Monday, February 5, 2018

Dear Doc, what causes my eyelids to twitch at times?

Dr Syriacus Buguzi

Dr Syriacus Buguzi 

By Dr Syriacus Buguzi

        One of my readers who identified herself as Joan says that her eyelids twitch at times and this keeps her intrigued. “What causes it, Doc?” she asked.

Does it irritate you? That was the question I posed to her. Well, not. However, she remained insistent, wanting to know the facts and science behind the process.

People have always attributed twitching of the eyelids to many things.

Some say it’s associated with good or bad luck—a lot of myths.

For me, the first time I experienced an eyelid twitch, I shared the experience with my grandmother and aunt. They both told me that something bad was going to happen to me.

The belief was that the upper eye lid means good things to come but the lower eye lid was bad omen. Young as I was, I believed the,

But looking at it scientifically, just as Joan wants it, eyelid twitches are simply involuntary muscle movements or spasms.

These movements are repetitive in nature and can involve both eyelids or can happen in one of them.

In most cases the twitches are painless and harmless and may occur in few minutes or on and off for several days.

How they start or end, it’s interesting. Mots times, they will resolve on their own without the need for treatment.

Even though in rare cases, eyelid spasms may be early warning sign serious diseases, especially if the spasms are accompanied by other facial twitches or uncontrollable movements.

What causes eyelid twitches?

Eyelid spasms may occur without any identifiable cause. But; eyelid twitches may be caused or made worse by: fatigue, lack of sleep, physical exertion, medication side effects

•stress, use of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine, dizziness, eye irritation and eyelid strain.

How are eyelid twitches treated?

You don’t have to worry, as most eyelid spasms go away without treatment in a few days or weeks.

If they don’t go away, you can try to eliminate or decrease potential causes. As the most common causes of eyelid twitch are stress, fatigue, and caffeine. To ease eye twitching, you might want to try the following:

• Drink less caffeine.

• Get adequate sleep.

• Keep your eye surfaces and membranes lubricated with over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops.

• Apply a warm compress to your eyes when a spasm begins.

How can you prevent eyelid twitches?

If your eyelid spasms are happening more frequently over time, note when they occur. Note your intake of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, as well as your level of stress and how much sleep you’ve been getting in the periods leading up to and during the eyelid twitching.

If you notice that you get more spasms when you aren’t getting enough sleep, try to go to bed 30 minutes to an hour earlier to help ease the strain on your eyelids and to reduce your spasms.