexyphenidyl, or another muscle relaxant.
- If other treatment options fail, your doctor may discuss surgical options as well. Around 75-85% of patients who experience benign eye twitching benefit from myectomy. For this procedure, a surgeon removes some of the muscles and nerves in the affected eyelids. However, this is not a common treatment, as botulinum toxin injections are usually sufficient.
- Stop Your Eye or Eyebrow from Jumping
- Deal With Neurotic Twitching
- Avoid Eye Strain
- Win a Staring Contest
EditSources and Citations
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