Eye twitching (myokymia) is typically harmless, although it can be annoying. Eye twitches generally last for a minute or two at most, but what if they last longer? You shouldn’t worry too much—eyelid twitches are rarely a symptom of an underlying condition. If you’re still concerned, seeing an eye specialist can help put your mind at ease. You can also try making some lifestyle changes and see if these have any effect on reducing your eye twitching. Read on to learn more about the factors that can cause eyelid twitching. What Can Cause Your Eye to Twitch?Here are some factors that can cause eye twitching: Nutritional deficiencies – Diets low in magnesium can contribute to eye twitching. Eating more magnesium-rich foods such as tofu, whole grains, and legumes can help reduce eye twitching. If you’re considering taking nutritional supplements, consult your doctor first.Caffeine – Try cutting back on drinking tea, coffee and soda until the twitching stops or becomes less frequent. Alcohol – The same goes for alcohol. Reducing alcohol consumption can help resolve eye twitching. Stress – If you experience a lot of work-related stress, meditation and yoga can do wonders in helping you relax. Fatigue or lack of sleep – Of course, meditation and yoga won’t be able to do much if you’re not getting enough sleep. Prioritize your rest as much as possible.Allergies – Eye twitching, alongside red watery eyes, is a symptom of allergies. Try taking some antihistamines and, if possible, staying in doors on days when your allergies are particularly bad.Dry eyes – When you close your eyes, the eyelids spread tear film over your cornea, helping keep your eyes moist. Eye twitching could be an attempt by your body to moisten your eyes. In this case, using eye drops or artificial tears can help reduce eye twitching. If there’s still a gritty feeling in your eyes, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist at your local eye clinic. Eye strain – Too much screen time can put added strain on your eyes. When you stare at a screen, you blink less often than usual, which can cause your eyes to feel dry and fatigued. Remember: blinking helps keep your eyes moist, which is why health professionals recommend observing the 20-20-20 rule: Take a break every 20 minutes and look at something that’s roughly 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Applying a warm compress to your eyes can also help the eye muscles relax and reduce twitching.Refractive errors – It’s also possible that you need a new prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses. Remember: you should undergo an eye exam once a year.Medications – Eye twitching can be a side effect of certain medications.General Vision Care TipsTaking note of some of these vision health tips might also help: Exercise regularly – The blood vessels leading to the eyes are among the thinnest in the body, and blood clots can adversely affect your vision. Maintaining an exercise routine can help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots. Avoid smoking – Smoking can expose your eyes to oxidative stress, which can cause vision complications. Quitting smoking will improve your health in many ways.Wear sunglasses while you’re outdoors – Make sure to buy sunglasses with UV-resistant lenses from a licensed eye clinic or optical eyewear shop. Remember: just because the lenses are tinted doesn’t mean they can block UV rays. When to See an Eye DoctorKeep in mind that researchers are still looking into the possible causes of eye twitching. If you experience any of the following symptoms aside from eye twitching, you should see an eye specialist as soon as possible.Sudden changes on one side of your face, such as drooping eyelids Difficulty opening your eyesRed swollen eyes with discharge Sensitivity to light Blurry visionWhile eye twitching is rarely a cause for concern, it could be one of the symptoms of the following conditions: Blepharitis – Blepharitis is the medical term for inflammation of the eyelids. Other symptoms include red watery eyes, crust forming near the base of your eyelashes, itchy eyelids and a gritty feeling in your eyes. Blepharitis can be a result of a bacterial infection or dry eyes—washing your hands before putting on your contact lenses and using eye drops to alleviate dry eyes can help prevent this condition. Corneal abrasion – Small particles, such as dust, dirt, sand, wood shavings and even contact lenses can scratch the protective layer of your cornea, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Symptoms include headaches and sensitivity to light. To protect your cornea from damage, always wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing home improvement projects and take off your contacts before going to bed. Old contact lenses are more likely to scratch your cornea, so you need to undergo a contact eye exam to replace your contacts at least once a year. If you tend to forget to take your contacts off before going to bed, you can try asking your doctor about extended-wear contact lenses, which can be worn overnight.Uveitis – Uveitis is another term for the inflammation of the uvea or the middle layer of your eye. Symptoms include pain in the eyes, blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Since this condition can progressively worsen, you should see an eye doctor as soon as you experience any of these symptoms. Eye twitching can also be a symptom of a neurological condition, but this is even more rare. As such, if you experience persistent eye-twitching, go to your local eye clinic before consulting a neurologist. To give you an overview, myokymia can be a symptom of the following neurological conditions: Bell’s palsy – The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is still unknown, although some health professionals believe the swelling and inflammation of the nerve controlling the muscles on one side of your face might be to blame for the condition. Symptoms include mild weakness or total paralysis on one side of your face, drooping side of your face, drooling, headaches and pain around the jaw or behind the ears. Cervical dystonia – A rare and painful condition that causes a person’s neck muscles to contract involuntarily and twist the head towards one side. Symptoms are mild at first, but they gradually worsen. Multiple sclerosis (MS) – MS is a neurological condition that attacks myelin or the sheath covering your nerve fibers, disrupting communication between the brain and the rest of the body. The severity of symptoms depend on the extent of nerve damage, but they usually include weakness in the limbs, a lack of coordination, blurry or double vision and some vision loss. Parkinson’s disease – Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that impairs movement over time. Symptoms include tremor or involuntary shaking, rigid muscles, an impaired sense of balance and difficulty with talking and writing. Tourette syndrome – Sudden movements (tics) are the most well-known symptoms of this complex condition.Possible Treatment OptionsIf making a few lifestyle changes had no effect on eye twitching, your doctor might suggest using Botox® injections. Botox or botulinum toxin is best-known for being used in cosmetic procedures, but it’s also used to control muscle spasms. Injecting small quantities of Botox into the muscles around the eyes can help minimize involuntary eye twitching. Keep in mind that the effects can wear off quickly, so you’ll need to undergo Botox injections again after several months. To learn more about all the possible treatments for myokymia, consult your local eye doctor.