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What Causes Eye Twitching?

By Paul Rothbart

Having eyelids is pretty handy. It would be hard to sleep if you couldn't close your eyes and it helps when someone wants to surprise you. Eyelids can also protect your eyes from dust or particles flying through the air. Notice how your eyes automatically close when you sneeze. What's flirting without a wink? Sometimes your eyelids may close and open involuntarily. This is twitching and is usually nothing more serious than a little irritation. Eye twitches can be annoying and it's good to know some of the things that may be causing them. 


A common cause of eye twitches is irritation. This can happen from exposure to chemicals or from an allergy. Infections such as conjunctivitis are also possible culprits. These should be treated by a doctor. Staring at a television, computer, or smartphone screen is a very common cause of irritation that can lead to eye twitching. The treatment here is simple. Cut back on screen time. Continuing to stay at screens for too many hours could make the twitch permanent.


Fatigue is going to happen periodically. When you are extremely tired, you can lose some control of your muscles. This makes it impossible to do anything physical. Loss of muscle control can extend to the eyelids, making your eyes twitch. If you are exhausted and twitching, get some rest.


Blepharitis is a swelling of the eyelid. It can be caused by medications, infections, or mites. It can cause eye twitching that is uncomfortable and irritating but is generally not a serious health risk. Blepharitis is usually very easy to treat. A doctor can diagnose it for you.

Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy is a condition that causes paralysis on one side of the face but does not affect any other part of the body. It causes people to lose control of the muscles on that side of the face. It tends to droop and the muscles may twitch, including the eyelids. If you notice drooping along with eye twitches, you may have Bell's Palsy. 

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a central nervous system disorder. It usually affects younger people in their 20s and 30s. Early on, its symptoms are fatigue, numbness, and a lack of balance. A twitching eye is another common symptom in the beginning stages. If you have an eye twitch coupled with the other symptoms, see a doctor. People who are diagnosed early have a good chance to manage it.

Eye twitches can be annoying but are usually not serious. If you are experiencing them, a visit to your primary health care provider can diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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