Why does our eye twitch?

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What is eye twitching?

Eye twitching is a repetitive, involuntary muscular contraction. A twitch commonly occurs in the upper lid but at times it can occur in lower lid, or both the upper and the lower lid. Twitches are commonly painfree and harmless. However, sometimes they may be caused by certain neurological conditions called Blepharospasm and Hemifacial spasm. These conditions cause the eyelids to close more fully and for longer periods of time.

What causes the eyelids to twitch?

It occurs without any noticeable reason as they are rarely a cause for any concern. It may however be linked to:

  1. Eye irritation
  2. Eye lids strain ( example?.. prolonged use of gadgets?)
  3. Lack of sleep
  4. Use of tobacco or caffeine
  5. Stress (I had it when I was studying for my FRCS exams).
  6. Dry eyes
  7. Light sensitivity
  8. Tiredness

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis is clinical.

In extremely rare cases your doctor may advice you CT or MRI scan to identify any other cause of eye twitches.

How is Eye-twitching treated?

Eye twitches usually go away on their own. Getting enough sleep, relaxing, stepping back from stress, and cutting down on the caffeine intake may help reduce the eye twitching.  In blepharospasm your doctor may  recommend you botox injections into the muscles of the eyelids to paralyze the muscle that is contracting excessively. However, these injections don’t help everyone.

When is the right time to call your doctor?

  1. If the eye twitches last for more than a week.
  2. When facing abnormal and painful blinking.
  3. Twitching leading to complete closure of the eye (Blepharospasm)