Optician Q&A

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Why Is My Eye Twitching?

Answer:

Eyelid spasms may occur without any identifiable cause. Since they’re rarely a sign of a serious problem, the cause isn’t usually investigated. However, eyelid twitches may be caused by:

 

  • - Eye irritation

  • - Eyelid strain

  • - Fatigue

  • - Lack of sleep

  • - Physical exertion

  • - Medication side effects

  • - Stress

  • - Use of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine

 

If the spasms become chronic, you may have what’s known as ‘benign essential blepharospasm’, which is the name for chronic and uncontrollable winking or blinking. This condition typically affects both eyes. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but the following may make spasms worse:

 

  • - Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid)

  • Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)

  • Dry eyes

  • - Environmental irritants, such as wind, bright lights, sun, or air pollution

  • - Fatigue

  • - Light sensitivity

  • - Stress

  • - Alcohol, smoking or caffeine

 

Benign essential blepharospasm is more common in women than in men. According to Genetics Home Reference, it affects approximately 50,000 Americans and usually develops in middle to late adulthood.

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