Why Does My Eye Twitch?
And other questions you may ask about the somewhat odd things your body does. Find out why you cough, sneeze, get goose bumps or a sore throat, and more.
What’s happening? The term “tic” in medicine can mean any number of involuntary things your body does. In this case, we’re talking about those annoying little muscle twitches you get in your eye or other parts of your body, such as your knee, that bug you for a day or two for seemingly no reason. “A muscle is firing under your skin, because you are in a state of excitement or stress,” explains Jeffrey Cain, M.D., president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the chief of family medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver.
Why is your body doing it? “Your body is telling you that it is stressed or tired,” says Cain. “In the case of eye twitches, they can happen from fatigue, such as staring at a computer screen all day.”
What should you do? “For most of us, these twitches are not a serious problem,” says Cain. Generally, the body is just saying that it needs a break (tics can also be caused by anxiety and worsened by caffeine or alcohol). Cain recommends that you take steps to decompress at the sign of one: “Play relaxing music, talk to a friend, or focus on something else”—away from your computer screen, for instance. If those tricks don’t help, or if the twitches continue to plague you, 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.