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What Causes Eye Fluttering

Updated on July 21, 2010

Eye Fluttering or Twitching

Eye fluttering, known as eye myokymia, is most commonly caused by simple muscle contractions in the upper and/or lower eyelid. These spasms are painless, but are very irritating to the sufferer and will come and go as they please. They are completely unpredictable and very recurrent in nature.

Most commonly these eye muscle spasms occur in the lower eyelid, but they can occur in the upper eyelid or simultaneously. Any person can suffer from this annoying condition without there being an underlying condition or disease causing it. Very rarely are eye twitches caused by a chronic condition.

Instead, most sudden occurrences of eye twitching are completely benign. They can be caused, and symptoms lengthened, by stress, exhaustion, dehydration, caffeine, alcohol, eye strain, physical exertion, or smoking. Finding the root of the problem is the easiest way to treat it.

Every person's body reacts to stress in different ways, unfortunately sometimes it can have such serious effects as high blood pressure or less serious side-effects like a silly, annoying eye spasm. By finding the root of your stress and managing it safely and effectively, you can be on your way to being eye twitch free.

Fatigue is another contributor to eye twitching. By catching up on your rest each night, and making sure you're getting enough sleep each and every night, you can easily solve your eye spasm problems.

Dehydration can cause muscle spasms anywhere in your body, including your eye. Make sure your body is properly hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day to ensure that dehydration is not causing your eye muscle spasm.

Alcohol and caffeine can all cause eyelid twitches when consumed in excess. This is a good time to start analyzing your caffeine or alcohol intake and deciding if your daily amounts have increased recently. If they have, this may be the cause of your irritating eye twitching. Simply cut back on your alcohol or caffeine to alleviate your condition.

Eyestrain from vision-related stress or the computer can lead to eye fluttering. If your eyelid twitches are very persistent and you've tried to eliminate some other possible causes to no avail, then you should schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist or optometrist for an eye exam. You can also talk to your eye care professional about special computer glasses if you feel your eye strain may be from the computer or simply adjust the brightness levels on your monitor to see if that helps take care of your eye spasms.

Over exerting your body physically can lead to a sudden onset eye twitching. If you have ever lifted heavy weights during a workout, you probably have noticed this side effect at least once. The most simple way to stop eyelid twitches caused by physical exertion is to end the physical exertion and see if the twitching ends as well.

Smoking can also contribute to eye fluttering, so like alcohol and caffeine, if you know your smoking has increased lately, try cutting back or quitting to improve not only your eye health, but also your overall health.

While most of the time a troublesome eye twitch can be easily treated, sometimes there can be underlying causes for them. If one side of your face is twitching along with your eye or if both your upper and lower eyelid are twitching simultaneously causing your eye to shut, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. These types of eye fluttering can all be caused by more serious conditions that must be medically treated. When in doubt, see your doctor.

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