Eye Twitching

Published by Auckland Eye on Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018

Why Does My Eye Twitch?


Eye twitching, eyelid tics and spasms are pretty common and usually appear unexpectedly and seemingly out of nowhere. Called "myokymia" in medical terms, these involuntary rippling muscle contractions typically involve only the lower eyelid of one eye, but the upper eyelid can twitch also. There are many different possible triggers for eye twitching. The most common and likely causes of eye twitching and spasms include stress, tiredness, caffeine, alcohol and eye strain often caused by long hours of computer usage.


1. Stress

While it's perfectly normal and sometimes unavoidable to be under stress at times, our bodies react in different ways to stress. Just as some of us often have acne breakouts as a result of stress, others can experience eye twitches as a sign of stress, especially when it is related to vision problems such as eye strain.

To alleviate stress, yoga, exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, spending time with friend, family or pets and making time for doing things that you enjoy can help prevent these annoying eye twitches.


2. Lack of Sleep and Fatigue

In order for our bodies and brain to properly replenish, most of us between the ages of 26 to 64 need around 7-9 hours sleep each night according to the National Sleep Foundation. Not only can insufficient sleep result in grogginess and mood changes including irritability, but also eye twitches can be an indication that you are not getting adequate sleep.


3. Excessive Caffeine

You may experience eye twitching if you’ve been having more caffeine than usual, which unsurprisingly often goes hand in hand with lack of sleep and stress. Since caffeine, often found in coffee, tea and cola, is a stimulant and induces muscle contraction, excessive caffeine intake is a common trigger of eye twitching.


4. Alcohol Consumption

Eye spasms are not just triggered by excessive caffeine consumption; too much alcohol can also be a cause for eye twitches. If that glass of wine at dinner has become more than that, it might be time to decrease your alcohol intake, not only to prevent those little eye movements, but also to take better care of your overall health.


5. Eye Strain

In this day and age,  where most of us depend on our digital devices to carry out our everyday tasks at work, eye strain and eye fatigue from our overexposure to computer screen can also cause eye twitches.


6. Nutritional Deficiencies

Eye spasms may also be a sign that you are not getting enough of certain nutrients, most commonly magnesium and B12 vitamin. To avoid eye spasms, doctors often recommend that you try and boost your magnesium and B12 vitamin intake by eating more magnesium-rich foods such as oats, almonds and spinach and B12 rich foods including red meat, milk, chicken, eggs and salmon.

However if the twitch still  continues over several weeks, to check your magnesium level, it is recommended that you get a blood test done. To get the nutrients you need, a magnesium supplement may be more effective for boosting intake, in some instances.



Though annoying, a twitchy eye is often not serious. Eyelid twitches can be brought on by one of many causes, but fortunately, they can resolve on their own without the need for treatment in most cases and the solution that works varies depending on the person. However if the twitching persistent for months and becomes bothersome, this can often be treated with Botox. If it involves other muscles of face other than just the lid, this would warrant seeing doctor, as this could be due to irritation of the facial nerve and an MRI may be needed.

If you have any concerns about having dry eyes, eye fatigue which may be causing a persistent eye twitch, come in and see us. Our specialists are happy to help with any issues that could be causing your eyes to twitch.

Categories: Eye Fun Facts

Auckland Eye - New Zealand Centre of Excellence for Eye Care