Dr. Jim Martin 01/19/2015

man_rubbing_eyes.jpgWhen a person's eye twitches, it can be very disconcerting. You might feel like everyone can see it and it can be very uncomfortable and scary if it is persistent. Often referred to as myokymia, there are many reasons a person’s eye may twitch.

What Is Eyelid Myokymia?

Twitching of the eye, or eyelid myokymia, are spontaneous contractions of the orbicularis oculi muscle without muscle atrophy or any signs of weakness. This is referring to the muscle that makes a circle around the eyeball and causes blinking. When this muscle twitches, there is a firing of the action potential creating a slight movement without any real action.

There are many physiological causes of muscle twitches. Some of these may be related to the way that the muscles send messages through the nervous system. Depending on diet, stress and exercise, there may be increased or decreased levels of calcium, potassium or sodium in the body, which raise or lower the reaction rate of the muscle. A change in the usual threshold of reaction for a muscle can cause twitching.

What Are The Causes Of Eyelid Twitching?

Twitching of the eyelid is pretty common and often benign. Some of the common causes include:

  • Allergies
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Dry Eyes
  • Eye Strain
  • Fatigue
  • Nutritional Imbalance
  • Stress

The trick with diagnosing the cause of eye twitching relates to the cause. Pinpointing just one cause may be difficult, and it should be noted that there may be more than one underlying factor.

How Can I Identify The Cause?

Consider what is going on in your life when you are experiencing times of eyelid twitching. Stress and lack of sleep often go hand in hand and can be a major cause for eye twitching. If you work at a computer all day, you may be experiencing eye strain if you’re having vision issues or not practicing eye exercises. Allergies and dry eyes can cause twitching, especially if you’re taking certain medications.

What Can Be Done About Eye Twitching?

It is best to speak with an eye doctor about your eye twitching. While often one of the simple culprits listed above may be the cause, eye twitching can be related to more serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis, hemifacial spasms, Meige syndrome or blepharospasm. After diagnosing the cause of eye twitching your optometrist may be able to suggest a treatment plan, which could include eye drops, computer eyeglasses or other vision correction devices.

If you have been experiencing eyelid twitching, contact our team at Broome Optical today. We will work to provide you with peace of mind.

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