Twitching in any part of the body occurs due to the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. This mostly is felt after the completion of a work-out session. This definitely is different from the twitching of eyes. Mostly, twitching is a sign of stress and fatigue. Let’s find out what eye twitching means, common causes and treatments available.
What it means when my left eye is twitching
Twitching of an eye is characterized by uncontrolled movement of eye-lid and the area surrounding it. When the muscles are involuntarily moving at a very fast pace and are blinking uncontrollably, it is termed as eye-twitching. The medical term for eye-twitching is myokymia. It is commonly understood as abnormal blinking of an eye or abnormal muscle contractions that happen mostly in lower eye-lid. Mostly, this is experienced during stressful conditions or after consumption of caffeine in large amounts. The twitching caused by these reasons, however, subsides in a short period and does not require any medical treatment.
The most common cause of twitching of eye is benign essential blepharospasm or facial spasm. In rare and severe cases, it indicates loss of control of facial muscles that control closing and opening of eyes. The continued twitching can leave a person irritated; in some cases, it can cause loss of eye-sight too.
Common causes of eye twitching
Some researchers attribute eye twitching to the problem in basal ganglia region of the brain. This is yet to be confirmed though. In some people, it is a genetic disorder. A few of the most recognized reasons for eyelid twitch are:
- Damage in thalamus, brain stem or ganglia regions of the brain due to hemorrhage
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Meige Syndrome (a disorder related to movements controlled by the nervous system)
- Bell Palsy
- Poor nutrition
- Untreated refractive error of the eye
- Certain Allergies
Is eye twitching a sign of some serious disease always?
Eye-twitching may occur due to over-stressed lifestyle, unexplained fatigue and consumption of caffeine in large amounts. Whenever the nervous system is over-stimulated or is under stress, it can show the sign of twitching. Thus, the twitching caused just by stress or fatigue can subside by rest, reducing the caffeine intake and taking stress relieving steps like sleeping and meditation. Taking a break from the work is quite helpful when the underlying problem is not that serious or has nothing to do with nervous system disorder.
When to see the doctor for eye-twitching
One obvious condition is continued eye-twitching. Twitching can close the eye completely, and you may find it difficult to open the eyes once closed. You may start feeling extremely irritated by continuous twitching and can experience headache, or pain around eyes, or pain in some facial muscles. When your sleep is disrupted and leads you to feeling restlessness due to eye-twitching, you must see the doctor. Interestingly, some pregnant women have reported eye twitching. So, when this condition occurs in women, they tend to link it with pregnancy.
Normally, the eyelid twitch comes for about 2 days and then subsides on its own. One that is more annoying continues to stay. This is when you need to consult a doctor or an eye specialist.
Treatment for minor eye-twitches
If you want to treat a minor eye twitching at home, you must start taking ample rest. Sometimes, just resting enough can help you get relief from this disorder. The other things must be trying are:
- Eliminating stress – participate in fun activities, think less and act more, do not overthink about things that you cannot control and relax the mind with music and sleep. Adopt a hobby to give your mind some fun and relaxation lack of which can cause nervous system disorders.
- Reduce caffeine intake – try to have just two cups of coffee throughout the day to start reducing the caffeine intake and then make it one gradually. It helps get a good sleep which is the best medicine for eye-twitching
- Fomentation – press the twitching eye softly with a warm towel. The warmth of the towel relaxes the muscles and provides relief against twitch. Massaging the eye-lids with hands softy also helps.
- Use eye-drops – There are certain OTC eye-drops available whose main function is to act as antihistamines for eyes. These drops can help in slowing the eyelid muscle contractions that lead to eye-twitches. Talk to a doctor, too, about the usage or dose if the existing frequency of using drops for eyes is not helping.
Advanced treatment for eye-twitching
When you are thinking worriedly ‘why my left eye is twitching?’ – You can seek a doctor’s advice. The pain or continued irritation caused by eye-twitching may need advanced treatments if certain serious disorders related to the nervous system are diagnosed. Some of the treatments that are of advanced nature and found helpful in treating eye-twitching are:
- Botox injections: The Botox treatment is not meant only for controlling the aging of facial skin. It is found to be helpful in paralyzing the facial muscles near the eyes. These injections are typically given and need to be administered with utmost precaution. This certainly is not a treatment to be done at home and should be done by a trained and qualified eye doctor.
- Certain muscle relaxant drugs: Doctor may put you on a muscle relaxation medicine. These medicines control the undue twitching to a great extent and may slow down the nervous system to induce sleep. It is advisable not to drive after taking these medicines.
- Surgery: In the most severe cases, the surgery can be advised. It is the last line of treatment and is to be tried only when all the medications or methods turn futile. Surgery to remove eye muscles that are contributing to twitching may be recommended when vision starts getting affected. It is a complicated procedure and does require staying in the hospital for a day or two.
Who can catch eye-twitching most easily?
Some of the researches have linked eye-twitching to genetic disorders. So, if the parents or grandparents have experienced this disorder, the off-springs can be at the highest risk of eye-twitching. The second highest risk is among those people who lead a very stressful life or have multiple cups of coffee throughout the day.
Common symptoms of eye twitching
Eye-twitch is characterized by continuous blinking of an eye. It is caused by eyelid spasm. The other symptoms are:
- Irritation in eyes – it indicates start usually
- Facial spasms
- Enhanced sensitivity to light
- Poor vision or other vision-related issues
- Dryness in eyes
So, consult an eye doctor when you experience any of these symptoms, it might be eye-twitching.