Eye twitching

Eye twitching or tics are common and may affect us all at some time.  Generally the bottom eyelid contracts and this is felt as a spasm or involuntary movement by the sufferer, but is not often noticed by those around them.

Usually only one eye is affected, but occasionally both eyes may be affected, and it can in some cases continue for several days.

The medical term for this condition is called myokymia, but it not regarded as a condition that needs or responds to any specific medication.

These twitches are generally caused by tiredness, stress or eye strain.  Dry eyes and allergies may also make the eyelids more likely to twitch, so they may respond to specific treatments for these conditions.

Eye strain may occur if your vision is not as good as it should be – if you need glasses or have a visual problem then the muscles of your eye may be overworked, causing twitching. It is helpful to rule out visual disturbances by having your eyes checked by an optometrist if you suffer from tired eyes or frequent eye twitching.  

Ensuring that you are well rested, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly can help to reduce stress. For some people excessive alcohol and caffeine containing drinks can also increase stress and cause twitching eyes, so removing these from your diet can be helpful in preventing eye twitching.

Dry eyes are common as we age. Staring at a computer or other screens may also worsen dry eyes and this is treated by lubricating eye drops which can be used frequently to relieve sore or twitching eyes.

If you are bothered by twitching eyes then talk to your community pharmacist. They can advise you about suitable treatments to use to relieve your eyelid twitches. They can also give you help with managing this eye problem as well as referring you for more specific help from an optician or doctor to treat any underlying cause of this condition if suitable treatments are not available over the counter from a pharmacy.