Twitching Eye: What Does It Mean?

You could be sitting in a movie theater, driving to work or just relaxing on the couch when your eye suddenly starts to twitch. Twitching eyes, or eyelid spasms, are relatively common, and they may come and go without any identifiable trigger. However, some people experience eye twitching more frequently when they are under stress, drink too much caffeine or suffer from allergies. The involuntary muscle spasms around the eye can be annoying and even embarrassing.

Superstitions tell us that the left eye twitching means something bad is going to happen in our lives, while the right eye twitching means something good is about to happen. Science provides us with a few solid reasons why your eye muscles might spasm. Here’s a closer look at reasons why your eyes might be twitching and what you can do about them.

Common Causes of Eye Twitching

  • Caffeine: Whether you’ve been downing a few extra espresso drinks to get you through those busy days or sipping on tea and soda all day, the extra caffeine intake could be affecting your nervous system and making your eyes twitch. Scale back on the caffeine, so your body can relax naturally.
  • Computer eyestrain: Although we may not think about it, working at a computer all day or spending a lot of time focusing on a tablet or smartphone screen can put extra stress on your eyes. If you need to be at a computer for extended periods of time, get into a routine of taking frequent breaks. Even relaxing with your eyes closed for three to five minutes can be enough to reduce computer eyestrain and related eye spasms.
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep: If your hectic schedule hasn’t allowed for much sleep lately, you might find your eyes twitching more frequently. The Mayo Clinic identifies lack of sleep as one of the causes of eyelid spasms. Occasional naps and adequate sleep each night can help quell the twitching.
  • Allergies: People with hay fever and those who are allergic to dust might also experience twitching of the eye occasionally. This usually subsides when other symptoms disappear

Other causes of eye twitching include alcohol intake, eye irritation, emotional stress, bright lights and climate. If you are experiencing chronic spasms in both eyes, or if you are experiencing muscle spasms in other parts of the body, you may need to see your eye doctor or healthcare professional for an evaluation. Eye twitching is one of the symptoms of certain brain and nervous system disorders including multiple sclerosis, Tourette syndrome and Bell’s palsy.

For most people, eye twitches have a simple cause and are easy to correct without medical intervention. However, chronic muscle spasms or frequent eye twitching may require treatment. Talk to your eye doctor or your healthcare professional if you are concerned about eye twitching or the health of your eyes.