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April 24, 2012, last updated June 4, 2014

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist







Do you have a wandering eye? Or is it more of a twitching eye?
Eye twitching (also known as blepharospasm) is an
uncontrollable, repetitive blinking or flickering of your eyelid.
When you have a twitching eye you can’t stop winking or
blinking for a few seconds or up to a minute or more. A
twitching eye can be an annoying eye, and it can cause other
people to look strangely at you. But should you worry if your
eye starts to twitch? Is a twitching eye the sign of something
serious? What can you do to stop the twitching?

What are the Causes of Eye Twitching?

Twitching eye affects up to 25,000 people in the United States,
according to the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research
Foundation. The cause of all muscle twitches, including eye
twitches, is an imbalance of calcium ions at the cellular level
that triggers an involuntary muscle contraction. But the cause
of that ionic imbalance can itself be other causes. For example,
many of us will suffer a minor eye twitch from time to time,
usually due to stress, tiredness, wind or light irritation, or
caffeine.

Often, eye twitching is caused by
blepharitis (an inflammation
of the eyelids),
dry eyes, or conjunctivitis. Sometimes, eye
twitching can be a sign of an
overactive thyroid. Rarely, eye
twitching can be a sign of
Bell’s palsy, Parkinson's disease or
Tourette's syndrome.

Is a Twitching Eye Dangerous?

Occasional twitching of the eye is not dangerous, although it is
annoying. But if the condition gets worse, you can become
sensitive to light and have blurred vision. In some cases, eye
twitching can become so intense your eyes stay shut for hours.
In these cases, a twitching eye can cause serious emotional
distress and physical problems.

We’re looked through the most recent scientific research to
come up with remedies for eye twitching. Read on to find out
how you can stop your eye twitching and restore normal
movement to your eyelid.


























1.
Change Your Lifestyle to Prevent Twitching Eyes

Because eye twitching is most often associated with tiredness,
stress, lack of sleep, alcohol and caffeine, you can cut your risk
of a twitching eye by changing your lifestyle to correct these
habits.

Eye strain can also cause your eyes to twitch – according to a
2005 study from Ohio State University squinting at your
computer screen can cut the number of times you blink by
almost half. If you’re not blinking regularly, you may find your
eye twitching out of control throughout the day.

2.
Treat Twitching Eyes Caused by Conjunctivitis

A minor eye twitch can be caused by an inflammation of the
membranes lining the eyelids – known as conjunctivitis or pink
eye. Several natural remedies have been suggested for
conjunctivitis, including herbal teas used in a compress or
poultice on your closed eyelids.

Eyebright herb is a commonly used treatment for eye problems,
as the name suggests, as are calendula, chamomile, barberry,
Oregon grape and goldenseal. These last herbs contain
berberine, which is used as a treatment for conjunctivitis in
Germany.

3.
Twitching Eyes Caused by Bell's Palsy – Effective Treatments

Bell’s palsy is one of the most common types of facial muscle
weakness, and it affects 25 out of 100,000 people in the United
States according to Teixeira, Soares, Vieira and Prado in their
2008 work “Physical therapy for Bells palsy.” Bell’s palsy can
cause problems with your eye including irregular blinking or an
always-open eye. Natural remedies for Bell’s palsy include
Vitamin B12, B6 and zinc. A 1995 study from the University of
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia found vitamin B12 injected into
the face was better than steroids for treating facial spasms
caused by Bells palsy. Vitamins are also great for boosting your
immune system – a strong immune system makes Bell’s palsy
less likely to occur, according to some experts. (Read more
about
natural remedies for Bell's palsy.)

4.
Botox is a Cure for a Twitching Eye?

Apparently Botox has several health benefits apart from its
cosmetic surgery purpose. It is one of the most recommended
treatments for blepharospasm, according to many experts, and
relieves eye spasms for a few months when injected in very
small quantities into the eye muscles. A 2007 study from
Melbourne's Brain Research Institute, Australia demonstrated
that Botox along with facial exercises helped smooth damaged
areas responsible for facial movements.

5.
Treat a Twitching Eye Caused by Blepharitis with N-Acetyl
Cysteine

Blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid, is very common
among the US population and seen in between 37 percent and
47 percent of ophthalmologist and optometrist patients,
according to a 2009 survey from the George Washington
University School of Medicine.

