Why Does My Eye Twitch?

Eye twitching or eyelid spasms are quite a common occurrence. Your eye twitch usually occurs only on the bottom eyelid, but sometimes the upper eyelid can also twitch. Most eyelid twitches come and go. Sometimes your eye twitch may last for weeks and sometimes months.

Today we will look at the question “why does my eye twitch” and help explain to you the causes of eye twitching, when it is serious and when it is not, and some of remedies for your eye twitch.

Eye Twitch

Causes of Eye Twitching

These eye twitch muscle contractions can be caused by:

  1. Stress
  2. Tiredness
  3. Eye strain
  4. Caffeine
  5. Alcohol
  6. Dry eyes
  7. Nutritional imbalances
  8. Allergies

Almost all forms of eyelid twitching are not serious but they are difficult to treat. The only form of eyelid twitching treatment is to figure out what causes the twitching and deal with it.

More serious forms of eyelid twitching are caused by neurological conditions like:

  • Blepharospasms or,
  • Hemifacial spasm.

These are less common and should be treated by an eye specialist.

Why Does My Eye Twitch?

Eye Twitch Videos


Stress: we are all under stress at times and our bodies react differently to stress. Eye twitching can be one of the signs of stress, especially if related to vision problems like eyestrain. Reducing the eyestrain can cause the twitching to stop.

Tiredness: a lack of sleep can trigger eye twitching. Catching up on some sleep can help.

Eyestrain: Vision related stress can occur if you need glasses or need a change in your glasses. Your eyes may be working too hard to give you comfortable vision and this will trigger eye twitching. Computer eyestrain is a very common cause of vision related stress.

If the eye twitching is persistent and irritating you should have an eye exam, because you may need vision correction. If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer, your optometrist may prescribe special computer glasses.

Caffeine and Alcohol: Research has shown that increased alcohol and caffeine consumption can trigger eye twitches. So, if your alcohol or caffeine (tea, coffee, cold drinks) consumption has increased, try to cut down.

Dry Eyes: Dry eyes are very common among the older population. Dry eyes are also common among computer uses, people taking certain medications (antidepressants, antihistamines), contact lens wearers and people drinking a lot of alcohol and/or caffeine. If you are tired and under stress, you may also get dry eyes. This can all lead to eye twitching. It is best to see an optometrist for dry eye evaluation as there are a lot of treatment options available.

Nutritional Imbalances: Some studies have shown that a lack of certain nutritional substances like magnesium can trigger eyelid twitching. However there is no scientific evidence of this. So always consult your doctor before adding magnesium supplements to your diet.

Allergies: Eye allergies result in itching, swelling and tearing. Rubbing the eyes, causes the release of histamine into the lid tissues and tears. It has been shown that histamine can cause eye twitching. Some doctors recommend antihistamines for eyelid twitching. However antihistamines can cause dry eyes. So it’s best to consult with your eye doctor for the best treatment for your eyes.

Eye Twitching Remedies

Most  of the time time is the remedy needed with eye twitches going away on their own.

In rare cases the eye twitching just does not go away. Some of these can be treated with botox injections which will stop the muscle contractions.

Always see your optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately if the twitching affects half your face or the entire eye, causing the lids to clamp shut.

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    Computer Vision Syndrome

    Computer vision syndrome (CVS) most often occurs when the viewing demand of the task exceeds the visual abilities of the computer user. Because computer use is such a visually demanding task, vision problems and computer vision syndrome symptoms are very common. Most studies indicate that computer users report more eye-related problems than non-computer office workers. Studies also show that visual discomfort occurs in 75-90% of computer users.

    Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms

    Here are some of the most common symptoms optometry patients will com in complaining of with computer vision syndrome:

    • Eyestrain
    • Headaches
    • Blurred vision (distance and/or near)
    • Dry and irritated eyes
    • Slow refocusing
    • Neck and/or backache
    • Light sensitivity
    • Double vision
    • After images and colour distortion

    Reflections and Glare

    The most common complaint of computer users is glare. Glare is created by improper lighting in the workspace. The two main sources are from light directly shining into the eyes (direct glare e.g. light from an overhead light) and from reflections from surrounding surfaces (reflected glare e.g. white paper).

    Anti-glare filters which fit over the display screen are readily available. It makes it easier to read your screen and helps your productivity. It must be pointed out, however, that anti-glare filters themselves are not necessarily the entire solution to visual stress on computers.


