Several superstitions surround twitches in the left eye, which can be considered a good or bad omen depending on the culture. The area of the eye which is twitching and the gender of the person experiencing this symptom will also play a role in the superstition. In Chinese culture, a twitch in the left eye is said to signal good fortune for men, but a sign of misfortune for women. In Indian culture, this belief is reversed. If the lower lid is twitching, the Chinese believe this is a sign that someone may be gossiping about you. Hawaiians believe that a twitch in the left eye signals that a stranger will arrive soon, and constant twitching forewarns the family of imminent demise. Some African cultures also believe that your lower eye twitching means you will meet someone unexpectedly or you will soon shed tears of sorrow.
Medically speaking, it is not the eye that twitches but rather the muscles in the eyelids having spasms which cause this strange sensation. This will lead to a strange fluttering around the eyes which can be uncomfortable or cause a temporary disturbance in your vision. Sudden eye twitches are often temporary and can easily be relieved. If your eye twitches regularly or severely it can be a sign that you have an underlying condition which may require treatment.
Causes of Eye Twitching
There are no exact causes of eye twitching, but the causes can be identified. In most cases, eye twitching may be triggered by or related to:
Eye strain- Overworking the eyes can cause them to become fatigued, leading to muscle twitches. Wearing glasses with the wrong prescription can increase your risk of developing a left eye twitch. You may need to have an eye exam to determine if you require new glasses, especially if the twitch has become persistent. Staring at a computer monitor for long hours can also cause strain which can lead to a twitch in the left eye.
Fatigue- When the eyes become tired the eyelids can start to spasm. This is a sign that it is time to go to bed or that you have not been getting an adequate amount of sleep lately.
Dry eyes- If they eyes are dry the lids may twitch due to the discomfort. This becomes progressively more common as you age. Those who take medications known to cause dry eyes, use a computer for long hours every day or wear contact lenses may be more sensitive to dry eyes and are more likely to develop a left eye twitch.
Substance Intake- Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine can cause the eye to twitch. Those who regularly develop this system may need to adjust the amount of these substances they take in every day. A lack of appropriate nutrients in the system can also lead to eye twitches. This could be a sign that you are low in magnesium which is necessary for proper eye health.
Allergies- If you are suffering from an allergic reaction, the eyes can become affected. If the eyes are swollen, watery or itchy you may be suffering from a histamine reaction which can lead to muscle twitching. Rubbing the eyes when they start to develop these symptoms can also lead to twitching as the muscles become agitated.
Treatments of Eye Twitching
Generally, mild eye twitching will disappear in a few minutes or without your notice of its coming. Treatments for eye twitching are based on the causes and symptoms. Given below are some helpful methods for you.
Relaxing eyes. Helping the eyes to relax will often eliminate a temporary twitch. Avoid staring intently at anything, especially objects such as a computer that are brightly lit, for a few hours. Avoid stress and perform techniques such as meditation which allow you to create an atmosphere of calm. Lower your caffeine intake and try to get more sleep to allow the eyes to rest. Allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamines to provide relief for this and your other symptoms. Using eye drops to ward off allergic reactions or dryness can also help stop an eye twitch.
Supplements can often eliminate frequent eye twitching. Increasing your intake of vitamin B5 and C can help eliminate unwanted symptoms. Phosphorus, folic acid, potassium and calcium also promote eye and muscle health which can eliminate unwanted twitching. Talk with your doctor before taking on a strenuous supplement regimen to ensure that this will not interact negatively with other medications or dietary changes you have undertaken.
Medication can be provided to those dealing with severe eye twitches. These medications include items such as Teretol, Valium, Cogentin or Artane which help to relax the muscles so they will not suffer from spasms. Talk to a doctor about your symptoms so that they can evaluate your condition. They will determine if the eye twitches you are experiencing are an independent condition or if they are a symptom of a condition which will require its own treatment and prescribe the necessary medication.
Those who suffer from excessive eye twitching may require more severe preventative measures. Some find that Botox injections around the eye will help to calm the muscles which frequently twitch. This treatment will need to be repeated every three to four months as the Botox wears off in order to provide consistent relief.
When to See a Doctor
If your twitching has gone on for longer than one week, you are having trouble seeing out of the affected eye, your eye is swollen, red or emitting a discharge, your eyelid begins to droop or the twitch has spread to other parts of the face, you will need to seek medical attention. Consult your regular physician or an eye care professional. You may need a referral to a neurologist depending on what your symptoms are and the severity of your case. Your doctor will perform an examination to determine the cause and proper treatment for your left eye twitch.