Most people experience eyelid twitching at some point in their lives. All or part of your eyelid may twitch repeatedly in what feels like a fluttering motion. While not painful, this twitching can be annoying. It's not usually a sign of anything too serious, but you should consider the potential causes, since some of them can cause further damage to your health or eye health if not addressed.
Lack of Sleep
Many people notice that their eyes twitch when they fall behind on sleep or stay up too late at night. When you're overly tired, all of your muscles become fatigued, including the muscles that control your eyelids. This fatigue - combined with the fact that your eyes become dry when you sleep, making it necessary to blink more often - can lead to eyelid twitches.
If you're not getting enough sleep, you may also struggle with bloodshot and dry eyes. Some ways to improve your sleep include taking naps in the middle of the day, reducing your caffeine intake, and taking a safe, over-the-counter sleep aid like melatonin.
You might notice eyelid twitches when you are in stressful situations or when your default stress level has been high for a while. Stress can have other profound effects on the body, such as a weakened immune system and an increased risk of depression. Some quick ways to reduce your stress level, and hopefully also stop eyelid twitches in their tracks, include the following:
- Focus solely on deep breathing for five minutes.
- Talk to a friend about your stressors.
- Listen to music that features a lot of soothing notes and nature sounds.
If you are continually stressed out, you may ultimately have to make some big changes in your life, such as changing jobs or moving, to get a handle on your stress before it impacts your health more significantly.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Do you spend most of your day staring at a computer screen? This is all too common these days, and it can lead to a number of eye-related symptoms, one of which is eyelid twitching. Doctors have named the eye and eyelid fatigue that occurs from too much screen time computer vision syndrome, and its other hallmark symptoms include dry eyes, blurry vision, and headaches.
Thankfully, you can deal with eyelid twitches and other computer vision syndrome symptoms without quitting your job. Ask your doctor for glasses with lenses made specifically for computer viewing. You can also turn down the brightness on your screen, and make sure your screen is 20 to 28 inches from your eyes for optimal viewing.
Eyelid twitching can also be caused by a deficiency of magnesium, a mineral that your muscles require for proper contraction. Other signs of deficiency include muscle cramps, headaches, and anxiety. Try increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods, like leafy greens, avocados, bananas, and nuts, and see if your eyelid twitching subsides.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A deficiency of vitamin B21 can also lead to eyelid twitching, along with other symptoms like mood swings, dry mouth, trouble sleeping, and headaches. Vitamin B21 deficiencies are most common in vegetarians and vegans and in those who consume alcohol excessively.
If you suspect you may be deficient in vitamin B12, try eating more beef, pork, shellfish, and eggs - all of which are good sources of this nutrient. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, talk to your doctor about vitamin B12 supplements to ensure your needs are met. Very few plant foods are good sources of B12.
The occasional eyelid twitch is not a major cause for concern, and most patients can ease twitching by identifying the likely cause and addressing it. If your eyelid twitching lasts more than a week, however, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor to ensure nothing more serious is going on. Contact Sugarloaf EyeCare if you are looking for a new eye doctor in North Georgia.