What are eye twitching? What causes eye twitching?

By | 16 May 2021

Although eye twitching is not considered a disease by many because it is a very common condition, it is actually a health problem related to the eye muscles. Although it usually occurs due to insomnia and fatigue, it can also develop due to eye diseases in some cases. For this reason, it is beneficial for people whose eye twitching complaints are constantly recurring and who do not recover should apply to a health institution by showing the necessary sensitivity to this situation. If it is determined that eye twitching is due to any eye defect, treatment can be started as soon as possible and permanent damage to the eye can be prevented.

What are eye twitches?

Eye twitching, also called myokymia, occurs in the form of sudden, repetitive, and involuntary contractions (spasm) of the muscles in the eyelid. Although contractions are usually seen in the upper eyelid, in some cases, they can occur in both eyelids or only in the lower eyelid. Spasms called eye twitching are very mild in most individuals and feel like a very gentle pull of the eyelid. Sometimes contractions may occur many times during the day, and sometimes no contraction may occur for weeks or months. When the twitching starts, a contraction is observed approximately every few seconds. Rarely, in some individuals, it may cause severe contraction of both eyelids and closure of the eye. This condition is called blepharospasm, which is a more severe form of eye twitching. It is unclear at what intervals the twitching in the eyes occurs. Again, in very few cases of eye twitching, in addition to eye spasms, contractions in other parts of the face and uncontrolled movements may accompany. Since this may be an early warning for a chronic movement disorder, it must be emphasized and medical institutions should be applied immediately for an examination.

What causes eye twitching?

Many individuals with eyelid spasms are looking for answers to questions such as what the twitching of the eye means, what does the twitching of the right or left eye mean. Although the exact cause of the twitching problem is not known, it is thought that it may occur without any reason. Studies on this subject are also very limited due to reasons such as not causing major problems in individuals, being a temporary problem that comes for a short time, and in very rare cases due to a disease. In addition to all these, some factors that can cause eye twitching or cause eye twitching to be seen more frequently are as follows:

  • Tiredness
  • Insomnia and lack of sleep patterns
  • Stress
  • Eye irritation
  • Eye allergies and dry eyes
  • Eye infections
  • Being in environments with very bright lights, sun, wind, and polluted air
  • Eyelid tightness
  • Excessive eye rubbing and physical blows
  • Use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco products
  • Side effects of some medications

Apart from the above reasons, twitching of the eyes may develop due to brain tumors in some cases, although it is very rare. Therefore, prolonged eye strains should not be taken lightly.

When to see a doctor for eye twitching?

The twitching problem usually resolves or disappears spontaneously within a few days or weeks. In this case, it does not require any treatment or intervention. If it takes longer than a few weeks, an eye examination should be performed by applying to a health institution. In some cases, the of the eyes is not simply a contraction but can appear as a symptom of any eye or muscle disease. Especially severe eye spasms can be confused with blepharospasm disease, also known as functional blindness. In the case of such a disease, the problem of eye twitching should not be underestimated as permanent eye defects may occur with a delay of treatment, and if the problem lasts for a long time, the doctor should be consulted.

All the contractions that occur in the eyelids cannot be called eye twitching. There are also different diseases affecting the eye muscles, and these may have different symptoms than simple eye twitching. These situations in which a doctor should be consulted immediately without wasting time in eye twitching can be listed as follows:

  • Drooping of the eyelid
  • Excessive eye burrs
  • Twitching occurs in different parts of the body other than the eye
  • Difficulty in closing the eyelid completely and reopening the eye during spasms
  • Redness, swelling, and discharge in the eyes

How is the treatment for eye twitching?

Although eye twitching often causes discomfort in people, it is generally not painful and does not affect daily life. For this reason, many people with this problem do not need any treatment and expect it to recover spontaneously. There is no special diagnostic test that allows direct detection of this disease in patients whose eye twitching problem does not heal spontaneously and consequently applies to a health institution. Therefore, in the diagnosis of the disease, a detailed history of the patient can be taken, followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and neurological examinations to rule out the possibility of the presence of different diseases. Then the treatment process is started. Taking certain precautions such as reducing the consumption of coffee and other foods containing caffeine, getting enough and regular sleep, getting enough rest, and avoiding strenuous activities to prevent eye strain, will help the twitching problem to resolve itself in a short time. In addition, it is very important for people working at the computer and constantly looking at the screen for long hours during the day to close their eyes at certain intervals, look at different points, and go outdoors if possible, to prevent involuntary eye contractions. People with allergy problems in their eyes should use eye drops that will be prescribed by their physicians.

People with eye itching, burning and stinging complaints are likely to have any problems such as dryness or infection in their eyes. Since these eye diseases are among the factors that cause twitching, an eye examination must be undergone an eye examination and the necessary medications must be used to prevent eye twitching. People with dry eyes should regularly use the appropriate artificial tear drops recommended by their physicians. In sunny weather, sunglasses that can adequately filter UV rays should be used. The eyes should never be itchy, rubbed pressed and the inside of the eye should not be touched. Such behaviors may pave the way for infections and structural disorders in the eyes, as well as cause eye twitching. In some cases, people with muscle contractions due to intense stress or the side effects of some drugs can be used with muscle relaxant drugs upon the recommendation of a physician. In addition to all these, if it is determined that there is an eye disease accompanied by eye twitching during the examination by the physician, treatment related to this disease should be applied first.

If you also have eye twitching problems and want to get information about the causes of left and right eye twitching, you can apply to a health institution and request a detailed eye examination. Especially if you have had this problem for more than 3 weeks, you likely have a different underlying eye disease. It is possible to diagnose possible eye diseases as a result of the examination and the diagnostic tests to be requested. After this stage, you can protect your eye health by starting your treatment process as soon as possible, and you can take precautions against much more serious problems that you may encounter in the future.


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