Eyelid twitching is incredibly common, but why do we get these annoying little tics? 

Dr Susan Blakeney, a clinical advisor from the College of Optometrists assured us it was nothing to worry about, as it's simply a muscle spasm in your eyelid, and usually a benign condition. 

'Known as eyelid myokymia, it's only temporary and normally lasts from a few minutes to a day,' she told us. 'It's usually nothing to worry about, and would never affect your eyesight.' 

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But what causes it? 

There are many theories as to why our eyes twitch, from stress, to caffeine consumption and even staring at your computer screen for too long. But Dr Blakeney was quick to tell us these are unlikely to cause the annoying tics. 

'There's no proof that twitching is linked to these things,' she reassured us. 'More than anything, it can be down to tiredness and lack of sleep. So ensure you get plenty of rest if you get twitches in your eyes a lot.' 

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Can other people see it? 

While many of us think everyone can see our eyelid twitching away, it's apparently not the case. In fact, most twitches are quite subtle, and are often unnoticeable to other people, despite the fact it's all we can think about. 

Is there anything we can do about it? 

Unfortunately not, but if it persists for longer than a day, it's important to go and see your GP or a specialist eye doctor, as it may be a sign of something more serious. However, this is very rare.  

Dr Blakeney's top tips to keeping your eyes in good health:

  • Don't smoke: Studies have shown that smokers are more susceptible to macular degeneration, an eye condition that can cause blindness. Although it's an age-related condition, smoking can potentially increase your risk.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Eating plenty of fruit and veg keeps your eyes fit and healthy.
  • Stay a healthy weight: As well as posing other health threats, being overweight can severely affect your sight too. Again, macular degeneration is more common in obese people. 
  • Protect your eyes from UV rays: It's important to always wear sunglasses when you're outside in sunlight. Even when it's overcast, UV rays still pose a threat.
  • Have regular eye check-ups: As you age, you're at a greater risk for things such as glaucoma, a condition where the eyeball cannot drain fluid properly, and pressure builds up. Although not cureable, regular check-ups ensure this can be caught, and treated, more quickly. 
  • Be conscious of your vision: For example, try to be aware of changes in each individual eye, and not your overall eyesight. You may not notice changes in your eyesight if you're looking through both eyes. As well as this, look out for distortion in straight lines, such as door frames or windows. 

So next time your eye starts moving – just remember, it's all pretty normal.​


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