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Why Does My Eye Twitch When I Sneeze?

Updated on February 28, 2015

Maybe often, maybe occasionally, when you sneeze your eye might begin to twitch. Probably you've wondered why this happens, it might even be a cause for concern. Generally, it is not a cause for concern, but if eye twitching is very persistent, there might be an underlying cause that needs some kind of treatment.

Here we will explore why a sneeze might trigger spasms in the eyelid and what are some of the causes of eye twitching.

Many muscles work together to let out a sneeze.
Many muscles work together to let out a sneeze.

Compensating Muscles

Basically, when you sneeze you use a lot of muscles all at once. The body, to compensate for the force and exertion of a sneeze, might use other muscles in the body besides the ones used in the sneeze. Sort of like when you lift something heavy and tense the muscles in your face.

Therefore, in an effort to stabilize itself, the body uses the muscles in the eye to deal with the exertion of all of the muscles involved in a sneeze.

Blepharospasm

Blepharospasm is an involuntary blinking or twitching of the eye. Small, local involuntary twitching of muscles generally is called Fasciculations. There are many possible causes of this kind of spasm.

  • Myasthenia is an autoimmune disease that basically causes muscle weakness and can be aggravated due to stress, overexertion, lack of sleep, extreme heat, some medications or deficiencies in nutrients; this condition basically blocks nerve and muscle signals and can cause twitching in the eyelid muscles.
  • Medications used to treat psychosis or neurological disorders can cause spasms at the eye.
  • Pressure on nerves due to such things as neck and back problems can affect the muscles in the eyelid and make them twitch.
  • Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism, and other metabolic disorders, which are the result of an under-active thyroid can sometimes cause eye twitches.
  • A condition known as Hemifacial Spasm is a neurological disorder that will cause involuntary contractions of the muscles.

The body is forcefully exerted during a sneeze.
The body is forcefully exerted during a sneeze.

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Other Possibilities

There are many factors to consider in determining why your eyelid muscles might contract during a sneeze; it is not necessarily indicative of a serious condition. As stated it could be a pinched nerve or stress or lack of sleep. In addition, an excessive amount of coffee or alcohol have been known to cause these spasms as well.

One possibility, especially considering that sneezes are meant to expel germs, is that bacteria in the eye, even normally gathered during the day, are disturbed during a sneeze and the disruption causes the eye to twitch.

Scientifically speaking, the optic nerve is connected to the Trigeminal Ganglion, which sends sensation signals to the nose, and it is possible the two things communicate in a way that triggers spasms in the eyelid. Also, the visual cortex in some people is apt to be more sensitive and cause twitches in the eye after something as overstimulating as a sneeze. More on all this in the video below.

More Interesting Info on Why Your Eye Twitches

It seems the most reasonable explanation for eye twitching after a sneeze is just the forceful exertion of muscles during the sneeze. Ancillary muscles take part in balancing the body after such a major muscular event and begin to spasm.

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    • NathaNater profile image
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      NathaNater 3 years ago

      Thanks, dejvimanushi. Glad you liked it and glad you stopped by.

    • dejvimanushi profile image

      Dejvi Manushi 3 years ago from Albania

      This is a very interesting article. I carefully read every single word of it. Small things like eye twitching during sneeze is a unique kind of information that is not read everyday. Well done.

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