Blepharitis can cause your eye to twitch. Try N-Acetyl Cysteine
(NAC), a modified form of the dietary amino acid cysteine,
which can help your body create an antioxidant that loosens
the secretions that block your eyelid and contribute to
twitching. A 2002 study by SSK Okmeydani Training Hospital,
Istanbul, Turkey found N-Acetyl Cysteine at a dose of 100mg
three times a day, for eight weeks, brought significant benefits
to 50 blepharitis patients.

6.
How to Cure Dry Eyes That Cause Twitching

Dry eyes can make your eyes twitch – your eyelids are working
hard to moisturize your eyes and finding it difficult, which is
when your eyes begin to twitch. Try changing your diet to
combat dry eye twitching.

Omega-3 fatty acids are said to help prevent and cure dry eyes
because they may help you produce tears and they reduce
inflammation. A 2011 study from The University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas showed
supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids upped the tear
production of dry eye sufferers, helping to restore normal eye
function.  

A 2005 study from Brigham and Women's Hospital and
Schepens Eye Research Institute found foods high in omega-3s
like tuna reduce your incidence of dry eyes by 68 percent.

You need to eat five servings a week of tuna to get this result,
according to the researchers.

[Update:

Each serving of tuna in this study was 113 grams, which is
about 4 ounces.  So you would need to eat about 24 ounces of
tuna a week to achieve this reduction in dry eyes.

This study noted that what is really important for you to watch
is your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

We Americans (and British, Australians, New Zealanders and
most Canadians) eat a lot of foods with omega-6, which is
found in vegetable oil, and many snacks. We tend to be very
deficient in omega-3 fatty acids which are found in oily fish
such as tuna and salmon. So, teh key is to both increase the
amount of foods with omega-3 in your diet and at the same
time
decrease the amount of omega 6 in your diet.  (Read more
about
natural remedies for dry eyes.)]

7.
Aloe Vera is a Cure For Eye Twitching

This is a little removed from the main causes of eye twitching,
but aloe vera may be effective because it treats seborrheic
dermatitis (dandruff). Seborrheic dermatitis is linked closely
with blepharitis, which causes eye twitching.

The gel inside the leaves of the aloe vera plant can help soothe
the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, according to a 1999
study from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva,
Israel. Be careful to treat the cause of your eye twitching at the
root of the problem, the
dermatitis, and don’t put aloe vera
directly into the eye.

8.
Eye Twitching Caused by Parkinson's Disease

While every Parkinson’s disease sufferer has distinct symptoms,
many people suffer eye twitching when they are diagnosed
with this condition. Experts are still trying to find a
comprehensive cure for all Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and
until then certain supplements are said to be beneficial. For
example, the food supplement coenzyme Q 10.

A 2003 study by St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University, Germany
found that 360mg of coenzyme Q 10 produced a mild
improvement in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including the
symptoms of eye twitching. (Read more about other
remedies
for symptoms of Parkinson's disease.)

9.
Treat Dry, Twitching Eyes with Castor Oil

Dry eyes cause irritation and uncontrollable blinking. You can
use castor oil eye drops to help your eyelids spread tears more
evenly and therefore hydrate the eyes, cutting down the risk of
eye twitching. This is according to a 2002 study from the
Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Dental College, Chiba,
Japan.

10.
Eye Twitching Caused by Trapped Particles – One Solution

Did you consider your eyes may be twitching because you have
dust or grit trapped beneath your eyelid? Trapped particles can
be difficult to remove.

Try a suggestion from the American Optometric Association -
apply warm compresses to the eyelids to loosen trapped
particles as well as crusting or blockages. Then wash around
the eyes with lukewarm water, making sure your hands are
clean before and after the treatment.






Related:
How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Eyes

Ideal Diet for Healthy Eyes

Stop Night Blindness-Vitamin A Deficiency and Foods That Help

Leg Twitching -Causes and Cures

Foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure /
Foods to Help You Control Your Blood Sugar /
Ideal Breakfast for Diabetes / Ideal Breakfast for Heart Health
/
How to Stop Bad Breath / How to Kill the Bacteria Between
Your Teeth /Are Diet Sodas Bad forYour Health? /Foods That
Lower Your Blood Sugar /Thrush-Natural Remedies /Sugar-
The Disease Connection
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