Eye twitching happens to many of us from time to time, especially when we feel tired. Generally transient and benign, this unpleasant disorder consists of rapid contractions of the muscle (fasciculation) that closes the eyelids (orbicularis oculi), causing an eyelid tremor. Its exact causes are unknown.
Fasciculation can reach all muscles but more frequently those of the tongue and eyelids.
Eye twitching is quite common and mostly benign; however, it is often irritating or somewhat embarrassing. There are more fast twitch muscle fibers in the eyelids than anywhere else in your body and when your general health is not quite right, the fast twitch muscle fibers will contract erratically showing up noticeably in the lids. Most of the times, eye twitching comes and goes, but in rare cases it can persist for days or even weeks. In order to relieve an eye twitching you need to understand its causes.
Although the exact mechanism of eye twitching is still mysterious, we have identified some triggering factors:
Some of the most commons triggering factors are:
Electrolyte imbalance: magnesium deficiency or excess calcium may trigger eye twitching
Eye strain, particularly digital eye strain from overuse of computers, tablets and smartphones
Lack of sleep
Stress and nervousness,
Excessive consumption of caffeine
Excessive or strenuous physical activity: it can deplete magnesium in your body, and cause lactic acid accumulation
Other possible causes
Other causes include dry eyes and decreased tears, corneal abrasion, glaucoma, blepharitis or uveitis.
If an eye twitching persists, it could be a sign of a serious neurological condition such as blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm. These conditions are rare and should be diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor.
Other serious general neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis or Gilles de la Tourette’s disease can also be considered.
What to do
If you’re tired, give yourself a nice break (this includes staying away from your computer screen!). Your body, via your eyes is telling you that you need to slow down.
If you have dry eyes you might have a tear film imbalance, a lid abnormality, a low grade bacterial infection. If you wear contact lenses, it could be a deposit buildup or a sign that your eyes need a break. Consult with your eye doctor if your eyes feel dry or gritty.
Too much caffeine?
If you drink a lot of coffee, try to reduce the size and number of cups and drink more water. Water will compensate for dehydration and help speed up the elimination of caffeine. Also remember to cut back on other caffeinated beverages such as tea and and some soft drinks.
Get your magnesium, either through a good dietary supplement that is highly absorbable such as Solgar magnesium, or in your diet with foods such as artichokes, almonds, cashews, beans, spinach or tomatoes. Of course it will take several days for this to take effect.
Want to try Homeopathy?
Use some appropriate homeopathic medicine: for almost immediate relief of eye twitching, try Cuprum metallicum 6C. Cuprum, a homeopathic dilution of copper, quickly relieves many spasms such as cramps in the calves, hiccups, spasmophilia, torticoli and eye twitching. It works very fast. Put 5 pellets of Cuprum metallicum 6C under your tongue right away and let them dissolve. Repeat 2 to 3 times, every 5 minutes if necessary.
Remember: If your eyelid twitch persists more than a few days, book an appointment with your eye doctor in order to assess if there is an underlying cause.