    Controlling the lighting of the workspace is critical in maintaining proper visual efficiency. Always turn off offending lights. If you notice glare on a screen from a light source, turn it off. Most offices have been designed for paper work and are overly lit for computer use.

    Re-orient the work station so that bright lights are not in the field of view. Many people make the mistake of placing their computers right in front of a window, wishing to capitalize on a scenic view. This causes a lot of discomfort glare. The best solution is usually vertical blinds because they can be adjusted to allow for a view while re-directing glare.

    Brightness and Contrast

    Adjust the display settings on your computer so that the brightness of the screen is about the same size as your work environment. Ideally, your font size should be about 3 times larger than the smallest font size you can see from a normal viewing position. Black text on a white background is the best colour combination for your eyes.

    Work Habits

    Viewing a computer screen attracts the attention of the viewer more so than any paper object. Because of this, we ‘forget’ to blink. Blinking is an automatic reflex and beyond our conscious efforts. Studies have shown that there is less blinking while viewing a computer screen and this also causes dry eyes. One reason for this is because of the height of the monitor. Because it is in a higher field of view, the eyes are wider open. This creates a wider gap between the eyelids making blinking more of an effort. By lowering the screen, the size of this gap is reduced and allows the lids to blink easier. Also the use of artificial tears can help a great deal. Ask your optometrist which brand he recommends.

    When office work still involved typewriters, pencils and paper, there was a great deal of physical activity in the work area. Hands were moving in all directions to insert paper, return the typewriter carriage, grab a pencil or turn a page. Office workers were getting up to make copies, deliver papers to another office, look for carbon paper and other types of physical tasks. With the integration of computers into the workplace, much of these movements are accomplished by the push of a button. Our bodies are designed for movement and should be moved routinely.

    This holds especially true for the visual system. Our eyes have many muscles associated with them. If these muscles are ‘stuck’ in the same position for extended periods of time, they will adversely affect vision. Taking visual breaks is a very easy thing to do because they do not involve leaving the desk and do not have to be long in duration.

    A micro break consists of simply looking into the distance every 10-15 minutes. This should be done for 15 seconds.

    A mini break should be performed every 30 minutes and involves closing the eyes for about 2 minutes.

    A maxi break should follow along with your routine work breaks where you get up and move around for at least 15 minutes. This should be done every 2 hours.

    This scheme will allow the eyes to change their viewing condition regularly and still allow the worker to produce effectively.

    Computer Glasses

    Most prescribed eyeglasses are for general purposes: driving, movies, TV, shopping, allowing you to perform a variety of tasks. However, there are also task specific lenses which are made for you to do a specific task. Computer glasses are designed with these types of lenses.

    A ‘computer’ prescription is any lens which allows you to see the display screen clearly and comfortably. They do not, however, necessarily allow clear vision at any other distance. There are a number of combination lenses which allow for this type of vision. If your bifocals or multifocals don’t give you much comfort, consider a pair of computer glasses.

    Anti-Reflective Coatings

    A normal eyeglass lens only allows 92% of light to pass completely through it. The remainder of the light is reflected by the front or back surface. However, a coating applied to the front surface of the lens cancels out this reflection and allows 99% of the light to pass through. This has a double benefit to the general eyeglass wearer. Firstly, it allows your eyes to be more visible to someone looking at you. Secondly, the anti-reflective coating, by allowing more light to pass through them, also makes the view through the lenses more distinct.

    This is most noticeable by viewing lights at night, whereby you might normally notice glare around street lights or oncoming headlights. The anti-reflective coating allows lights to pass through the lens without the extra glare or distortion. These lenses make all types of viewing easy on the eyes.

    Where to buy Computer Glasses?

    Always try to avoid buying over the counter reading glasses for use on a computer. An accurate eye glass prescription is essential if you want to get the full benefits of computer glasses. It’s best to purchase this eyewear from a trained eye care professional like an optometrist.

    Before scheduling your appointment, measure the distance from your computer screen to the bridge of your nose. This measurement will help your optometrist prescribe the optimum lens power for your computer glasses.

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      Eye Strain Headache Relief

      Think you have an eye strain headache? Do you suffer with headaches whenever you try to read a novel or a textbook or any fine print? Do you find it strenuous for your eyes to watch TV? Do your eyes feel tired and sore after prolonged computer work? Looking for some eye strain headache relief? Today you will learn all about eyestrain from an optometrist and I will even give you my top 10 tips to help eye strain relief by yourself.


