Stop That Eye Twitch: Common Causes and Self-Care Strategies

Tips for getting rid of your eye twitch.
By fizkes at Shutterstock

It is no secret that eye twitches are annoying. An eyelid twitch, or tic, is a spasm or tiny movement in the upper or lower eyelid.  The involuntary motion’s onset is a sudden symptom, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to even days or longer.

What does an eye twitch signal?

The most common eye twitching or tics are benign. However, less commonly, this automatic eye motion means something more for your health.

  • Neurological problems such as hemifacial spasms orblepharospasm
  • Physical or mental exhaustion
  • Minor and severe stress
  • Over-stimulation from caffeine
  • Dry eyes

Self-Care Strategies for Eye Twitching

Steps exist to remedy an eyelid twitch. The automatic annoyance sometimes lingers for longer than is comfortable, but strategies exist to rid yourself of the spasm.

  • Stress is a common cause of eye twitching. The tic can develop when under strain. Eliminating ​causes of anxiety lessens the probability of developing an eyelid twitch. Finding an activity that reduces your stress level will also shorten the length of an eye spasm.
  • Lack of sleep, mental and physical exhaustion, and eye strain are all causes of eyelid twitches. Restorative sleep is essential to good quality of life, but also to avoid the agitation of an eyelid spasm.
  • Drinking too much caffeine is bad for your health in many ways. It also causes eye twitches because of the nature of caffeine as a stimulant. Limit coffee, soda, tea, and energy drink consumption to reduce the likelihood of eye spasms and their duration.
  • Dry eyes happen when our eyes do not produce enough natural tears. The reasons could range from medication to more serious issues like entropion. The symptom of dry eyes sometimes leads to eyelid twitches. Talk to your doctors and ophthalmologist for easy remedies for dry eyes.
  • Over-the-counter remedies help with eye twitching that lasts more than a few minutes. If one lasts longer than a few days, oral or topical antihistamine eye drops offer relief in most cases. Even if they do not eliminate the twitching entirely, the OTC medicine will at least reduce spasms.
  • Warm compresses relax muscles, so it makes sense that it would help an eyelid twitch. Laying your head back, massaging the eye, and applying a warm cloth will calm the annoying spasm to alleviate irritation of the involuntary movement.

Many eye twitches go away without intervention within a few days. Relaxing and eliminating physical and mental stressors are steps in the right direction. Getting restful and plentiful sleep, cutting back on caffeine, and taking breaks from the computer and television are additional ways to shorten the span of an eyelid twitch or eliminate it all together. Additionally, they act as positive self-care strategies.

If you’re concerned about an ongoing eye twitch or another condition affecting your vision, contact the team at Eye Care of Delaware for an appointment in Newark, Delaware by calling 302-454-8800.