What is eye twitching? Is it uncomfortable? Almost all people experience eye twitching in their lifetime. Sadly, eyes of some people may keep twitching for long! Explore the causes of eye twitching and how to stop and prevent it. Does eye twitching have superstitious meanings? Read on to get insight into the myths and superstitions of left and right eye twitching from various communities around the world.
Summary of Page Contents
- 1 What Is Eye Twitching? – Definition and Meaning
- 2 Eye Twitching Signs & Symptoms
- 3 Is It My, Eyelid, Eyeball or Eyebrow Twitching?
- 4 Eye Twitching Causes and Reasons
- 5 Left Eye Twitching and Right Eye Twitching
- 6 Lower Eyelid Twitching & Upper Eyelid Twitching
- 7 Eye Twitching During Pregnancy
- 8 Left/Right Eye Keeps Twitching All Day, Nonstop, for Days or Weeks
- 9 Left/Right Eye Twitching Meaning, Superstitions, Myths & Omens
- 9.1 1. Eye Twitching Good or Bad Luck Superstitions for Females
- 9.2 2. Eye Twitching Good or Bad Luck Superstitions for Males
- 9.3 3. Chinese Time-based Eye Twitching Meanings
- 9.4 4. Indian Eye Twitching Meaning, Superstitions & Myths
- 9.5 5. African Eye twitching Meanings, Superstitions & Myths
- 9.6 6. Hawaiian Eye twitching Meanings Superstitions and Myths
- 9.7 7. Islam Eye Twitching Meanings Superstitions and Myths
- 10 How to Stop Eye Twitching – Treatment & Home Remedies
- 11 How to Prevent Eye Twitching
- 12 When to See a Doctor Over Eye Twitching
- 13 Our Sources and References
What Is Eye Twitching? – Definition and Meaning
What is eye twitching? Eye twitching is also called eye jumping, eye tics, eyelid spasm or blepharospasm. Medically, eye twitching is known as myokymia. There might be other definitions for eye twitching but we shall give the best. Eye twitching is an abnormal involuntary, usually repeated, sudden quick movement of the eyelids.
However, eye twitching should not be confused with blinking. Blinking is the normal quick shutting and opening of the eye to clear away dust and spread lubricating fluids over the eyeball. This happens very naturally and almost periodically. Normally, you might not even notice that you blinked.
What does eye twitching feel like? Mild eye twitching may be a temporary minor cause of annoyance. However, severe eye twitching may be a source great of discomfort. Worse still, it may affect your vision significantly.
Eye Twitching Signs & Symptoms
How do you know that your eye twitches? You can easily tale that you are experiencing eye twitching by paying attention to the behavior of your eyes. The common signs and symptoms of eye twitching include:
- Involuntary, and usually repeated, contractions of the eyelids
- In mild cases, the twitches occur for a few seconds over several minutes
- In severe cases both eyelids twitch for a longer period for a particular instance.
- In severe cases, eyelids of one or both the eyes may remain shut for quite a while
- In severe cases, you may experience blurred vision eye keeps shutting and opening with longer durations
Is It My, Eyelid, Eyeball or Eyebrow Twitching?
When you experience eye twitching, you may not know which part of your eye actually twitches. We have received claims such as “It is my eyeball itself twitching and not my eyelid”. In response, we sought to address this issue and provide clarification.
Typically, eye twitching refers to eyelid twitching. This is because the part of the eye that actually twitches is usually the eyelid. However, the movement of the eyelid may be so sudden and strong to such an extent that it creates an illusion. In other words, the ripple effect that it sends around the eye muscle as it twitches may cause confusion regarding which part actually moves.
As a result, some people wrongly think and describe eye twitching as involving eyeball movement. This is often not true. However, other parts of the body can twitch too. Those that are closely related to eye twitching include eyebrow twitching and under eye twitching. As their names suggest, eyebrow twitching occurs in the eyebrow while under eye twitching occurs under the eye. Clearly, they do not involve the eye itself and hence may not be easily confused with eye twitching.
Other common muscle spasms include face twitching, lip twitching, nose twitching, thumb twitching, and under eye twitching. You may also experience arm twitching and muscle twitch in leg.
Eye Twitching Causes and Reasons
Many people around the world experience eye twitching. Often, the eye twitching starts abruptly without any warning. Surprisingly, in most cases, the eye twitching also vanishes shortly after without any intervention. But what could be the causes of eye twitching? Medical experts have provided the possible causes of eyes twitching. The following are the reasons why you may have experienced eye twitching.
