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Right Eye Twitching – What Does It Mean When Your Right Eye Twitches?

By Mark Slansky
Food Pyramid - 3 Oct, 2013

There are several superstitions about right eye twitching. What it means when your right eye twitches in the field of medicine, is actually different from the superstitions. Right eye twitching is a very common phenomenon that has been experienced by lots of different people around the world.

1. Right Eye Twitching Superstition
2. Medical Causes of Right Eye Twitching
3. Treatments for Right Eye Twitching
4. When should you see a Doctor?

Right eye twitching

Man suffering from a twitching right eye

1. Right Eye Twitching Superstition

Some cultures believe that right eye twitching is a good omen and is the harbinger of good luck and happiness. Others go completely the opposite way and believe that it is a sign of impending bad luck. There is an old Chinese saying that warns that a right eye twitch indicates the coming of bad fortune. However for women it is the opposite as women suffering from twitching of the right eye are told to look forward to a gold rush! There are even some people who believe that the right eyelid twitching signifies that someone is gossiping about you. (Note that left eye twitching superstition can have a different meaning.)

Superstitions about right eye twitching don’t just dwell in the Chinese culture. In India it is a common belief that right eye twitching means you are about to hear good news. Another right eye twitching superstition arising from Africa says that lower right eye twitching signals that you will soon be shedding tears. The African people also believe that upper right eye twitching is a sign that you will meet someone suddenly. In Hawaii, a twitching right eyelid is believed to signal an approaching birth.

The list goes on and on but it is not much use to believe in illogical superstitions when you know that right eye twitching is obviously due to a medical cause. Actually when you feel your right eye jumping it is actually the muscles in your eye lids that are going through a spasm. These eye spasms can be due to a variety of causes that may be affecting the muscles that control your eye and are involved in right eye twitching.

2. Medical Causes of right Eye Twitching

As discussed above, the feeling of your eye twitching is due to the muscles twitching. This leads to strange fluttering sensations that are obviously uncomfortable and irritating and can also sometimes block or impede your field of vision. Right eye twitching is referred to as myokymia in medical language. Right eye twitching cases are usually temporary. This means that the right eye twitching is not serious and can easily be relieved. However, if the eye twitches consistently for too long of a time or in a way that causes pain, you should seek prompt medical attention.

First though, we will discuss the normal causes of right eye twitching.

Stress – When you repeatedly find yourself in too much mental pressure, you become emotionally stressed. This phenomenon does not only affect your mind, it also affects your body in a negative manner and causes right eye twitching. If you are put under too much mental stress for a long period of time, your body can go overdrive and cause twitching in the right eye. Even though the twitching of right eye may be temporary, it is essential that you reduce the stress in your life as it can cause a lot of permanent damage to the body including the right eye twitching.

Eye strain – In the busy life we spend nowadays, eye strain has become a very easily ignored topic. Be it kids watching TV for hours at or adults working day and night on their computers and laptops, we are all constantly sitting in front of a screen and as we all know it, we are constantly straining our eyes causing right eye twitching. A lot of people tend to wear glasses with the wrong prescription just because they don’t have the time or energy to get them fixed. Most people spend most of their nights sitting in front of the computer screen with all the other lights turned off, straining their eyes persistently to type correctly on the keyboard, again leading to right eye twitching. All of these activities are highly damaging to the eye sight and can do even worse things than causing right eye twitching. So the next time you’re wondering what causes your right eye to twitch, you might want to turn off the laptop in front of you.

Fatigue – Another result of the hectic life most of us spend every day is that we do not get enough rest. It is widely known that sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours is necessary for maintaining good health. Yet most of us only manage around 5 hours of sleep if not less. Obviously this constant lack of sleep causes serious fatigue in your body and right eye twitching. So if you’re thinking ‘Why does my right eye twitch?’ I think it may be time for a power nap!

Substance intake – To top off the already present lack of sleep, most people use caffeine to help them stay up all night. Other people are fond of drinking alcohol daily. Both of these substances can not only make you completely dependent on them eventually; they can also cause right eye twitching. If your right eye keeps twitching it may very well have something to do with the large amount of alcohol or caffeine you are consuming.

Improper diet – When you are too busy to maintain a balanced diet, a lot can go wrong, leading to poor nutrition. It normally starts with a regular intake of caffeine and goes on with you needing nothing else and paying lesser and lesser attention to fruits. Fruits like bananas are high in magnesium, a compound which is essential for normal eye functioning. A lack of all the important nutrients in your body can easily be the cause of right eye twitching.

