An eye twitch is the involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles. Eye twitching may be caused by any number of factors, such as eye strain, stress, dry eyes, alcohol or caffeine, allergens, nutritional imbalances or even tiredness. Periodic eye twitching is relatively normal and should not cause concern, but continued and persistent twitching should be reported to a physician.
Eye twitching is often accompanied by other signs or symptoms, such as blurry vision. Since eye twitches are involuntary spasms of the eye, blurry vision necessarily occurs during the twitches. But blurry vision that persists even after the eye has stopped twitching may be a sign of a more severe problem. Blindness, even if only for a few seconds, in the eye that twitches is also cause for concern.
A common sign of eye twitching is that twitching activity is restricted to one side. Persons may notice that one eye twitches periodically over the course of a few days while the other eye is unaffected. This may be because one eye's muscles have been strained more than the other.
Eye twitches are also signalled by the eye's closure, although not all eye twitches cause the eyes to close. Eyelids often, for no apparent reason, simply spasm for a few seconds. However,
in more bothersome instances of twitching, the eye may flutter all the way closed and open again. This can occur for a few seconds or for a few minutes. Normally, complete closure of the eyelid is caused by irritation of the cornia or the conjunctiva (membranes lining the eyelids). This can be very irritating and uncomfortable, but will probably go away after a few days.
Eyebrow movement is another sign of eye twitching. Since spasms involve the muscles around the eyelids, the skin around the eyes is also sometimes affected by the rapid twitching. A person might feel her own eyebrows twitch or be told by another person that her eyebrows are twitching. If the twitching extends to the eyebrows and affects both eyes, she may be suffering blepharospasm, which is a rare but serious condition of abnormal nerve impulses.
Facial spasms may also signal eye twitching. In particular, the muscles around the mouth on the same side the face as the twitching eye may flicker or spasm. Such activity is called hemifacial spasm, or half-face spasm. It is caused when arteries apply pressure to nerves in the muscles of the face.
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