- Eye infection: Your eye may get infected due to bacteria or fungus. Some of such eye infections may cause eye twitching. Typically, one such eye infections that may result in eye twitching include stye in eye
- Eye allergy: An allergy is a condition that causes your body part to react in a particular way when subjected to certain conditions. Eye twitching may be such a reaction due to an eye allergy that you might have.
- Exposure to bright light: Subjecting your eyes to bright light, especially suddenly, may irritate them. As a result, you may experience eye twitching as a reaction to the irritation.
- Dry eyes: Eyes are usually lubricated by tears from the lachrymatory glands. Therefore, they should be typically moist. However, when you have dry eyes problem, you are likely to experience eye twitching.
- Stress: When you are experiencing worry because of many problems, you may have mental pressure. This mental pressure is called stress. Occasionally, stress, especially intense stress, triggers eye twitching.
- Eye strain: Usually you contract your eye muscles when you try to look at ineligible writings or distant objects. The contraction of eye muscles may result in strain that will trigger eye twitching.
- Poor Vision: Essentially, poor vision causes you to strain your eyes as you try to see things. It is this staining that that may cause eye twitching. Accordingly, eye twitching may be a symptom of poor vision.
- Vitamin Deficiency: Deficiency in vitamins such as B12 and D, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium may cause eye twitching. According to Livestrong, “Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect the function of your muscles, including those of the eye”. Apparently, when the muscles are affected, they malfunction in many ways including twitching.
- Sensitivity to Light: Occasionally eye twitching is a reaction to light. This affects especially those individuals who have light sensitivity problems.
- Fatigue: You may experience eye muscle fatigue if you work for too long. Fatigue in the eye muscle may cause eye twitching as the tired muscle get overwhelmed.
- Inadequate sleep: Basically, if you have inadequate sleep it means that your eyes are fatigued. Fatigue in the eye muscles may cause the eyes to twitch as we have seen in the previous point
- Drug Abuse: Eye twitching may also be caused by too much consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Smoking too may cause the eye to twitch in some individuals.
- Environmental irritation: Environmental factors such as strong wind, direct sunlight and air pollution may irritate the eye. Occasionally, exposure to these conditions results in eye twitching as a reaction to the irritation.
- Pinkeye or conjunctivitis: Eye twitching may indicate that you have pinkeye. This is an infectious eye disease that make the conductive to be red and swollen.
- Eyelid inflammation or Blepharitis: Eye twitching may be a symptom of blepharitis. This is a common condition where the eyelid edges become red and swollen.
- Neurological disorder: Neurological conditions such as hemifacial spasm (HFS), may affect your eye muscles and make them malfunction. Therefore, if you are suffering from such conditions, you may occasionally experience eye twitching in one or both of your eyes. Usually, symptoms start with lower eyelid twitching but later spread to affect even upper eyelids. Eventually, it may affect the cheek bone the lips and the face.
Left Eye Twitching and Right Eye Twitching
Curiously, eye twitching may involve only one of your eyes, especially if it is mild. Left eye twitching refers to twitches on your left eye. Similarly, right eye twitching refers to twitches in your right eye. However severe eye twitching usually affects both eyes.
Research shows that most people who experience left eye twitching only are right handed. Likewise, most of those who experience right hand twitching only are left handed. Statistically, left eye twitching is more common than right eye twitching. It is also a fact that most people are right handed. Hence there is a clear reason why left eye twitching is the more common than right eye twitching.
Lower Eyelid Twitching & Upper Eyelid Twitching
As we have already seen, eye twitching actually involves the movement of eyelids. Therefore, eye twitching can rightfully be referred to as eyelid twitching.
When your eye twitches, it may involve only the lower eyelid or the upper eyelid of your left or right eye. This is especially the case if you experience mild eye twitching. However, in case you have severe eye twitching it usually involve both the lower eyelids and upper eyelids of both eyes
Eye Twitching During Pregnancy
What causes eye twitching during pregnancy? While pregnant, you are likely to experience fatigue, stress and insomnia (sleeplessness). Also, there are chances that you might suffer from magnesium deficiency during pregnancy. As we have already discussed above, these factors form part of the causes of eye twitching. Therefore, eye twitching in pregnancy is caused by experiences associated with pregnancy such as stress fatigue and insomnia and magnesium deficiency.
