Eye twitches can be a real nuisance!  These involuntary muscle spasms, Myokymia, occur on your eyelid, not your eye. This phenomenon, which in reality only lasts a fraction of a second, can persist for a few seconds, a few hours and even days. Although annoying, these twitching muscles are harmless and will not affect your vision or eye health. This inconvenience remains a very common cause of consultation in our clinics, and most of us suffer from it or will experience it at some point in our lives. But why do these spasms occur?

There are a few triggers that cause them that can easily be avoided by making minor changes to your lifestyle:

Stress

Stress usually tops the list as a cause of myokymia. Although stress management is not always obvious, it is the main cause of this ocular symptom and, therefore, your overall health. Making time for physical activity, yoga, and meditation, are just a few suggestions to help minimize the symptoms of stress and anxiety in your daily life.

 

Fatigue

Getting enough sleep is often easier said than done. Many people suffer from sleepless nights. Their brain is always on, unable to stop thinking; their little hamster keeps spinning. But, sleep is so important and restorative. In deprivation of restful sleep, several aspects of your life can suffer the consequences. To help you get quality Zzzs, try to exercise and avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as possible. You should also avoid digital devices right before you go to bed. We suggest putting them away well before you go to sleep as they can affect your circadian rhythm.

 

Eye fatigue

Asthenopia, or even simpler, eye fatigue, is a big term used to explain the causes of several symptoms to our patients. We spend so much time in front of a digital screen, whether it's our computers, smartphones, tablets or televisions. In front of our screens, we blink much less frequently (2 to 3 times less than usual), and we tend to stare at the same place for a very long time. Tension and dry eyes result from this. It is important to take multiple breaks to rest your eyes. It is also recommended to wear glasses with blue light blocking lenses. They are even available without a prescription for those who do not need correction.

 

Caffeine

Who doesn't love a good cup of happiness in the morning? Since caffeine stimulates your nervous system, too much of it can affect your eyes, health, and sleep. We don't recommend that you give it up completely (some of us need it badly to function in the morning) but reducing the amount of coffee and stimulants (chocolate, tea, coca-cola…) may eliminate the problem of myokymia discussed in this article.

 

Unhealthy diet

In our everyday diet, we can find vitamins and nutrients that are good for our eyes and in good quantity. It is important to have a well-balanced diet in which we can find the essential sources of nutrients that we need. This will not only keep your eyes from “jumping” but will improve your overall health!

 

Alcohol

A small glass of wine in moderation is always appreciated, but overconsumption can have a negative effect on your health. Try to limit your alcohol consumption, you will reap only benefits in terms of your eye health.

 

Smoking

Smoking affects your health negatively. Will your eyelid spasms convince you to quit smoking?

 

Allergies

Over-the-counter medications can be taken to relieve allergy symptoms. Try to minimize your exposure to allergens as much as possible.

 

If the muscle spasms last for several days and become constant, it is best to consult your eyecare professional. Rarely, do these symptoms signal more serious neurological issues that should be further investigated, however. In the majority of cases, once the patient is reassured of his symptoms, the spasms eventually subside on their own.

 

For more information about your eyes, contact your IRIS eye care professionals.