You know the feeling. That uncomfortable and annoying spasm you may sometimes get in one eye. Why does it happen? Turns out it’s a reflex for the eyelid muscles to protect the eye from foreign stimulai says Dave Patel, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Mayo Clinic. “Usually the twitching is a response to threat. But when it occurs during the rest phase it can be uncomfortable.“
So how can you make it go away? Stop what you’re doing and take a rest with your eyes closed. Dryness can also cause twitching so hold a cold compress over your eye, and then apply drops (such as TheraTears, $8; target.com). Rudrani Banik, associate professor of ophthalmology at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City, recommends refrigerating the drops for better results.
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Address the underlying cause whether it is lack of rest or a fatigue factor. Eyes twitch when you’re stressed, tired, or overcaffeinated. So if you’re at a computer screen all day, frequent breaks help. And if you have to rub your eye avoid using your fingertips, which could introduce bacteria, or debris that could scratch the eyes. “Anytime we rub the eye there’s a small risk that you can scratch the surface so use the heel of your hand,” says Patel. If the twitches continue, or start to affect both eyes, speak with your doctor. Tics can be symptoms of such conditions as Parkinson’s disease, autism, Bell’s palsy, or, in the case of eye twitches, an injury to the cornea.