Eyelids feeling twitchy? The fancy scientific word for this condition is Blepharospasm, which comes from “blepharo” (the Greek word for eyelid) combined with “spasm” (an uncontrolled muscle contraction). These eyelid twitches, or tics, happen to many of us from time to time and can actually be hereditary. If you suffer from occasional eye twitches, chances are at least one other family member of yours does, too.
The good news is that even though having twitchy eyes is annoying, the condition is rarely serious and often goes away by itself after a few hours or after a good night’s sleep. It’s also easy to lessen the frequency and duration of twitches. Keep reading for how-to tips!
Staring at a computer screen for hours on end can cause your eye muscles to protest. Try holding a hand outstretched and keep it perfectly still. It won’t be long before your arm muscles tense and protest, then begin to quiver and twitch. The same thing happens to your eye muscles if you stare too long at a screen, or if you keep your eyes focused straight ahead for hours at a time, squinting to make out glare or small print text.
Download Eyes Relax or another timer application for your computer that will remind you to take vision breaks. Also, consider a pair of computer reading glasses (more on that here) that will help with glare. For more ways to beat eyestrain, check out these 10 tips to ease the pain.
Stress can also cause eye twitches and tics, which is why they always seem to happen at the worst possible time — like just before you’re scheduled to give a presentation or need to meet a deadline. Avoid last-minute reviews of your text. The combination of normal stress and eyestrain can cause your lids to flutter awry.
Treat Your Body Right
Fatigue can definitely bring on a bout of twitchy eye, as can the overuse of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine. Staying well hydrated can help mitigate their effects and keep the electrolytes that control muscle action in balance.
Stop Twitches Before They Start
Keep a bottle of artificial tears on hand and use them when your eyes start feeling scratchy due to allergens, smog, or other environmental irritants. Giving your temples an occasional finger massage can be another good source of prevention.
If the Twitching Continues
Most eye twitches are harmless. But if they last more than a few days or spread to the corner of your mouth or other facial muscles, consult your eye doctor or physician. You may have an eye infection or another treatable condition.
For even more on how to ease daily eyestrain and eye twitching, read up on these special tips on making your smartphone and tablet easier on your eyes.