What does it mean when your eye starts twitching?

We have all experienced eye twitching and it is a thing that we cannot control. When this happens, it is very annoying, and we always wonder what is causing it.

Eye twitching is an uncontrollable, repetitive blinking of the eyelid, usually on the upper lid. It affects the muscles in both eyes, and you get an involuntary movement every couple of seconds. It can last for a few minutes, or it can continue for a couple of days and then completely disappear.

What causes eye twitching?

If you have experienced this, and you went to the doctor, the doctor has most probably told you that he/she is not sure exactly what is the cause of this. It usually happens because of fatigue and stress, or excessive amounts of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. It is an issue that can also be linked to excessive eye strain, dry eyes, allergies or some kind of irritation of the surface of the eyes or membrane. It can also happen for no apparent reason, and in most cases, it is harmless and painless and goes away in a matter of minutes.

But there are some cases when eye twitching can be an indicator of a more severe neurological disorder, like blepharospasm, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Blepharospasm can develop in mid to late adulthood, and it is a condition that is more common in women than in men. It is not serious, but if you don’t discover it early, or you leave it untreated, the symptoms and the situation, in general, can take turn for the worse. As this condition progresses, you might feel that you are sensitive to light, you might get blurry vision and your face might start to twitch. In the most severe cases, the spasms can be so strong, that they can close your eyelids for a couple of hours.

If you experience eye twitching that lasts for a few minutes and it goes away quickly, then you have nothing to worry about, but if it happens and it lasts for more than a few days you need to see a doctor.

  • If your eye starts twitching and it lasts more than 7 days
  • If the twitch causes the eyelid to completely close
  • If you feel spasms on your face
  • If your eyes start swelling
  • If your upper eyelid starts drooping

If you experience any of these symptoms, then you should go see an eye doctor and explain what are you feeling. The doctor will examine the symptoms and it may refer you to a neurologist or other specialist.

In case the twitching is not a neurological disorder, it could mean that you are experiencing stress, and you need to reduce caffeine intake and get a proper sleep.

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