Is eye twitching a sign of pregnancy? Incidentally, many people associate eye twitching with pregnancy. In fact, they consider eye twitching as a sign or symptom of an early pregnancy. You might experience eye twitching in the first second and third trimester. However, this is not always the case because there are many other causes of eye twitching as we have seen. In any case, you can still undergo these experiences without necessarily being pregnant.
Left/Right Eye Keeps Twitching All Day, Nonstop, for Days or Weeks
What does it mean when your eye twitches every day? If your eye, eyelid or eyeball keeps twitching daily or for long, then the condition is said to be chronic eye twitching. Typically, both your eyes keep twitching persistently when you have this condition. However, there are some cases where only the left eye keeps twitching in this manner. Though rarely, in other cases only the right eye keeps twitching this way.
Sadly, there have been instances where some patients have experienced eye twitching all day nonstop! Worse still, others experience it for days or even for weeks! Clearly, chronic eye twitching or spasm can be awfully uncomfortable to you, especially due to its persistence.
Such cases of eye twitching usually indicate that you could be having a more serious brain or nervous system disorder. In the event that this happens to you, immediately see your doctor for further tests and diagnosis. The doctor will be able to determine the actual cause of the problem and give you appropriate advice and medication.
Left/Right Eye Twitching Meaning, Superstitions, Myths & Omens
Other than medical significance, eye twitching has for long been used to unravel future events by various communities around the world. However, this method of using eye twitching to foretell an event is not based on any scientific knowledge.
Rather, the interpretations are based on long-standing cultural superstitions of various communities. Apparently, these superstitious beliefs are passed down the generations by use of myths and other traditional practices.
Accordingly, the interpretations vary from one community to another. Remarkably, the interpretation depends on which eye or eyelid twitches. In other words, a left eye twitching may have a different meaning from a right eye twitching. Moreover, some of them may have different interpretations for females and males.
Usually, the events forecasted have a bearing on good luck or bad luck occurrences to a person who experiences the eye twitching. Therefore, eye twitching is considered to be either a good omen or a bad omen.
Typically, the events signified by eye twitching usually take place a short time after experiencing the eye twitching. Normally, the time ranges from hours to a few days. We now discuss some of the most common eye twitting superstitious meanings.
1. Eye Twitching Good or Bad Luck Superstitions for Females
Eye twitching may indicate good or bad luck in females (women or girls). However, this depends on which of your eyes experiences the twitch, your ethnicity and beliefs or what you are doing when you get the twitch. This is described below:
Good luck meanings
- A twitch in your left eye signifies good luck if you are a female from china or India
- A twitch on your lower left eye twitch indicates bad luck if you are a female from Vietnamese
Bad luck meanings
- A twitch in any of your eyes signifies bad luck if you are a female living or traveling in Nigeria
- A twitch in your right eye also signifies bad luck if you are a female from Vietnamese
2. Eye Twitching Good or Bad Luck Superstitions for Males
Just like in females, an eye twitching in males (men and boys) may mean good luck or bad luck. However, the fate you experience depends on which of your eyes is experiencing the twitch, your ethnicity and beliefs. This is summarized below.