      If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you could be suffering with an eyestrain headache. Most of us cause these types of headaches ourselves by constantly over exposing our eyes to television, computer screens and video games.

      What is Eye Strain?

      Eyestrain is a common form of eye discomfort that occurs when the eyes tire after you have been doing a particular visual task for prolonged periods, such as spending several hours in front of the computer.

      Symptoms of eye strain include headaches, painful or uncomfortable eyes and vision problems. These eye strain symptoms are normally not present when you wake up but normally come on by visual tasks like reading. Most often, what you need is a new pair of glasses or contact lenses, or maybe the muscles that align the eyes are strained and just need a rest.

      What Causes Eyestrain?

      Focusing your eyes for prolonged periods on a fixed object, especially between 40cm and 80cm. Eyes are strained more by close viewing than distance viewing.

      Poor lighting. Near work under poor lighting conditions causes the eyes to focus under difficult conditions.

      Glare, either direct or reflected, makes it difficult to see. Direct glare would be glare directly into the eyes form bright overhead lighting or sunlight through a window. Reflected glare would be from your computer screen. As your eyes strain, facial and eye muscles tighten.

      Contrast is the difference between the brightness of the object being viewed and its immediate environment. Excessive contrast will lead to eyestrain.

      Vision problems. With blurred vision, you will get a headache in no time! You may be straining to see because you need corrective spectacles or you may need to update your current spectacle or contact lens prescription. This just means that you are creating too much strain on your eyes without giving the proper rest or the required nourishment the delicate tissues and blood vessels around your eyes.

      Symptoms of Eye Strain

      • Headaches
      • Blurred or double vision
      • Pain in the eye
      • Red, watery eyes
      • Dry eyes that feel scratchy or uncomfortable
      • Heaviness of the eyelids or forehead
      • Back aches and neck aches
      • Spasm of the muscles surrounding the eyes
      • Twitching of the eyelid

      How is Eye Strain Treated?

      Having eye strain does not mean that you should stop using the computer or reading or watching television. You should identify the cause of the eyestrain and correct it. This would involve:

      • Having a comprehensive eye examination to see if you require spectacles and to rule out any eye disease or eye disorder as well as to make sure that your current spectacle or contact lens prescription is correct.
      • Assessing your work environment. A professional trained in ergonomics may be helpful in arranging your workstation to reduce eye strain. You can get your free desk ergonomics copy of “SOS My Desk” from Pineslopes Chiropractic Clinic. Just email the chiropractors and ask for SOS My Desk.

      10 Tips To Help Relieve Eye Strain:

      So here it is an optometrists Top 10 Tips to help eye strain relief:

      1. Ensure that your computer screen and reading material is not too close to your eyes.
      2. Take a 2 minute break from your computer after every hour. Do this by looking into the distance or by simply closing your eyes. Slowly blinking the eyes a number of times may also help give the eyes a gentle massage.
      3. Focusing your eyes between two different focus distances can tire the eyes. Always try to keep your reading material at the same distance as your computer screen.
      4. Work stations and lighting should be arranged to avoid direct and reflected glare. Place the computer where there is no glare from windows or light and keep screens clean and dust free. Using a glare filter on your computer screen also helps.
      5. The computer monitor should be slightly below eye level. This will allow you to look downward at the screen and allow you to blink more frequently and thus prevent dry eye.
      6. Wear sunglasses that reduce glare and offer 100% UV protection while driving or working outside. This reduces strain on the eyes and prevents squinting which may tire eye and facial muscles.
      7. When reading, knitting or drawing, hold your material about 40cm from your eyes. Also, use adequate soft light (a 60 watt bulb).
      8. Room lighting should never be as bright as your computer screen. Find a way to darken the area around the computer screen.
      9. While watching TV, the room lighting should be 50% dimmer than the screen. Do not watch in total darkness though as this makes the contrast in light too great. Also sit at a reasonable distance away from the TV. Too close viewing distances can also cause eyestrain.
      10. For those of you enjoy doing yoga, there are some asanas and exercises specifically addressed to your eyes. This is beneficial to you from all aspects.

      Hope this helps you get some eye strain headache relief soon. If any problems or questions please call us at Pineslopes Optometrists on 011 465 4028/9 or via our optometry contact page.

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