Anybody who has ever had an eye twitch knows how frustrating it can be. You might be left wondering why it happens and asking yourself questions like, “Why does only one of my eyes twitch?” Well, the truth is that there are many different causes behind this eye twitching—and some are actually cause for concern. If you have recently been wondering, “Why does only one of my eyes twitch?” and you still can’t find an answer, keep reading below for everything you need to know about eyelid spasms and how to protect yourself from further health damage.
Eyelid Spasm Symptoms
An eye twitch is also known as an eyelid spasm. Though the eye and surrounding areas are much smaller than a lot of other muscles that develop spasms, it’s still possible to have a spasm of miniscule muscles like the eyelid. A spasm is characterized by the sporadic and unpredictable constricting and relaxation of muscles. These are usually painless or unnoticeable.
Symptoms or side effects that come from having an eyelid spasm include:
- Twitching in upper or lower eyelid
- Eyelid closes without your control
- Sensitivity to light
- Changes in vision
In many cases, muscle spasms, especially eyelid spasms, are harmless and cause more annoyance than pain. But when the spasming continues, the muscle can grow very fatigued, which can make it challenging to perform necessary tasks, like opening your eyes to see or even blinking.
Reasons Behind Eye Twitching
Have you found yourself searching, “Why does only one of my eyes twitch?” Or maybe you’ve tried to figure out the reasons behind that one pesky twitch that just won’t go away. If so, here are four driving causes behind eye twitching that might answer your questions.
1. Eye Twitch Due to Lack of sleep
Perhaps one of the most common reasons behind eye twitching, a lack of sleep can greatly impact the muscles in your eyelid. When you are straining to keep your eyes open, the muscles in the eyelid might become irritated. This, in turn, can trigger an eyelid spasm.
Getting enough sleep often fixes the problem of an eyelid twitch. However, this can be challenging for some people, especially those that struggle with sleep disorders or anxiety. Going through periods of stress can often influence how well you sleep. Then, that lack of sleep can contribute to the presence of other symptoms, like having a twitchy eye.
To be proactive and prevent an eye twitch from happening, it’s important to utilize good sleep habits. Things like turning off your phone before you go to bed, stretching or practicing breathing techniques, and regularly caring for your mental health can all contribute to better sleeping patterns and a decreased likelihood of developing eyelid spasms in the future.
2. Eye Irritation
Similarly, any type of eye irritation can bring about twitching. This is particularly true if you only have one eye that is being affected. In addition to poor sleep quality and having anxiety, there are common irritants that can increase the risk of you having an eyelid spasm.
Other sources of eye irritation come from straining to see, which might have to do with your prescription for eyeglasses, looking at a computer screen for a long time, or not having proper lighting when reading. Furthermore, allergy season or being around common allergens (such as pollen, cat fur, etc.) can cause eye irritation that leads to muscle twitching.
3. Benign Essential Blepharospasm
Though significantly less common than lack of sleep or other eye irritants, chronic eye twitching, especially located in just one eye, can be a sign of a neurological disorder called benign essential blepharospasm (BEB). BEB affects the muscles and nerves of the eyelids. It is also a progressive disease, meaning that it can start out with occasional eye twitches and develop into long-lasting spasms that can be so severe as to impact your ability to see.
This condition can sometimes be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) as well as a neurologist (nerve doctor). From the point of the diagnosis, treatment options will depend on the severity of the condition as well as how greatly the twitching impacts the muscles in the eyelid. In many cases, muscle relaxants and treatments such as Botox injections can help to calm the spasms and get rid of most of the symptoms.
4. Parkinson’s Disease
Lastly, research indicates that one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease is eye twitching. More specifically, any type of muscle spasm can be a warning sign of Parkinson’s. This condition is neurological and progressive. Typically, Parkinson’s disease begins with uncontrollable muscle movements, loss of coordination, and difficulty walking. Eye twitching is a small but significant symptom that can lead to a diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s disease.
In most cases, the symptoms of Parkinson’s are much more disruptive of one’s daily responsibilities. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mention an eye twitch to your doctor, especially if you have any other symptoms of this or any other neurological disorder.
When to See a Doctor for Eye Twitching
Staying in touch with your healthcare provider for any significant change in your health, physical and mental, is extremely important. After all, even the smallest twitch can indicate that something isn’t quite right.
So while you can stay up all night searching, “Why does only one of my eyes twitch?” you can also find peace of mind by contacting your doctor. The best rule of thumb is to trust your body, listen to your instincts, and reach out to a trusted professional in the medical field whenever you’ve got an issue that is out of the ordinary.
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