When your eye begins to twitch uncontrollably, it can be both alarming and simply annoying. An eye twitch is not usually a cause for worry and can be traced to a few common causes.
What happens–An eye twitch is when you experience a spasm in your upper or lower eyelid. Intermittent eye twitches can occur over any period of time that lasts from a minute to several days. Although twitches are usually slight, they can occasionally force your eyelid to momentarily shut.
Causes of eye twitching–Sleep deprivation and stress are the most common causes of eye twitches. Other sources include alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Eye twitching can also result from an irritation on the surface of the eye.
Benign essential blepharospasm–Benign essential blepharospasm is a rare condition that surfaces in mid to late adulthood and will cause increasingly severe eye twitching. The condition is a result of environmental and genetic factors and can be sparked by excessive fatigue, stress, or air pollution. Only around 2,000 people in the US are diagnosed with benign essential blepharospasm each year.
Seeing your optometrist–You should see an optometrist if an eye twitch persists for more than a week, if your eyelid closes completely during twitches, or if there is redness, swelling, or discharge from your eye. There is the small possibility that the eye twitch may be related to a more serious eye or nerve condition.
Treatments–Most eye twitches are harmless and cease without treatment. Make sure to rest and sleep sufficiently. Seek stress-reducing activities. Consider cutting down upon the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Your optometrist may also assess that your eyes need to be moisturized, if dryness or irritation is causing the twitch.
We are here to help you remedy a pesky eye twitch! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.