One of the more common questions I receive is about eye twitching. It’s probably happened at least once to all of us. You’re trying to concentrate on something and then all of sudden your eye starts going off and it wasn’t something you were intentionally trying to do. It’ll probably go on for a couple of seconds to a minute or so. It doesn’t hurt or seem to cause any issues – it’s just an odd phenomenon to experience movements of muscles that you can normally control yourself.
Eye twitching is nothing to worry about though. It’s not an indication of something more serious either – just more annoying than anything else since you can’t control it. It can happen to literally anyone because if you are experiencing a lack of sleep, increase in stress, consuming caffeine, or any combination of the three, you are more than likely to have eye twitching occur. Gentle massaging can sometimes help to reduce the amount of twitching occurring but ultimately, getting enough sleep, controlling stress levels, and consuming less caffeine will stop the twitching.
If the twitching occurs in both eyes simultaneously and is more of a forceful blink not initiated by your own voluntary muscle control, this is more likely benign essential blepharospasm (BEB). It’s a neurological condition that is harmless and won’t cause any permanent damage to the visual system by any means. Again, this is more annoying than anything else because it’s forceful blinking of both eyes that you can’t control. Increased light sensitivity can trigger the condition, but for the most part it occurs on it’s own. Treatment for BEB is using botox injections to the affected muscle. The injections weaken the muscles by blocking the nerve impulses that initiate the forceful blinking. Injections are done on an as needed basis or repeated every 3 to 4 months by a neuro-ophthalmologist.
The difference between the two is twitching is usually one eye at a time versus BEB being both eyes at the same time and more of a forceful blink rather than a twitching of the eyelids. Both are not something that will cause you to lose or damage your vision – just more of an annoyance really. If you have any further questions, feel free to drop by and ask our eye doctor.