It can be really embarrassing when your eye starts twitching without your permission. People think you are winking at them when you’re not, plus, you look a little shifty.
So why does the twitching happen, and what can you do to stop it from ruining your date?
Luckily, most twitching doesn’t last more than a few minutes (though for a few unlucky people, the twitching can last for months!)
These small muscle contractions can affect either the top or bottom lid, but not typically both, and can have a number of causes, including stress, tiredness, or eye strain (especially from staring at a computer screen for too long, or when you need to update an eyeglass prescription). But it can also indicate a nutritional deficiency, dry eyes, irritation of the eye, or allergies, or even be caused by drinking alcohol or caffeine, or it can be a side effect of certain medications. Much less commonly, eye twitching can be a sign of a more serious condition, like a nerve disorder, but more typically, the issue is benign and resolved in time.
Chronic eye twitching is referred to as benign essential blepharospasm, and like acute twitching, can have a number of causes.
Eye twitching is typically not a reason for concern unless you also experience: droopiness of upper eyelid; swelling and redness and possibly discharge of the eye; your eyelids completely closing with each twitch; twitching that lasts for several weeks; or twitching that affects other parts of your face.
For the most part, if it is not a serious issue, the twitching can be challenging and often impractical to diagnose the exact cause, so it is often difficult to treat with anything but time. Your best bet is to go through the list of probable causes and look for a remedy that works by trial and error. If you haven’t been sleeping, rest your eyes. If you have been staring at a computer screen all day, look out a window at a distant spot for a few minutes, or rest your eyes. Talk to your eye doctor about your prescription. And you can try a supplement like magnesium, which helps muscles to relax if the condition doesn’t get better by addressing other potential causes.
Eye twitching can be very annoying but is rarely cause for great alarm. Talk to your eye doctor if you have chronic eye twitching, and make sure you are giving your valuable eyes a rest throughout the day.