Possibly the only thing more irritating than an itch you can't scratch, involuntary eye twitching, or myokymia, is a feeling that many of us are familiar with. Sometimes the trigger is obvious (fatigue or seasonal allergies), while other times it's a total mystery. The good news is that it's rarely a cause for concern. "Nine out of 10 times, [eye twitching] is nothing to worry about, it’s just more of an annoyance than anything else,” says Dr. Jeremy Fine, a Los Angeles-based concierge doctor. But just because it's not dangerous doesn't mean you should grin and bear it. We asked experts to share some lesser-known reasons why this happens and tips on how to quit the twitch fast.
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Stress it the number one reason for a twitchy eye, or eye spasm, says Dr. Monica L. Monica M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Typically the patient deals with the twitching for a week or so when something is troubling them, they are in final exams, or just not sleeping well.”
In most cases, the twitching resolves on its own once the stressful situation ends, but making an effort to reduce the stress in your life or practice other coping techniques like meditation can help. Studies show that people who practice mindful meditation—sitting quietly with your eyes closed and repeating a word or “mantra” over and over—for just 20 minutes a day reap significant mental health benefits.
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