Eye twitch – what to do?

Eye twitch - what to do?

Eye twitching (eye twitching) is a common symptom with harmless causes in most cases. For example, stress or a lack of magnesium are possible. In rare cases, however, the twitching can also be due to a severe cause, such as a tumour. We will inform you about various causes of nervous eye twitching and tell you how to prevent it.

Why the eye twitches

If the eye twitches, there can be a variety of causes behind this symptom. The movement is caused by the contraction of the muscles in the eyelid. An irregular and involuntary twitching of muscles is also referred to in medicine as fasciculation.

The twitching is often perceived as annoying but usually harmless – even if it lasts several hours.

Nervous cramps occur more frequently, but we don’t even notice them in many parts of the body. However, since the muscles in the eye lie directly under the skin, we quickly become aware of them.


Eye twitching: causes

Why the musculature of the eye twitches varies, symptoms of muscle fatigue, such as lack of sleep, an undersupply of magnesium or the consumption of stimulants, can promote fasciculation. Eye twitching can occur in both the right and left eyes. Usually, only one side is affected.

Possible causes of eye twitching include:

  • Stress
  • eye fatigue
  • magnesium deficiency
  • Eye infections and other diseases, such as short- and long-sightedness or allergies
  • Use of alcohol or heavy caffeine consumption
  • dry eyes

In rare cases, a disease can also cause a twitching on or under the eye. For example, neurological diseases or tumours can disrupt the function of the nerves and thus trigger muscle twitching . High blood pressure or metabolic disorders can also cause eye twitching.

Nervous twitching – what to do?

A medical check-up is usually unnecessary if you don’t suffer from a twitching eye all the time, but only occasionally. Usually, it is a nervous twitching of the eyes caused by stress or an irritated eye nerve. The irritation of the eye nerves can promote muscle tension due to an increased release of stress hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline.

If you suspect physical or mental stress as the trigger, you should try to calm down a bit. Do a few relaxation exercises, listen to music or meet a few friends in a relaxed atmosphere to relieve your body and mind. However, if you have serious mental health problems, you should always seek medical advice.

A small massage can also relax the eyelid: close your eyes and gently massage the eyelid with your fingers. When the stress subsides, the eye twitching usually goes away.

Attention: Even if sport usually helps to reduce stress, in rare cases, it can also trigger muscle overloading. If the eyelid twitching occurs in direct connection with sporting activity, the load should be reduced somewhat as a test.


What helps with tired eyes?

In addition to stress, overtired eye muscles can also cause nervous twitching. In most cases, an overloaded eyelid lifter or eye ring muscle is the cause of the symptoms. For example, eye strain can be caused by a job that involves spending much time in front of a computer.

In such a case, doing without computers, televisions and smartphones at least once after work is advisable. Instead, exercise, listen to music, or socialize.

You can prevent eye strain at work by taking regular breaks to look out the window instead of at the screen. Also, try not to stare at the screen too much and instead blink a few times. In this way, you prevent dry eyes, which triggers eyelid twitching.

Lack of sleep can also trigger eye twitching since, in this case, the eye muscles are more strained. If lack of sleep is the cause of eye twitching, try to address the triggers of the sleep disorders and give your eye muscles more rest during the day through targeted relaxation exercises.

In addition, wearing glasses can tire the eyes and eye muscles if the visual aids are not adjusted correctly. If in doubt, seek advice from an ophthalmologist or an optician.

Too little magnesium is a cause.

If the eye twitches, a lack of magnesium can also be behind the twitching. The deficiency negatively affects the communication between nerves and muscles, which can lead to twitching of the eyes. On the one hand, a magnesium deficiency can be caused by insufficient magnesium intake. For example, this can be the case with an unhealthy or very one-sided diet.

On the other hand, a deficiency can also be triggered by an increased release of magnesium. There is an increased need during pregnancy, with regular exercise (increased excretion through sweating ) and in particularly stressful phases of life. In addition, diseases such as diabetesceliac disease, chronic kidney disease or alcoholism are possible triggers. Certain medications, such as birth control pills or diuretics, can also trigger a magnesium deficiency.

If you suspect that a disturbance in the mineral balance is responsible for the eye twitching, ensure you consume enough magnesium. Foods rich in magnesium include sunflower seeds, nuts, oatmeal, beans, and spinach. You may also be able to use dietary supplements. However, you should only take high-dose food supplements after consulting a doctor to avoid overdosing on magnesium.

Seek medical advice if eye twitching persists.

If the symptoms last for days and you constantly suffer from eye twitching, you should seek medical advice so that the cause of the eye twitching can be determined. Pain in the affected area, a high level of suffering or other symptoms occurring at the same time can also be warning signals.

As part of the ophthalmological examination, it is checked whether there is an infection or ametropia. Even a slight ametropia can, for example, lead to overexertion of the eye muscles. As a result, the twitching often begins.

If necessary, you will be referred to a neurological practice. More severe causes, such as nerve damage, brain malfunctioning, or a tumour, can be ruled out. However, such a pathological cause is infrequent.

Metabolic disorders, high blood pressure, deficiency symptoms or allergies should also be considered as causes and, if necessary, examined by a doctor.

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