Is Your Eye Twitching? Know Why It Happens

Young man rubbing his eyes. after they had been twitching.

Eye twitching can be irritating. Your eyelid feels like it’s moving, and you can’t control it. You rub your eye or apply a warm compress, but the twitching doesn’t stop. Chances are it will go away on its own but, in the meantime, it can be distracting. Here’s what you need to know about why eye twitching happens.

Common causes

If you feel that your eye is twitching, don’t worry. It’s a common physical response that can be caused by environmental or lifestyle factors. Here are nine things that can cause eye twitching:

  1. allergies
  2. poor nutrition
  3. too much alcohol
  4. dry eyes
  5. eyestrain
  6. stress
  7. too much caffeine
  8. dehydration
  9. fatigue

Medical conditions

Sometimes eye twitching occurs for medical reasons. If it goes on for more than a week, it may be a sign of a disorder called eyelid myokymia. Prolonged eye twitching is caused by an involuntary misfiring of neurons that trigger the eyelid muscle. Other symptoms can include facial twitches or red, swollen, watery eyes.

It’s important to have your vision checked regularly to make sure your eyes are healthy.

What to do

Eye twitching usually goes away on its own. But some people have found that changing lifestyle habits can provide relief, such as:

  • limiting caffeine
  • getting more sleep
  • using artificial tears to lubricate the eyes
  • putting cool or warm compresses over your closed eyes
  • drinking 5 ounces of tonic water
  • reducing stress

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