If you are like most people, you have probably experienced eye twitches, where your eyelid spasms for no apparent reason. While stress and fatigue are the most common causes of eye twitches, in some cases the eye spasms could be the result of a lack of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
According to the American Optometric Association, eye twitches are no cause for concern and often resolve on their own without any treatment.
What are common causes of eye twitching?
In addition to stress, fatigue, and nutritional deficiencies, eye twitches can be caused or aggravated by the following factors:
- Dry eyes
- Lack of sleep
- Eye strain due to too much screen time
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Alcohol intake
- Certain medications
- Refractive errors
- History of head injury
What are different types of eye twitches?
- Blepharospasm or dystonia: An inherited, rare neurological disorder characterized by excessive blinking and twitching of both the eyes and eventually involuntary closing of the eyes.
- Hemifacial spasm: A neuromuscular condition caused by irritation of the facial nerves characterized by one-sided contraction of facial muscles including the eyelids.
- Myokymia: A condition that causes increased eye blinking, typically involves one eye, and often resolves without any treatment.
What do eye twitches feel like?
Eye twitches vary in severity and frequency. Most do not last for long, but in some cases may last for weeks or even months. Symptoms may include the following:
- Spasms of the muscles around the eyes
- Involuntary blinking
- Facial spasms
- Light sensitivity
When should I be worried about eye twitching?
Contact an ophthalmologist if you experience the following:
- Twitching that lasts for many days
- Redness or swelling around the eyes
- Discharge from the eyes
- Complete closure of the eyelid
- Drooping eyelids
- Decreased, blurred, or foggy vision
- Double vision
A thorough examination of the eye is needed to rule out the following eye issues and nervous disorders:
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- Tourette syndrome (a nervous system disorder characterized by repetitive and rapid movements)
- Bell's palsy (muscular weakness in one side of the face due to facial nerve paralysis)
- Multiple sclerosis (a chronic, progressive disease of the brain and spinal cord)
- Uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye)
- Parkinson's disease (a neurodegenerative disorder)
Your ophthalmologist may recommend a blood test to verify whether you are vitamin deficient and will prescribe medications and diet accordingly.
How can I get my eye to stop twitching?
Eyelid twitches frequently stop on their own without any treatment. However, a few things can ease the symptoms:
- Get a good night's sleep
- Avoid or limit intake of caffeine
- Drink plenty of water
- Consume foods rich in vitamin B12, such as red meat, milk, chicken, eggs, and salmon
- Consume foods rich in magnesium, such as green leafy vegetables, bananas, yogurt, avocados, dried fruits, pumpkin seeds, and beans
- Avoid stress and practice relaxation techniques
- Take frequent breaks from computer or TV screens
- Wear tinted glasses to avoid harsh light
- Apply warm compresses to your eyes
- Gently massage your eyes
- Correct any refractive errors in your eyes
- Use eye drops to keep your eyes moist and lubricated
- Take medication (clonazepam, lorazepam, trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride)
- Get botulinum toxin injections (these relax the muscles involved and block the nerve-signaling process)
- Dementia Risk Rises for Elite European Soccer Players
- Gonorrhea: What It Is, Symptoms, Treatment & More
- 'Artificial Pancreas' Technology Boosts Blood Sugar Control for Young Kids With Type 1 Diabetes
- FDA Advisors Back Full Approval of Paxlovid
- Could COVID Trigger 'Face Blindness'?
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
"Eyelid Twitching." Cleveland Clinic. Sept. 14, 2021. <https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17663-eyelid-twitching>.
Henderson, A.D. "Eye Twitching." Johns Hopkins Medicine. <https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/eye-twitching>.
Top What Are You Lacking When Your Eye Twitches Related Articles
Eye Symptom MeaningsWill your eye condition clear up, or is it a warning sign of a critical eye health issue? Learn about common eye symptoms, what they could mean, what you can do about them, and when to see your eye doctor.
How Can I Get My Eye To Stop Twitching?A blepharospasm (eye twitch) is a harmless, involuntary spasm of the muscle of the eyelids, which may resolve on its own. If the twitching isn't caused by an underlying condition, getting more rest and avoiding alcohol and caffeine may help stop it.
Magnesium: What Is it, Health Benefits, and Good SourcesMagnesium is a critical mineral nutrient that the body needs, along with calcium and potassium, to regulate blood pressure. Many people do not get enough magnesium. Magnesium deficiency may result in muscle cramps, seizures, and heart disease. Eat more nuts, seeds, and leafy greens to prevent deficiency and keep magnesium levels up.
Vitamin D SlideshowWhat does vitamin D do? Learn about vitamin D benefits and discover foods that are high in vitamin D. Explore vitamin D deficiency symptoms and the safest ways to get enough vitamin D.
Food and Recipes: Top Foods High in IronWebMD shows you which foods to choose that are high in iron -- and tasty, too!
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms and TreatmentVitamin D deficiency has been linked with rickets, cancer, cardiovascular disease, severe asthma in children and cognitive impairment in older adults. Causes include not ingesting enough of the vitamin over time, having limited exposure to sunlight, having dark skin, and obesity. Symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness. Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves obtaining more vitamin D through supplements, diet, or exposure to sunlight.
What Are the 3 Stages of Iron Deficiency?Iron is an important substance that our body needs in minute amounts. Daily ingestion of iron is needed for the health of red blood cells and muscle proteins, as well as the functioning of body cells. The normal body iron content in an adult is approximately 3-4 grams.
What Are the Signs of Magnesium Deficiency?Magnesium deficiency is often overlooked because symptoms often appear until your levels are dangerously low. Here are 4 signs to look for.
What Is a Twitching Eye a Sign of?A blepharospasm (eye twitch) is a harmless tic of the eyelid muscle, which may resolve on its own. Conditions that may cause eye twitch include blepharitis, dry eyes, light sensitivity or conjunctivitis. Nerve disorders can also cause eye twitching.
What Is the Test for Vitamin D?Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in calcium absorption to give you healthy and strong bones. The test for measuring vitamin D involves measuring the levels of the vitamin in a blood sample drawn from your vein.
When Should I Be Worried About Eye Twitching?An eye/eyelid twitch (myokymia), is an involuntary, repeated spasm of the eyelid muscle. It can happen in the upper or lower lids. Eye twitching is usually painless and harmless. It often resolves without treatment. Though less common, eye twitching is sometimes the first sign of a chronic movement disorder.
When Should I Worry About Muscle Twitching?What is muscle twitching, and how do you recognize it? Muscle twitching is a common issue that affects many people. Learn the signs of muscle twitching, what causes it, when to see a doctor, and how to treat it.
Why Are My Eyes Twitching?Eye twitching, or blepharospasm, is a condition in which you cannot keep your eyes open for a long time due to spasms. The main causes of eye twitch include fatigue, stress, smoking, caffeine, medication side effects, light sensitivity, lack of sleep, foreign particles in the eye, and corneal irritation.