Possible Causes of Eye Twitching

When our eye twitches this results in our upper or lower eyelid moving uncontrollably and often causing us to blink. Often this isn’t a serious affliction and is something that we can mostly just ignore, but it is no doubt also irritating and particularly if it hampers our vision, or if we find it embarrassing in front of friends or colleagues (it can make us look nervous and appear to lack confidence).

This is worse if it seems to last for a prolonged period of time, and in some rare cases eye twitching can last for days. It can also simply be an unusual occurrence that leaves us questioning where it came from and in some rare cases it can also be a sign of a more serious genetic disorder. Learning about the causes of eye twitching then can help you to reduce it, and certainly to ease any concerns you might have or to prompt you to look into it further if necessary.

There are several other names for eye twitching including benign essential blephoraspasm, myokymia and hemifacial spasm. Here we will look at what causes the condition.

Chronic Causes of Eye Twitching

Generally eye twitching is nothing to worry about. In many cases it can be a result of a problem with the basal ganglion which is an area of the brain responsible for motor movements. The cause for this basal ganglion problem is not normally known, but it is sometimes genetic meaning that you might have family members with the same condition. In other cases this might point to other more serious neurological disorders so look out for other possible motor problems. Blephoraspasm as opposed to myokymia is a chronic condition where both eyes twitch and is most common in women over fifty. This can progress into forceful shutting of both eyes. Hemifacial spasms meanwhile are those in which more of the face is involved in the spasms and this can affect eating and more. Usually this is a result of an inflamed facial nerve and can be treated with muscle relaxing injections or creams, but again it can be a sign of more serious neurological problems and even minor strokes.

In other cases eye twitching can be a result of dryness in the eyes and this in turn can be caused by corneal irritation or injury, or by allergies such as hay fever. For many though, eye twitching is a psychosomatic problem meaning that it is caused by our psychology and it is often linked to anxiety or nervousness. If you find that your eye twitching normally begins when you are nervous – such as before giving a speech – then this might be a sign that the problem is related to your psychology. Over time this can then further become a habit and you can find yourself with a ‘tick’ which means you feel uncomfortable until you twitch. This is a form of turrets and you should consult a doctor or psychologist if this starts to get out of hand. In such cases you might notice yourself developing other ticks such as twitching arms or verbal ticks.

Acute/Lifestyle Causes of Eye Twitching

If your eye twitching has just begun, or it seems to occur at similar times, then there are many things that may have caused it. At the same time these triggers can worsen chronic causes of twitching and should be avoided if you suffer from it. One common cause is eye strain and often a twitching eye is a sign that you need to take a break from your concentration if you are reading or working on the computer. Focussing requires the use of muscles around your eyes and using these excessively can of course cause them and the surrounding muscles to spasm. If you work an office job then be sure to take regular breaks from your monitor and make sure that the room is adequately lighted whenever you are going to be working.

Other acute causes your could be dehydration which can cause your eyes to stop producing enough tears and cause them to dry out. Likewise sensitivity to light can cause eye twitching and this is often a result of a hangover following alcohol consumption. General tiredness can also cause eye twitching, and any stimulants such as caffeine, particularly in high quantities, can cause twitching as a result of the increased amounts of dopamine.

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