Good luck meanings
- A twitch on your right eye indicates bad luck if you are a male from Vietnamese
- A twitch in your bottom left eyelid signifies good luck if you are a male from China or you subscribe to Chinese superstitious beliefs
Bad Luck meanings
- A twitch in any of your left eyelids indicates bad luck if you are a Vietnamese male
- A twitch in your top left eyelid signifies bad luck if you are a male from China or you subscribe to Chinese superstitious beliefs
3. Chinese Time-based Eye Twitching Meanings
For the Chinese people, the meaning of eye twitching is based on Tong Shu (Chinese Almanac). The meanings are interpreted by superstitions that depend on the time of the day. Note that the meanings are different for left eye twitching and right eye twitching. The table below summarizes eye twitching meanings according to the Chinese superstitious beliefs
|Time of Day||Left Eye Twitching Meaning||Right Eye Twitching Meaning|
|11pm to 1am||Be ready! A noble man will pay you a visit||Good! You will be invited to a friend’s party|
|1am to 3am||Beware! A worrying event might happen||Great! Someone is fondly cherishing you|
|3am to 5am||Prepare! You will get a visitor from far||Get ready! You will soon have a joyful event|
|5am to 7am||Be ready! A special guest will visit you||Be happy! Everything will be fine for you|
|7am to 9am||Great! A close friend will visit you soon||Be cautious! You may get a small injury|
|9am to 11am||Get ready! You will have a party soon||Oh no! Be ready for chaos or a quarrel|
|11am to 1pm||Be ready! Expect partying/feasting soon||Be warned! A disaster might befall you|
|1pm to 3pm||Don’t worry! All will be fine for you||Be ready! You will have a lovely moment|
|3pm to 5pm||Be careful! You might lose your money||Be poised! You will cherish a dear friend|
|5pm to 7pm||Prepare! Guests on their way to visit you||Be ready! Expect a visitor from far away|
|7pm to 9pm||Prepare! Someone will be visiting you soon||Prepare! You will attend a huge gathering|
|9pm to 11pm||Be ready! A friend will be visiting you soon||Be cautious! You might have a court case|
4. Indian Eye Twitching Meaning, Superstitions & Myths
Indian superstitions regarding eye twitching are quite different from Chinese superstitions. Chinese superstitions depend on the time of the day and the eye that is twitches. In contrast, Indian superstitions are not based on time of twitching. Rather, they emphasize on the part of the eye that twitches and the gender of the person involved. Like in Chinese, Indian eye twitching meanings are passed from one generation to another mainly by myths.
A twitch in the right eye is a good sign for both male and females. It indicates that a something good awaits you. In case it happens before an interview or a big presentation, it means that you will succeed in those endeavors.
On the other hand, the meaning of an eye twitch on the left eye depends on the gender of the person involved. If the eye twitch occurs on a woman, it is a good sign. It means that she will receive good news and will be successful in her activities. However, if the eye twitch occurs on man, it is bad news because it is considered to be a bad omen. It means that something bad will happen to him soon
5. African Eye twitching Meanings, Superstitions & Myths
There are many African communities who hold different superstitions concerning eye twitching, which are passed down the generations through African myths. These superstitions are held by some of the African communities including the Nigerians and Cameroonians. We shall give a summary of the most common superstitions held by different communities.
- Twitching the lower eyelid indicates a misfortune that will lead to crying and sadness. On the other hand, twitching the upper eyelid indicates you will meet an unexpected person.
- When you meet a person and he/she twitches the left eye, it means that the person is jealous of your beauty, your family or your achievements.
- If a certain person twitches his/her left eye looking at you, it is a bad omen. It means that you will develop and eye stye in your eye or boils on your body.
6. Hawaiian Eye twitching Meanings Superstitions and Myths
Some of the common superstitious beliefs and myths of the Hawaiian community include:
- A left eye twitching signifies that a stranger will come to your home.
- A persistent left eye twitching is a bad omen. It indicates a looming death of a family member family
- A twitch in the right eye is a good sign. It means that a child will be born in the family.
7. Islam Eye Twitching Meanings Superstitions and Myths
Does left or right eye twitching have any meaning? Does it indicate good luck or bad luck? Apparently, the Islam dissociate themselves with superstitions and myths regarding eye twitching. Therefore, from the Islamic perspective, eye twitching should not indicate any meaning good luck or bad luck. As we can see, the Islam choose to restrict themselves to what is contained in the Holy Quran and eye twitching superstitions is not one of them.
How to Stop Eye Twitching – Treatment & Home Remedies
Ideally, the approach you will employ to stop eye twitching will highly depend on the cause. You can easily manage eye twitching causes like allergy, stress, strain, inadequate sleep etc.
However, severe eye twitching may imply that you are suffering from diseases such as hemifacial spasm or blepharitis. In these case, you will certainly need to seek the services of a qualified doctor.
Here we discuss some of the approaches you can use to stop eye twitching. They range from DIY home remedies to nutritional and habit management. Besides, others involve medical treatment.
- Have adequate sleep: Learn to have enough sleep. Generally, sleep for between 7 and 8 hours every day. This will not only fix eye twitching but also other health problems related to inadequate sleep. To get rid of eye twitching due to inadequate sleep, try to go to bed a bit earlier than you are used to. It should stop. Otherwise, find out if there is a different cause of your eye twitching.
- Get adequate rest: Always, have adequate rest from work. Do not overwork yourself, especially the eyes. Occasionally engage in less involving and recreational activities as opposed to being tied to your regular demanding job tasks, especially use of computers.
