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What Causes Eye Twitching?

woman eye twitchingAlmost everyone has experienced eye twitching at least once. Eye twitching can be mildly annoying, distracting, and embarrassing. But every now and again, eye twitching can be a real problem, especially if it becomes chronic or happens at inopportune times, such as when driving, operating heavy machinery or trying to do small tasks like sewing. Interestingly, you’re actually more likely to have eye twitching when you’re trying to use your eyes for something important.

What is Eye Twitching?

Eye twitching is nothing more than a muscle contraction. There are very fine muscles in your eyelids. When they spasm—or the muscle contracts repeatedly—you experience that bothersome twitching sensation. Sometimes eye twitching is evident to others but often, you can feel the eye twitching, but others can’t see it unless they are very close. This is why, when you do experience eye twitching, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed; it’s probably not even something that anyone else is aware of when it’s happening to you.

What Causes Eye Twitching?

The most common cause of eye twitching is eye strain. When the eyes become tired or “overworked,” you’re more likely to get an eye twitch. People who do lots of close work, like writers, sewers, knitters, and graphic artists are more likely to get eye twitching if they habitually strain their eyes. Another common cause of eye twitching is excess caffeine. Caffeine, in fact, may cause twitching in other areas of the body when too much is ingested. Even alcohol consumption in excess can lead to temporary eye twitching.

Treatment For Eye Twitching

Eye twitching is usually a completely benign condition that goes away on its own. No treatment is generally needed for eye twitching unless it becomes problematic. If you have chronic eye twitching, it’s probably time to reevaluate your lifestyle. Are you working with adequate lighting? Is your computer screen too close to your eyes? Are you taking too much caffeine or alcohol? For those who don’t drink coffee, remember that tea and chocolate also have caffeine.

Those with dry eye syndrome may have more serious issues with eye twitching. If this describes your situation, you should consult with your Grand Forks eye doctor for treatment advice.