Stress and Eye Twitching

An involuntary wink might be cute, but it could get you in trouble if you wink at the wrong person! Eye twitches are known as myokymia, and they occur when the muscles and nerves around the eye are stimulated. Whether you find eye twitches annoying, frustrating or embarrassing, it is probably safe to assume that you want to get rid of them.

Eye twitches usually arise from stress, and April is Stress Awareness Month! Stress can come from many sources, but eye twitching in itself can be stressful which just turns the whole thing into a vicious cycle. How do you de-stress so that you can stop a stressful, embarrassing auto-response? Here are a few actions that you can take to help eye twitches to subside:

  1. Find your happy place. Our days are full of stressful activities like driving in rush hour traffic, tackling long to-do lists, attending demanding meetings, spending hours in front of our computer, and not taking time to relax. Taking a walk, reading a good book, treating yourself to a massage, or just giving yourself a 20-minute time-out to take a cat nap can make all the difference.
  2. Get to bed earlier. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 to 64 need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Most of us are not getting adequate sleep because we are staying up late to complete tasks. Ironically, our productivity lowers when we do not get enough sleep, so we are better off getting more rest at night than finishing that project.
  3. Reduce your caffeine intake. Over 180 million Americans begin their day with coffee or another caffeinated beverage. Caffeine increases your heart rate and can actually make eye twitching worse. Try spacing out your caffeinated beverages throughout the day, or try decaffeinated coffees, teas and sodas.
  4. Kick bad habits to the curb. Alcohol and smoking are some of the most harmful habits that put your heath at risk and can increase twitching. Commit to quitting smoking or get help to assist you in quitting. An occasional alcoholic drink is fine, but save alcohol for special occasions.

Decreasing your stress level is good for your body all-around, and it will definitely help get rid of those pesky twitches. Most eye twitches go away after a period of time, but in rare occasions, twitches can be indicative of a nerve condition. Talk to your doctor or eye care professional if your eye twitches do not improve over time. A comprehensive eye exam should help find the source of the problem so you can save those flirtatious winks for the right person (Source: Independent).