Here's When You Should Worry About Your Eye Twitching

Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, so whenever you experience something unusual happening to them — pain, irritation, redness, and so on — you should not ignore it. Statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that eye diseases are common but many people do not even seek treatment for their conditions. Per the CDC, approximately 93 million American adults are at high risk of losing their vision. Despite that, only about half of them went to see a doctor in the past 12 months.

Speaking of unusual eye conditions, one of the most common ones that everyone experiences once in a while is eye twitching. Eye twitching is an abnormal contraction of your eyelids, and it could happen to everyone irrespective of age and gender. It is an involuntary action, which means you cannot control it (via Cedars Sinai). You should not be worried if you experience eye twitching once in a blue moon. However, if it happens consistently over a certain period, you should consider seeing an ophthalmologist as soon as possible because it can affect your vision. What is the reason behind eye twitching? What should you do about it?

What causes eye twitching? When to see a doctor?

Per University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), eye twitching — medically known as ocular myokymia — can last for a few seconds to a few days. But sometimes, it can even take weeks or up to a month for it to go away. Usually, the condition is benign and can happen due to several factors, including stress, insufficient sleep, increased consumption of caffeine, alcohol intake, medication, allergies, dry eyes, or a combination of the aforementioned factors (via UPMC). 

However, there are rare occasions when eye twitching is associated with brain problems, including brain damage due to stroke or inflammation, reaction to some medicines prescribed for mental illnesses, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others (via Cedars Sinai). Per the website, any person who has a family history of eye twitching or those who have had a head injury are at greater risk of developing this condition.

Cedars Sinai further explains that in addition to eye twitching, you could develop some other symptom,s too. If you experience accompanying symptoms such as dry eyes, problems with vision, sensitivity to light, irritation in the eyes, and increased blinking, it could be indicative of something serious. If that is the case, consider seeing your doctor immediately to avoid further complications.