Why is your eye twitching? Common questions about myokymia answered

eye problems

Eye twitches always occur at the most inconvenient moments, don’t they? Whether you’re on a Zoom call with your colleagues, chatting to a neighbor, or trying to relax, that sudden pulling and twitching sensation across your eyelid is extremely unwelcome. Eye twitching, also known as myokymia, is a common condition that usually doesn’t require any treatment. It occurs when the nerves in the eyelid area go into spasm, and while this sounds frightening, it’s often more frustrating than harmful.

When it comes to eye twitching treatment, the solutions are quite straightforward and don’t usually require official treatment from your doctor. Unless you’re suffering from a serious neurological condition such as blepharospasm, there’s no need for concern. 

Read on to discover more facts about eye twitching, below.

What is your eye twitching?

Eye twitching is often described as a pulling or flickering sensation that occurs over the eyelid. It only impacts one eye at a time and can be incredibly irritating, especially if you’re trying to concentrate or you’re in conversation with someone. Though, despite the sensation, it’s usually unnoticeable to others. When flashes of electrical activity are sent across the eyelid, the nerves in the area go into spasm, something which lasts from a few seconds to several minutes and even (in some extreme cases) days! 

Why is this happening?

The root cause of eye twitches can vary, although there are some common factors, including:

  • A lack of sleep – Failing to rest your eyes adequately enough can result in unwanted spasms of the eyelid
  • Too much caffeine – Over stimulation of the muscles with caffeine can have adverse effects, including eye twitching.
  • Dryness – Eye twitching can be a sign that your eyes are too dry and are lacking vital moisture.
  • Eye strain – Digital eye strain is more common than ever before. Excessive exposure to digital screens can leave our eyes strained and dry, which can lead to spasms of the eyelid.
  • The wrong prescription – If you’re wearing the wrong prescription or your vision has changed, then you could develop eye strain which in turn can lead to eye twitching.
  • Stress – Stress is a part of everyday life, and it can manifest in eye twitching and spasms. 

Can I treat my eye twitch at home?

The simple answer is yes! Thankfully, eye twitching isn’t considered a dangerous condition, and there are plenty of ways you can reduce the likelihood of it occurring. From drinking less caffeine and finding ways to boost your energy levels naturally, to getting more sleep and resting your eyes more. Longer breaks away from digital screens and over the counter eye drops to help with dryness are simple yet effective ways to help with eye twitching problems. 

When should I see a doctor? 

Eye twitches requiring urgent medical attention are thankfully rare. But recognizing the signs that you need medical intervention is always useful. If your eye is swollen and has a pus-like discharge, if you can’t open your eyelids fully, your eyelid is drooping, or the twitching is starting to impact other areas of your face then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.