It is so common that nearly everyone has some experience with eye twitching, but why is this condition, known as “myokymia”, so prevalent? It comes from the fact that our eyes have the densest collection of fast twitch muscle fibres in the human body. This helps our eye to protect itself. If something moves towards the eye, the eyelids will reflexively cover and protect the eye. Unfortunately, due to the density of these twitch muscles, underlying factors may set off the reflex – but fear not, these twitches are common and will likely dissipate within a week. If you’re concerned about the frequency of these twitches, contact our office to see what can be done to alleviate symptoms. In order to discern the cause of this annoyance, you must be aware of several potential factors that can lead to twitching.
Possible Causes of Eye Twitching
In order of likelihood:
- Sleepiness – This one is most obvious, if your eyes are struggling to stay open then twitching may occur. Getting rest allows the muscles to relax and revitalize
- Strain – In this 21st century we are constantly bombarded with bright lights and LED screens, all of which can provoke our eyes. Take frequent breaks if you’re experiencing optical issues when staring into screens, or consider eyewear that can protect against damaging light.
- Stress – When under stress, especially for long periods, the body may misfire these signals causing the twitch
- Dry eyes – Dryness can lead to a number of eye issues, twitching being one of those
- Caffeine – This is a stimulant an in excessive amounts it may cause myokymia
- Allergies – With spring in the air, pollen and dander may trigger the twitch muscles, read our article on allergies to discover some possible solutions
- Nutrition – Surprisingly, if you’re missing essential nutrients the body can react in odd ways, including these twitches (eat a banana for potassium, or have a drink high in electrolytes)
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of what can contribute to myokymia. In extreme cases, myokymia may persist for weeks. Should you experience any issues lasting longer than a week, contact our office to make an appointment and have it checked.
What Can I Do About Eye Twitching?
Our expert team of Optometrists work hard to address any concerns you may have. Based on years of professional training and experience, Dr. Calvin Kettner, Dr. Brent Westfall, and Dr. Stephanie Gautier will provide you the utmost care, with a comprehensive assessment regarding your areas of concern. There is no primary medical treatment for myokymia outside of determining the contributing factors. After resolving what is causing the twitching, our team can provide the solutions that work best for you and your lifestyle.