Help for an Eye Twitch
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: September 26, 2002

I have had a twitch in my eye for over 3 weeks now and it is driving me nuts. Do you have suggestions on how to treat it?

An eye twitch is usually caused by fatigued muscles around the eye and is usually temporary. The main factors are usually insufficient sleep, too much coffee or stress and worry.

The muscles around the eye may become fatigued by long periods of constriction, as from squinting because of bright light, glare or vision problems. A twitch can result from doing a lot close work, or work on a computer, especially one with screen glare. Check your environment for glaring light, and adjust it if possible. If you do close work or work on a computer all day, I suggest that you take short, regular breaks.

Gently massaging the area around your eye often relieves the twitch.

If worry and stress are factors for you, take the time to evaluate your stressors, and practise relaxation exercises to induce a feeling of calm. Diet and lifestyle play an important role in the nervous system. Foods high in vitamins B (whole grains, nuts, seeds, green vegetables) and C (especially citrus fruits) nourish the nervous system. The nervous system needs an environment of emotional support, and activities that are fulfilling for you.

Herbs can help the nervous system while you are re-evaluating causes of nervous stress and choosing relaxation exercises that are appropriate and enjoyable. Investigate using licorice and ginseng for a short period of time if you have been under stress for a long time. These herbs nourish the adrenal glands, which become exhausted under long term stress. If insomnia is a factor for you, please see previous answers to questions about insomnia on our website at Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then choose "Search Richters Q&A", and enter the word "insomnia" for the search.

Other possible causes of an eye twitch include a drug side effect, an early sign of fibromyalgia and corneal injury.

You should visit your health care provider or eye doctor for an eye twitch lasting more than a week.

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