Twitching Eye:

The Best Treatment for a Twitching Eye

By Dr. Ben Kim

Have you ever wondered what makes the muscles around your eyes twitch and flutter from time to time? The answer to this question is relatively simple. And so is the remedy.

All of the six hundred plus muscles that exist throughout your body and head are supplied by nerves that originate in your brain. If you take it from the top, your brain induces a signal that travels down through your brain stem and spinal cord and out through peripheral nerves to reach each of your muscles. The flow of electricity through this pathway is what allows you to have motor control over your muscles.

Your brain and spinal cord are much like the water tower in your city. Both are full of energy and just itching to gush electricity and water out through peripheral nerves and city water pipes, respectively. In the case of your municipal water supply, you are able to regulate how much water comes out of the pipes in your home with your faucets. In the case of your body, your peripheral nerves are your faucets and must regulate how much electron flow is allowed to come out of your spinal cord and travel to your muscles.

Getting back to what causes a twitching eye, the twitching muscle in question is called your orbicularis oculi muscle. This muscle has two parts: a palpebral part that allows you to open and close your eyelids, and an orbital part that allows you to have a wide range of expressive looks with your eyes, a good example being when your eyes open really wide with surprise.

The peripheral nerve that acts as a faucet for your orbicularis oculi muscle is called the temporal branch of your facial nerve. So, for you to open and close your eyelids or open your eyes as wide as possible, the temporal branch of your facial nerve must allow just enough electricity to come out from your brain and brain stem and travel to your orbicularis oculi muscle.

In the vast majority of cases of a twitching or fluttering eye, the problem is with the temporal branch of the facial nerve. When this nerve becomes fatigued, it acts like a worn down water faucet - the flow of electrons is no longer smooth and even. The result is that your orbicularis oculi muscle will twitch or flutter as it receives jolts of uncontrolled information from your brain and brain stem.

In case you missed it, I just gave you the answer to the most common cause of a twitching eye: fatigue. And fatigue goes hand in hand with stress.

When the muscles that surround your eyes twitch and flutter, chances are very good that you are fatigued and stressed. So the remedy for a twitching eye is rest and relaxation.

Not muscle relaxants, not pain killers, not chiropractic adjustments.

Rest and relaxation. Period.

Aside: in clinical terms, your brain, brain stem, and spinal cord are referred to as upper motor neurons. Your peripheral nerves - the temporal branch of your facial nerve in this example - are referred to as lower motor neurons. Twitching eye muscles are referred to as fasciculations and are a common sign of lower motor neuron problems, which usually get better on their own with proper rest and a healthy diet.

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