Dry Eyes – Sometimes the eyes twitch as a sort of defense mechanism or rather an alarm to warn you of dry eyes. Dry eyes are a very common condition in elderly people. However nowadays a lot of people have started suffering from dry eyes and right eye twitching, regardless of their age. This is in part due to long hours of computer use but can also be caused as a side effect of antidepressants and antihistamines. Some people who wear contact lenses are also prone to dry eyes, and even stress can trigger it right eye twitching. Due to the discomfort felt by the eye which is functioning without proper lubrication, right eye twitching is a common symptom.

Allergies – If you have ever been afflicted by allergies, you must be familiar of the effect they have on your eyes. Some allergic reactions cause the release of histamine which makes the eyes swell up, become watery and itchy and can even lead to right eye twitching. If you rub your eyes during a histamine reaction, you will only manage to irritate your muscles further and cause more right eye twitching.

Vitamin D deficiency – Vitamin D is an essential part of our diet that ensures the absorption of calcium in our body. Calcium is crucial for normal contraction and relaxation of all the muscles in our body including involved in right eye twitching. When you do not have enough Vitamin D in your diet, you can take as much Calcium as you want but it will be of no use, as Vitamin D is necessary for it to be used properly. Hence, deficiency of Vitamin D can cause right eye twitching too.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency – A lack of Vitamin B 12 in the diet can cause permanent damage to nervous tissue and lead to right eye twitching as it is obvious that the nervous tissue is responsible for the proper functioning of all the muscles in the body including those involved in right eye twitching. Therefore if you do not have enough Vitamin B 12 in your diet, you may begin to suffer from spasms in your muscles and experience shaky movement in the limbs and right eye twitching.

Eye lid or Corneal Inflammation – Also known as Blepharitis, this condition refers to the bacterial overgrowth and eventual blockage of the sebaceous glands present in your eye lids. It not only causes irritation and swelling of the eyes but can also cause right eye twitching.

Treatments for Right Eye Twitching

Usually right eye twitching is not a cause of concern. It generally even goes away without you even noticing in the first place. However it is in fact a signal from your body to tell you that something is stressing the eyes. Therefore you should make sure to take good care of your eyes and keep them twitch free. Here are a few treatments and remedies to help you get rid of right eye twitching.

  • Relax your eyes – Typically right eye twitching occurs when you have been straining your eyes too much or when you are under stress. In this case relaxing your eyes will completely eliminate the twitch and even relieve some tension. Covering your eyes with cucumber, potatoes and even green tea bags can help relax your eyes and give your eye muscles the rest that they crave. If you have to use a laptop or mobile very frequently, try to take breaks and avoid sitting to close to the screens. While using the laptop or computer at night, make sure to keep the room brightly lit, and never make a habit of reading in dim lighting. You can even try meditation to get rid of right eye twitching and allow yourself to calm and revitalize your body.
  • Balanced diet – As you have already read above, deficiency of Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin D can cause a lot of damage to your eyes and right eye twitching. Ensure that you take lots of fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet. Consume foods high in Vitamin D including cod liver oil, fish, oysters and dairy products. If you find yourself unable to do so for any reason at all, visit your doctor and ask him to prescribe you supplements for the Vitamins and Minerals that you are unable to regularly ingest. Phosphorus, folic acid, potassium and calcium also promote eye and muscle health which can eliminate unwanted right eye twitching. Try decreasing your intake of alcohol and caffeine; this will have surprisingly freshening effects on your body.
  • Get enough sleep – Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours daily boosts your immune systems and keeps your body in perfect shape. However if you fail to do so, lack of sleep has deteriorating effects on your body, specially your eyes causing right eye twitching. Make sure you sleep for 7 to 8 hours, and even if your job does not allow you to sleep that much at night, power naps during the day can also help.
  • Keep your eyes lubricated – If you suffer from dry eyes or allergies, you should ask your doctor to prescribe you antihistamine tablets and eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated. This will not only eliminate the irritation in your eyes, it will also get rid of the right eye twitching.

If your right eye twitching persists even after these remedies your doctor may prescribe you some medication such as Teretol, Valium, Cogentin or Atrane to help relax your muscles and avoid spasms and twitching. Excessive right eye twitching can also be treated by Botox injections around the eye to numb the muscles that frequently spasm.

When should you see a Doctor?

Even though normally right eye twitching is only temporary and can go away eventually with proper care for the eye and diet, in some cases eye twitching may be a sign of a neurological disease such as, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy or perhaps an eye infection. Reading this should not send you in to blind panic, for the right eye twitching has to be persistent and extreme to be considered a symptom of an underlying disorder. In any case you should visit your doctor if:

  • Right eye twitching continues beyond three days’ time
  • The right eye twitching spreads to your face
  • Any sort of discharge, swelling or redness occurs
  • The twitch is extreme enough to close your eyelids

 

 


References:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000756.htm

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/why-your-eyes-twitch

http://www.healthline.com/health/eyelid-twitch

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001763/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eye-twitching/MY00102/DSECTION=causes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1935763

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