Why do we have eye twitches?

Eye twitches, also called orbicularis oculi fasciculations or myokymias, are totally involuntary and benign spasms that occur in the orbicularis oculi muscle of the eyelid.

They are quite common and normal, and occur in most people at some time in their lives. They can occur in the upper or lower eyelid, and are usually unilateral, that is, they affect only one eye at a time. Although they usually cease after a short time, in some cases they may persist for hours or days. They appear suddenly and disappear in the same way.

Why does an eye tic occur?

Anxiety or stress may be the main causes behind ocular microspasms. Other reasons that may cause them are dry eyes, eye fatigue, taking exciting substances or lack of sleep.

Whatever the cause, all these twitches are considered within normality, so it is not necessary for the Ophthalmology specialist to perform any specific examination.

How to eliminate an eye twitching?

Microspasms usually disappear on their own. However, there are some recommendations that can be followed to prevent their appearance, such as avoiding stress, getting adequate rest, minimizing the consumption of exciting drinks, having a good eye prescription and avoiding ocular dryness with artificial tears.

In some specific cases, treatment with botulinum toxin or myectomy of the orbicularis oculi muscle, which consists of weakening the muscle by resecting the fibers, may be recommended.

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On the other hand, there are certain acts that can be done so that the tics remit, when helping to relax the musculature:

  • Gently massage the eye without exerting pressure, with circular movements for a maximum of 30 seconds on the eyelid suffering from tic.
  • Blink rapidly for about 30 seconds.
  • Close your eyes tightly for 30 seconds.

When should we see an ophthalmologist for an eye tic?

We should go to an ophthalmologist when:

  • The spasm does not disappear after a few weeks.
  • The eyelid closes completely in each twitch, or there is difficulty to open the eye.
  • The spasm also occurs in other parts of the face or body.
  • The eye is red or swollen, or there is discharge.
  • The twitching of the eyelid causes vision to be minimized.
  • Involuntary blinking of both eyes.