If you’ve ever had an involuntary eye movement, you know how uncomfortable it can be. An involuntary spasm, also called an ocular tic or tic disorder, is a repetitive spasm. A nervous tic in the eye occurs in the eyelid muscle. They can last from a few seconds to a minute or two and may even be present intermittently for days. Most of the time, a tic in the eye is harmless and quite common and only the lower lid of the eye is involved, but occasionally the upper lid can also contract.
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Causes and remedies for tic disorder in the eye
Although it can occur without any real cause, eye spasms are triggered or aggravated by certain conditions. Natural home remedies can be used to get rid of nervous tics in the eyelids once the cause is known.
Everyone reacts differently to stress. Nervous tics can be a sign of stress, especially when it occurs in conjunction with vision problems. While we are all under stress, sometimes our bodies react in different ways, and a tic in the eye can be a sign of stress.
To combat stress, you can use a range of natural remedies, meditate, exercise, even essential oils are a very effective therapy against it.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep can affect your body in many ways. If you are not getting a good night’s rest, you may experience a tic in your eye as a result of lack of sleep.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep through the night by turning off all electronics about two hours before going to bed. Your last meal should be eaten two to three hours before going to bed. You may also want to consider going to bed an hour earlier to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
To improve sleep, you can consume certain foods for better sleep, a banana, a glass of hot almond milk with honey, a tablespoon of organic sugar mixed with sea salt, oatmeal; Also, some herbs such as valerian, san juan, chamomile, melissa can help you fight insomnia, or use essential oils such as essential oil of cedar, lavender, chamomile, lemon, orange and sandalwood, for a better sleep, too. There are also excellent breathing techniques for falling asleep.
Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol
Products that have a stimulating or depressant effect, such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, can cause the eye to twitch, feeling that annoying tic that can last for hours or days.
Caffeine drinkers can go for their second or third cup of coffee in the day with an herbal tea or fruit infused water, this can provide the same energy. The best thing about it is that it will also keep you hydrated.
Fruit infused water is also a great replacement for alcoholic beverages. Put the alcohol aside and go for some water or herbal tea the next time you notice an involuntary eye movement.
Dry eyes are especially common in older people. They also occur in people who sit in front of a computer for long hours every day, people who wear contact lenses, drinkers of caffeine and alcohol as we have already mentioned, and those who take certain medications. Insomnia and stress can also cause dry eyes and not only that, if you are suffering from dry eyes very often and you are a woman in your forties, you may be suffering from Sjögren’s Syndrome and you should get a check-up to rule out. This syndrome is characterized by inflammation of the moisture-producing glands in the eyes, causing you to eventually feel spasms.
For immediate relief from dry eyes and to soothe a tic in your eye, try applying a hot compress or a hot tea bag to your eyes. You can make your own compress by soaking a small soft towel in hot water and applying it to closed eyes while lying down.
Also, you can perform the following massage with acupressure (acupuncture) in your eyes, this contributes to the increase of circulation in the eye and the lubrication producing hydration:
- Look at the image above to locate the acupuncture points around your eye.
- Before starting, make sure your face and hands are completely clean.
- Gently massage each point in a circular motion for 5-10 seconds before moving on to the next.
- Once you finish the sequence, start over from the beginning. Repeat for about two minutes.
- For a similar acupressure technique, place your index and middle fingers in the middle of your eyebrows. Gently press and roll them at the edges of the eye socket bone for five minutes.
If you work at an office desk or simply spend a great deal of time staring at a computer screen or electronic devices, you may experience eyestrain that can result in eye spasms.
If you’re working, try to take a quick 5-minute break every hour or so to get away from the computer screen. Going outside for a bit can give you some fresh air and natural sunlight, which would benefit you.
Eye strain can also be an indication of poor eye sight. In this case, you may want to check your eyes to rule out vision problems as a cause of the nervous tics, you can also do a little eye gymnastics, or practice the following exercise:
- Close your eyes for a full minute.
- During this time, squeeze your closed eyes more tightly then release without having to open them.
- Do three reps before opening your eyes.
This exercise can lubricate the eyes by increasing the production of tears. In addition to helping with tics, this exercise can be used to keep the eye muscles strong.
Some nutritional deficiencies can cause tic disorder in the eye. Potassium is an electrolyte that is effective in treating muscle spasms and other disorders by properly supporting the functioning of tissues, cells, and organs.
Magnesium helps regulate the nervous and circulatory system. It prevents uncontrollable muscle spasms by stabilizing the heart rate and stabilizing blood pressure, as well as maintaining nerve impulses.
Calcium is also a nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining the nervous system, an important factor in treating nerve tics or spasms.
It should be mentioned that calcium alone is often not enough. Without magnesium, calcium cannot be used in its entirety, since magnesium is necessary for the absorption of calcium. Also, vitamin K2 and vitamin D are very important for the absorption of calcium in the body, so, as you can see, there is a synergy between the different nutrients, and the combination of them gives the full health benefits.
Some people suffer from allergies due to environmental irritants that can cause itchy, puffy, and watery eyes. In these cases, the eyes are usually rubbed and this can cause eyelid spasms. In this case, try to identify the element that causes the eye irritation and eliminate it if you can.
When to see a doctor if you have a nervous tic in your eye
If you think eye tics may be a sign of poor vision, you need to see an optometrist who can do a series of tests.
You will also need to consult an ophthalmologist when the tic in the eye becomes chronic or lasts for several months. When other symptoms accompany an involuntary eye movement, you will need to get checked out by a doctor as this can be a sign of a brain or neurological or autoimmune disorder.
Consult a doctor if the following symptoms accompany the tic in the eye:
- Swelling or redness of the eyes
- An abnormal discharge in the eye
- A droopy eyelid
- The eyelid closes completely each time it contracts
- The contraction affects other areas of the face
- Headache or double vision
- Make sure to discuss supplements, medications, exercise routine, and diet with your doctor when you visit.
You can also develop a chronic eye twitch if you have an undiagnosed corneal abrasion. In this case it is not a scratch or an injury to the cornea of the eye, it is the transparent protective lens that is in front of the iris. You should see a doctor immediately if you think there may be an eye injury as scratches to the cornea can cause permanent eye damage.