Have you ever experienced those mild yet weird spasms in your eyelids? It’s called eye-twitching – the repetitive fluctuations that cause irritation and seem unending. The superstitions surrounding it are even more interesting- if your left eye twitches, it suggests a bad omen and if the right eye twitches, it signifies good luck. Well, we aren’t sure of the omens, we can tell you that regular twitching of eyes could indicate a nutrient deficiency. Eye twitching is not a voluntary bodily function and is also known as Myokymia – characterized by involuntary twitching of the eyelid muscles.
Myokymia or eye twitching can occur because of stress, tiredness, strain in the eyes, excessive alcohol consumption, dry eyes or allergies. According to Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta, “Eye twitching can be caused due to a B12 deficiency which may occur as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, or an imbalance in electrolytes sodium and potassium. Eye twitching may also occur due to excessive loss of fluids or dehydration.”
Can nutrient deficiency be the cause?
While a lack of B12 vitamin in the body can be one of the causes of eyelid spasms and can magnesium deficiency. According to a study published in Neurology India, eye twitching and vitamin B12 deficiency may be correlated. However, the study also mentions that the possibilities remain a bit unclear. Similarly, magnesium does play an essential role in the functioning of cells, tissues and organs throughout the body and therefore, experiencing eyelid spasms may be related to deficiency of magnesium in the body.
Possible treatment for twitching eye
- Consume less caffeine
- Get enough sleep
- Don’t let your eyes dry out
- Apply a warm compress on your eyes when the spasm starts
How to treat nutrient deficiencies
B12 vitamin deficiency: A deficiency in the B12 vitamin can lead to muscle weakness and vision problems in the long run. Load up on B12 rich foods that may include red meat, milk, chicken, eggs and salmon.
Magnesium deficiency: Magnesium is an important micro-nutrient that ensures proper functioning of all the muscles in the body. Eye twitching can be a sign of lack of magnesium in the body. Consume magnesium rich-foods like green leafy vegetables, bananas, yogurt, avocados, dried fruits, pumpkin seeds and beans to get your daily dose.
Ideally, eye twitching should not sustain for more than a week. However, if it causes other problems than just slight spasms that may include redness, swollen eyes or pain, refer to your doctor immediately.