- Lubricate your eyes if dry: In case you suffer dry eye condition, remember to lubricate your eyes timely and consistently with appropriate eye drops. This way, you will avoid instances when your eyes have inadequate moisture and mucus. As earlier discussed, lack of adequate lubrication in eyes may cause eye twitting.
- Manage your stress: You might not alleviate stress as it is part of our day to day life experiences. However, you can manage stress to reduce its level and hence its effects on you. Introduce stress management practices such as yoga and relaxation. In case you are unable to manage your stress yourself, seek the services of stress management specialist to help you.
- Relax your eyes: In case your eyes get stressed because of television watching or computer use, sooth your eyes. If you are at home, Soak a clean piece of fabric in the cold water and apply a cold compress on the eyes to relax them
- Apply milk drops: If your eyes get exposed to allergic substances like smoke, dust, pollutant detergents and other chemicals, soothe the irritation caused with mild. Place a few drops of cold fresh milk to your eyes to mitigate the irritation caused by these allergic pollutants.
- Avoid straining your eyes: Avoid engaging in activities that may strain your eyes. For example, avoid struggling to see distant objects. Likewise, avoid trying to read ineligible of fail writings as you may strain your eyes. occasionally take a break from demanding computer work or reading to give your eyes time to relax
- Avoid allergic conditions: Avoid subjecting your eyes to substances and conditions that may cause allergic reactions in your eyes. For example, avoid areas with dust, smoke, too bright light, sunlight, strong winds and other forms of air pollution. Also, you may wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright light exposure
- Stop drug Abuse: Stop using or overusing drugs such as alcohol and caffeine. Also, stop smoking completely if you have been smoking. This way you will be able to fix eye twitching in case this is the cause.
- Take in more vitamins and minerals: Feed on a balanced diet always. But if you are already suffering from eye twitching, take more of Vitamin D and B12 in food or supplements. Similarly, take more of the foods rich in magnesium and potassium minerals or their supplements.
- Treat underlying diseases and conditions: In case there is an underlying disease or condition that causes your eye twitching, have it treated or managed by a qualified medical practitioner. The common conditions and diseases that may cause eye twitching include eye infections, poor vision, pinkeye, eye inflammation and neurological conditions such as hemifacial spasm and Parkinson’s disease.
How to Prevent Eye Twitching
Generally, most of the measures used to stop eye twitching can be used to prevent it. However, to prevent, apply the appropriate measures in advance before you start experiencing the eye twitching. So, always practice the outlined healthy lifestyle without necessarily anticipating eye twitching.
When to See a Doctor Over Eye Twitching
Normally, eye twitching does not pose any serious health risks. In fact, most eye twitching instances are caused by temporary factors. When these temporary factors are removed, eye twitching stops immediately or soon after. Hence eye twitching, especially mild ones, should not be a cause for concern.
However, if your eye twitching is very severe and consisted eye twitching may be in rare cases an indication of a serious brain or nervous system disorder. In case you experience consistent eye twitching, you need to see your doctor the soonest. Also, see a doctor if you experience the following in addition to the eye twitching:
- One or both of your eyes are inflamed or produce an unusual discharge
- One or both of your upper eyelids tend to drop most of the time
- One or both of your eyes completely shut for a while during the twitching
- The twitching persists for several weeks without subsiding
- The twitching spreads to other parts of your face e.g. forehead, eyebrows, jaw bone, nose or lips
Video – Severe Eye Twitching
Watch the video below to see the behavior of the eye in severe eye twitching.
Our Sources and References
- Eyelid Twitch: http://www.healthline.com/health/eyelid-twitch?m=2#Overview1
- What Causes Eye Twitching During Pregnancy? http://mom-health.com/eye-twitching-during-pregnancy/
- Eye Twitching Superstition: http://www.herinterest.com/eye-twitching-superstition/
- Reasons Why Your Eye Keeps Twitching: https://www.symptomfind.com/health/why-your-eye-keeps-twitching/
- Eye twitching : http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/eye-twitching/basics/causes/sym-20050838
- Eye Twitching Superstition from 4 Traditional Cultures: http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Eye-Twitching-Superstition.html
- Eye Twitching & Nutritional Deficiency: http://www.livestrong.com/article/488307-eye-twitching-nutritional-deficiency/
- Right or Left Eye Twitching: Meanings and Superstitions: http://hubpages.com/health/Superstitions-What-does-it-mean-when-your-eye-twitches