When your eyelids suddenly start to pulsate or close shut out of nowhere, and the movement is something that is out of your control, it can be very troubling. Also known as eyelid spasms, this involuntary movement can be annoying, and it can be downright perplexing. When you experience twitching in your eyelid, you can’t help but wonder if something is wrong with you.
What exactly is an eyelid twitch? It is a condition that is marked causes a repetitive movement or spasm in the muscles of the eyelid. It usually affects the upper eyelid, though it can affect the lower lid, as well. In most cases, eyelid twitching is slight and can cause a slight tugging sensation in the eyelid. Some people experience twitching that is powerful enough to force the eyelids to close completely.
When eyelid twitching sets in, it usually happens every few seconds for about a minute or two. You cannot control the movement and you cannot predict when it will occur. It can happen several times a day for several days in a row, and it can suddenly stop on its own. Eyelid twitching generally does not cause any pain and it does not affect the vision; however, it can be bothersome to feel your eyelid pulsating. In the majority of cases, twitching eyelids do not require medical attention and will clear up on their own. In rare cases, though, eyelid twitching can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a movement disorder, particularly if other involuntary movements within the face occur along with the twitching.
What causes an eyelid twitch? Believe it or not, there are actually several factors that can lead to involuntary spasms in the lids of the eyes. Here’s a look at 18 of the most common causes of this annoying condition.
It comes as no surprise that stress affects the body in many different ways, but you may be surprised to learn that a twitching eyelid can be caused by stress. In fact, in many people, an eyelid twitch is the result of stress. If you are under a lot of stress and have developed a spasm in your eyelid, try combating your stress levels by practicing yoga, doing deep breathing exercises, or doing something that you really enjoy. You should also try to prevent stress from developing by slowing down some. When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to become over-stressed, which can cause your eyelid to start twitching.
2. Lack of sleep
Not only does a lack of sleep lead to baggy and puffy eyes, but it can also make your eyelid start twitching. Your body needs sleep in order to repair itself from the stressors that you are exposed to on a day-to-day basis. Even if you don’t feel as if you are under a lot of stress, your body is always exposed to stress.
You are constantly using your eyes during your waking hours, and when you sleep, you give them a chance to rest. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your eyes don’t have a chance to rest and recover, which can lead to twitching. Try sleeping longer and getting more restful sleep to put an end to your twitching eyelid.
3. High Levels of Caffeine Intake
If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, or energy drinks, you may end up developing a twitching eyelid. Caffeine affects the nervous system, which controls the impulses sent to your nerves.
As a result, if you are consuming too much caffeine, don’t be surprised if your eyelid starts to twitch. If you are not getting enough sleep and you are consuming a lot of caffeine, then the problem is only made worse. Try to cut back on your caffeine intake for a few weeks and your eyelid twitching may come to a stop.
4. Eye Strain
You use your eyes on a daily basis to complete virtually every task. From reading to writing, and from driving to using the computer, your eyes are in constant use. All of this activity can lead to strain on your eyes, which can trigger a twitching in your eyelid to develop.
Try to give your eyes a rest throughout the day. Close them periodically, turn off the computer, stop looking at your smartphone so much, or sit in a dark space so that your eyes can get a break.
5. Vision Problems
If you are having difficulty with your vision, and eyelid twitch can develop. When you are having difficulty seeing, your eyes overcompensate to correct the problem. This can cause strain on the muscles in your eyelids, which can lead to twitching.
If you are having difficulty seeing close up, far away, or notice that your vision is otherwise not as astute as it used to be, make an appointment with an eye doctor to have your vision assessed.
6. Dry Eyes
Age, medications, contact lenses, high levels of caffeine intake, and looking at a computer screen for long periods of time are all things that can lead to dry eyes. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are under a lot of stress or are having trouble with your vision, this will only make the problem worse.
If your eyelid is twitching and you have a dry sensation in your eyes, or feel like something is stuck in them, you may need to restore the moisture levels in your eyes. Doing so can prevent spasms.
7. Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it dries reduces moisture levels in the body and can lead to dehydration. Your eyes need a lot of moisture in order to stay healthy.
If you have noticed your eyelids start twitching after you consume adult beverages, try to abstain to see if the twitching stops.
One of the most common side effects of many allergies is watery, itchy, and swollen eyes. In order to relieve these symptoms, you may find yourself rubbing your eyes a lot, which can lead to a twitching eyelid.
Some research suggests that rubbing your eyes when you have allergies can actually release histamine into the tissues of the eyelids, as well as the tears, which can cause twitching. Try taking an over-the-counter antihistamine, or using eye drops to ease your allergies and your twitching may stop, too.
9. Nutritional Deficit
There is evidence that low levels of certain nutrients can actually cause spasms in the eyelids. Low levels of magnesium, for example, are thought to cause eyelid twitching. If you are experiencing twitching in your eyelid, speak with your doctor about your nutrition.
Testing may reveal a deficiency, and by taking supplements or improving your diet, you can ensure your nutritional needs are being met, which can help to put a stop to the twitching.
10. Physical exertion
Making sure your body is in motion is a good thing for your health and overall well-being; however, there is such a thing as too much physical activity. If you are exerting yourself too much physically, not only could you end up feeling run down and tired, but you could also end up developing a twitching eyelid.
Try to slow down and take breaks from your workouts, or try to stop putting yourself under too much physical strain and your twitching may stop.