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Left Eye Twitching

The twitching in the left eye is often encountered, being caused by the spasms of the muscles around the eye. There are numerous causes that can lead to these spasms, some of the most popular including allergies, excessive eye straining or various ophthalmologic illnesses. Identifying the correct cause of the left eye twitching is essential, in order for the adequate treatment measures to be taken.


Because of the twitching, it is possible to experience a temporary discomfort or for a disturbance in the vision to occur. In the majority of the cases, the twitching in the left eye occurs all of a sudden, being relieved effortlessly. The repeated or prolonged twitching might suggest that there is an underlying condition that leads to such problems. The sooner that condition is identified and properly treated, the sooner things can go back to normal. In the medical world, the twitching is known as myokymia.

Types of Left Eye Twitching

One should also be aware that the left eye twitching can be classified into three different types: the minor eyelid twitch, the benign essential blepharospasm and the hemifacial spasm. As you will have the opportunity to read below, the minor eyelid twitch is often caused by fatigue or stress, plus insufficient sleep or when one consumes alcohol/caffeine in increased quantities.

On the other hand, the benign essential blepharospasm is caused by fatigue, stress and irritating factors. Apart from the actual twitching in the left eye, one might also begin to blink excessively or suffer from irritation in the respective eye. As this is a progressive condition, the symptoms can also progress, including photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), vision problems (the vision becomes blurry) and even spasms at the level of the entire face. This type of left eye twitching may be encountered randomly but it has also been encountered in the same families, which suggests a genetic factor.

The third type, meaning the hemifacial spasm, is quite rare, involving the entire left half of the face. The muscles around the mouth twitch as well, as involvement of only one side of the face being characteristic for this condition. The main cause of the hemifacial spasm is the compression of the nerves that innervate the facial muscles by an artery.

Causes of Twitching of the Left Eye

These are the most common causes that can lead to the left eye twitching:

  • Excessive or prolonged eye straining
    • Overwork → fatigue → muscle twitch
    • Wearing glasses that have the wrong prescription
    • Persistent twitch – new ophthalmologic examination required
    • Computer monitor → excessive staring → muscle twitch
  • Fatigue
    • Eye tired → spasm at the level of the eyelid
    • Fatigue can be caused by intense work (small and detailed tasks, computer etc.), lack of sleep or both
  • Stress
    • Left eye twitching → one of the many body’s reactions to stress
    • May lead to chronic eye problems, if left untreated
    • Reducing the amount of stress in your life or becoming more resilient to stress can break the vicious cycle, eliminating the muscular twitches
  • Dry eye syndrome
    • Dry eyes → discomfort → twitching at the level of the eyelids
    • Condition aggravates with age (progressive)
    • Can also be a side-effect of medication
    • May appear in people who spent a lot of time staring into the computer monitor
    • Increased risk → contact lenses → high sensitivity + dryness → muscle twitching in the left eye
  • Consumption of certain beverages (such as alcohol or caffeine)
    • Increased quantities of alcohol/caffeine → eye twitches
    • Adjusting the quantities of the above-mentioned beverages can also one eliminate such problems
  • Vitamin/nutritional deficiencies
    • Not enough vitamins/nutrients in the body → eyes affected → muscle twitching
    • Most common – magnesium deficiency → negative effect on the muscle contraction → twitching at the level of the eye muscles
    • Vitamin D deficiency → inadequate calcium absorption → muscle contraction impaired
    • Vitamin B12 deficiency → muscle contraction affected a well → twitching in the left eye + general shaky movements
  • Allergies
    • Allergic reaction → twitching in the affected eye
    • Accompanying symptoms include:
      • Inflammation of the eyelids
      • Watery eyes
      • Itchiness
    • It is recommended that, in case of an allergic reaction, one avoids rubbing the eyes (this can aggravate the symptoms, including the muscular twitching)
  • Eye conditions
    • Blepharitis – inflammation of the eyelids
    • Photophobia – increased sensitivity to light
    • Pinkeye
  • Brain/nerve disorders (rare)
    • Bell’s palsy
    • Dystonia
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Medication
    • Left eye twitching → side-effect of certain medication
    • The twitching, as well as the other associated symptoms, can be eliminated by changing the current medication with an alternative one (no side-effects)
    • Medication with such side-effects → epilepsy drugs, psychosis medication
  • Other causes
    • Irritation of the eye cornea or conjunctiva
    • Contact with irritating substances
    • Intense light, wind or air pollution.

Diagnosis

These are the methods used for the diagnosis:

  • Medical history of the patient
    • Similar problems in the past
    • Current medication and past treatments
    • Surgical interventions
    • Eye problems
    • Work (problem might be an occupational hazard)
  • Physical assessment
    • Identification of persistent or prolonged itchiness
    • The degree to which the eyelid remains open (might be completely closed in more severe situations)
    • Whether the spasm has involved the other facial muscles or not
    • Other symptoms presented (redness and inflammation, warmth, watery eyes, discharge from the eyes etc.)
    • The status of the upper eyelid (drooping or not)
  • Specific testing
    • Recommended in the situation that a brain or neurological disorder is suspected.

Treatment for Left Eye Twitching

These are the recommended measures and treatments for the twitching in the left eye:

  • Eye relaxation
    • Relax the eyes → eliminate temporary muscle twitch in the left eye
    • It is recommended that prolonged or intensive staring is avoided (especially for computer screens)
    • Say no to stress → try meditation techniques, yoga and deep relaxation
    • Reduce the intake of beverages, such as alcohol or caffeine → less chance of muscle twitching + get more sleep (rest)
  • Antihistamines
    • Recommended in those who have suffered from an allergic reaction
    • Topical or oral administration (depending on the severity of the condition)
    • Relieve the muscle twitching and also the associated symptoms
  • Eye drops
    • May be recommended in those who have suffered an allergic reaction
    • Also useful for those who are suffering from the dry eye syndrome (these drops are also known as artificial tears, lubricating the eye and ensuring its natural tear filter)
  • Supplements
    • Recommended – vitamin B, C and magnesium supplements → improvement or elimination of muscular twitching
    • Other supplements that you should consider taking include: phosphorus, potassium, calcium and folic acid
    • Vitamin D + calcium supplements (recommended for vitamin D deficiency)
    • Vitamin B12 supplements (recommended for vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Medication
    • Recommended for those who suffer from intense muscular twitching
    • Among the indicated choices, there are: Artane, Cogentin, Valium and Tegretol
    • For blepharospasm, the following medication is recommended: Lorazepam, Clonazepam and Trihexyphenidyl
  • Botox
    • Botox injections are performed around the eye, helping those who suffer from persistent or repeated twitches
    • The treatment has to be repeated at every couple of months, so as to ensure the constant relief from the muscle twitching in the left eye
  • Alternative treatments
    • Acupuncture
    • Biofeedback
    • Hypnosis
    • Chiropractic treatment
    • Nutrition therapy
  • Surgical intervention
    • Recommended when the other treatments have failed to provide the desired results
    • Indicated in patients diagnosed with benign essential blepharospasm (procedure known as myectomy, in which a part of the muscles and nerves at the level of the eyelid are removed)
    • Neurosurgery – recommended in order to relieve the pressure that the artery is causing on the nerves of the facial muscles (in patients diagnosed with hemifacial spasm).

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