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What causes eye twitching?

Most people have experienced the feeling of a twitching eye, which is very common and can happen to anyone. If you’re concerned about what might be causing an eye twitch, read on for everything you need to know.

What does an eyelid twitch feel like?

An eye twitch can feel unusual if you’ve never experienced it before, like a gentle tug or flickering in the eyelid. It might happen every few seconds or go away and come back a few minutes later. Eye twitching shouldn’t hurt, but it might be a little uncomfortable and irritating while it lasts.

How long does eye twitching last?

Most eye twitching lasts for a few minutes, although it can last for a couple of days or longer.1 You should seek medical advice if you have an eye twitch that lasts for more than 14 days, if the area around your eye feels weak, or if you think medicine might be causing the spasm.2

What causes eye twitching?

There are lots of possible causes of an eyelid twitch. These are some of the most common:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Tiredness
  • Eyestrain
  • Caffeine or alcohol
  • Dry eyes
  • Allergies
  • Nutrition problems3

How to stop your eye from twitching

If your eye is twitching because of tiredness, stress, or anxiety, the best way to stop it is to get some rest and try to find ways to relax. It might also help to massage the area to relax the muscles in your eyelid.4

You should also try to avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, as these can make your eyelid twitch worse. If you think a prescribed medication causes your twitch, be sure to seek medical advice before you stop taking it.

It’s possible that your eyes are twitching because of dryness or allergies. If you think this is the case, you can buy some soothing drops to help rehydrate your eyes and stop them from twitching. Hydrating eye drops are available without a prescription.

Nutrition and eye health

If you’re worried that your diet isn’t supporting healthy vision, you can speak to your optician about things you might be missing.

Oily fish, like salmon, tuna, anchovies and mackerel, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital when it comes to eye health.5 Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is essential for all aspects of your health, whether you’re trying to deal with an eye twitch or not. Explore our whole range of vitamins and supplements to make sure you’re getting everything you need to keep your body running at its best.

Last updated: 6 July 2020

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Eye Health