Eye twitching and eyelid spasms are quite common among both those who wear corrective eyewear and those who have perfect 20/20 vision.
Eye twitching, or myokymia, typically is categorized by involuntary rippling muscle contractions of either the lower or upper eyelid of one eye. Most people experience this condition at some point in their lives temporarily. But different underlying causes can cause eye twitching that lasts for weeks or even months. If you experience prolonged twitching, your eye doctor will seek a solution to determine the underlying causes.
What Causes Eye Twitching?
Sudden onset of eye twitching does not signify a more serious medical problem. Many common causes can lead to this condition, which can range from dietary reasons to environmental factors. Some of the most common eye twitching causes are:
- Eye strain
- Caffeine or Alcohol
- Dry eyes
- Nutritional imbalances
How Long Does Eye Twitching Normally Last?
With many different factors underlying eye twitching, there is no set rule about how long a person’s twitching will last. Sometimes, eye twitching stops after a good night’s sleep. In other, more severe cases, the condition may last several weeks or even months.
How Can You Stop Your Eye from Twitching?
Many simple and effective ways can help stop your eye from twitching. Most cases of eye twitching are sleep or stress related, so it is recommended to limit alcohol and caffeine and focus on getting a good night’s rest. Breathing exercises or yoga are also proven to help with stress-related twitching. Your doctor can help identify nutrients that you may be missing from your diet, which could cause eye twitching.
For allergy-related eye twitching, many eye doctors will recommend antihistamine eye drops or warm compresses. In the most severe cases, your eye doctor may prescribe stronger medications, surgery or Botox injections to paralyze or relax overactive eye muscles.
Can Eye Twitching Be Serious? Can It Be a Sign of a Stroke or MS?
Prolonged eye twitching can mean something more severe. The most severe and rare cases of eye twitching may be associated with some neurological issue or a problem with blood flow to the facial nerve. If you should experience prolonged eye twitching that begins to go with symptoms related to a stroke or MS (sudden numbness or weakness of the face or a limb, sudden confusion, or sudden difficulty seeing or severe unexplained headaches), contact your doctor right away.