Why Won’t My Eye Stop Twitching?

While blinking is perfectly normal—after all, you may blink up to 29,000 times a day without even noticing—it can be surprisingly annoying when this common movement goes into warp speed (aka: eye twitching).

Now it may be hard to imagine a form of blinking that’s really that distracting, but eye twitching is definitely no joke. So what exactly is it—besides your eyelid fluttering faster than a hummingbird? FYI, even though it feels like it’s moving a mile a minute, most other people won’t even notice it.

This condition is actually the result of involuntary muscle contractions. This causes your eyelid, typically your upper eyelid, to rapidly and uncontrollably blink. And the kicker here, it’s most common in women, especially those that are tired and/or have consumed a large amount of caffeine (otherwise known as almost every woman out there).

Not to worry, though, there are simple ways to reduce the frequency and duration of those pesky eye twitches. *As you feel the urge to blink more*

Some of the most common causes include:

·         Lack of sleep or fatigue. This impacts the sympathetic nervous system and since eyelids are especially delicate, they are the most likely to be affected.

·         Increased Stress. Similar to lack of sleep, stress can send the sympathetic nervous system into overdrive.

·         Eye strain. Spending hours looking at a screen without a break can cause eye fatigue. Make sure to follow the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something at least 20 feet away).

·         Excess caffeine. If you’re someone who frequently consumes multiple caffeinated drinks a day, try lowering the amount of caffeine you consume to see if it helps.

·         Dry Eyes. Irritating dry eye may cause you to unknowingly blink more—that’s because blinking actually helps to lubricate your eye and protect it from damage.

·         Medication side effects. This is most common with medications that treat mental health conditions.

Is there anything you can do to reduce or stop an eye twitch? (Besides giving up coffee or laying down in bed for a long afternoon nap)

·         Give your eyes frequent breaks—and not just from your computer. Looking away from your computer only to look at your cellphone isn’t going to cut it. Make sure to incorporate the 20-20-20 rule referenced above.

·         Apply a warm compress to your eyes, or gently massage them. This will help to relax and soothe your eyelids. Don’t forget, twitching is caused by a muscle spasm, so you want to treat it like any other fatigued muscle.

·         Practice stress-reducing techniques. And it won’t just be your eyes that thank you. Try incorporating things like journaling, meditating and exercising into your daily routine. Don’t rush; find an activity that works for you.

·         Remember that eyelid twitches are completely normal. Not only that, but they’re completely harmless, too. Most people will experience an eye twitch at some point. However, it’s important to note that most people will experience infrequent episodes that last no longer than a few days. If you have eye twitching that lasts more than a few days, it’s time to see your doctor.

Be seen when you need it most.
Oftentimes, eyelid twitching is nothing more than an annoying phase that will resolve on its own in just a few days. However, there are times when there may be something more going on—like an eye infection or an underlying health condition. Your first stop should be your primary care provider, the health expert that knows you best, or a specialty provider, like an ophthalmologist.

However, to ensure that expert care is available exactly when you need it, ChoiceOne Urgent Care is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

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