Eye twitching • Causes & what helps?

Symptom of stress Written according to the highest scientific standards and checked by experts

When an eyelid suddenly twitches, many people find the symptom very uncomfortable. There can be various causes behind the left or right eye twitching, from tired eyes to magnesium deficiency to infections. What helps against twitching eyes?

Close up of a woman's eye

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What is eye twitching?

Quick, small movements of the eyelid are typical for eye twitching. They resemble a flutter or twitch in that the eyelid does not close completely. This differentiates the eyelid twitching from a tic, in which there is a definite wink or blink. Such a tic is usually announced physically, and those affected can usually even suppress it in a targeted manner. This does not apply to the sudden twitching of the eyes.

The twitching of the eyes is usually short episodes interrupted by longer pauses. Some people feel the eye twitching for several minutes to a few hours, in others the eyelid twitches repeatedly over a longer period of time. Normally, only those affected notice that their eyelids are twitching – by contrast, bystanders hardly see the eyelid twitching.

Causes of eye twitching left or right

One of the most common causes of eye twitching is stress. In addition, the reasons for an eyelid twitch can be very different – in most cases they are rather harmless and not signs of a serious illness. Usually only one side is affected, so that there is usually only left or right eye twitching.

Possible causes of eye twitching:

If the eyes twitch only now and then, those affected usually do not have to worry about it, then the symptom does not have any disease value. Especially if it is not accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, pain or weight loss.

Food against stress and for good nerves

What helps against twitching eyes?

Anyone who knows what is behind the twitching of the eyes can specifically treat the symptom. If acute stress or a lack of vitamins and minerals are not an issue, those affected should first seek medical advice and clarify the cause of the eye twitching. If the cause is treated, the symptom usually goes away too.

  • With stress, conscious breaks in everyday life, some exercise and sport as well as targeted relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson often help. Autogenic training, meditation, or yoga are also good ways to reduce stress.

  • If lack of sleep causes eye twitching, those affected should check their sleep routine and sleep hygiene and adjust them if necessary. Small things often help, such as eliminating annoying noise and light sources, ensuring a comfortable room temperature in the bedroom or writing down tasks for the next day before going to bed. If sleep disorders have been diagnosed by a doctor, certain sleeping pills and medications with melatonin can help.

  • Anyone who spends a lot of time in front of the screen should regularly take short breaks away from the monitor during working hours. Targeted eye training can also prevent overexertion of the eye and thus eye twitching. In addition, the time spent with the smartphone or in front of the television should be deliberately limited in leisure time in order to ensure that the eyes can relax.

  • As a rule, various measures are combined to treat burnout. These include psychotherapy, stress reduction, strengthening resilience, improving time management and learning to care for yourself.

  • If physical exertion makes you twitch your eyes, those affected should adjust their exercise rate and plan more breaks.

  • If cramps in the eye muscles (blepharospasm) cause eye twitching, botox (botulinum toxin type A) is injected into the eyelid muscles. Anti-anxiety medication can also be used.

  • During stress, a lot of sport or during pregnancy, a lack of magnesium often leads to twitching eyes. In such cases, those affected should add magnesium-containing foods such as dairy products, bananas, spinach, fish or touf to the menu. Magnesium intake through dietary supplements can also be considered.

  • If a deficiency in vitamin B12 causes eyelid twitching, eating appropriate foods can help. These include milk, spirulina, eggs, tuna or herring.

  • Usually, an increased consumption of alcohol or caffeine-containing beverages is strongly related to an increased stress level. In order to alleviate stress and the resulting consequences such as sleep disorders, those affected should reduce their consumption of alcohol, coffee and energy drinks.

  • Contact lenses can be irritating to the eyes, which can lead to increased blinking and twitching. Eye infections can also be the result. In such cases, those affected should refrain from wearing contact lenses for a few days – if the eye twitching occurs again and again, an ophthalmological examination may be useful.

  • Since severe high blood pressure can also lead to twitching of the eyes, the blood pressure should be adjusted accordingly after consultation with a doctor. Suitable measures are a change in lifestyle through a change in diet, exercise and relaxation as well as lowering medication using ACE inhibitors, beta blockers or diuretics.

  • Typically, eye infections are very contagious and should be treated early. While there is no effective cure for viruses, bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics in the form of ointments or drops.

  • Sometimes twitching eyes is the harbinger of a migraine. A migraine attack can be treated with a variety of medications. In addition to self-medication pain relievers, there are some effective medicines that require a prescription.

  • The neurological disease multiple sclerosis cannot be cured. Because it comes in flares, treatment aims to reduce the inflammation and its symptoms, and to slow the progression. Various medications such as glucocorticoids and immunosuppressants as well as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are available.

  • Seizures in the context of epilepsy are also serious incidents that should be treated by a doctor. So-called anti-epileptic drugs, i.e. drugs for the treatment of epilepsy, are usually prescribed.

  • The treatment of a herniated disc in the area of ​​the cervical spine belongs in the medical hands. In many cases, no surgery is required, instead drugs such as pain relievers and physiotherapy are used.

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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.

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