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Can Allergies Cause Eye Twitching?

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A man with eyes close rubbing his left eye using his left hand.

Allergies are common, with symptoms ranging from sneezing and coughing to itchy eyes and rashes. While allergies can be unpleasant, they rarely cause serious complications. 

However, one symptom that often raises concerns among allergy sufferers is eye twitching. The involuntary movement of the eyelid can be annoying, disrupt daily activities, and may signal other underlying health conditions

The question of whether allergies can cause eye twitching or not prompts a more complex answer than a simple yes. However, allergies can indeed be a cause of your eye twitch. When you have an allergic reaction, it’s not uncommon for your eyes to get red and swollen. This response triggers the release of a chemical called histamine, which can lead to the twitching of your eyelids.

It is smart to visit your eye doctor for an eye exam if you’re experiencing eye twitching, especially if it lasts longer than a couple of days. An eye exam can help diagnose what is happening and provide a timely treatment plan. 

What is an Eye Twitch?

Before diving into the relationship between allergies and eye twitching, let’s first understand what an eye twitch is. 

Known medically as myokymia, an eye twitch is an involuntary, repetitive eyelid movement. This twitching can happen in one or both eyes and can occur suddenly and persist for a few hours or go away after a few seconds. 

Other Causes of Eye Twitching

While the exact cause of eye twitching isn’t entirely clear, the possible triggers for eyelid twitching are numerous

  • Feeling worn out or not getting enough sleep
  • Stress or anxiety 
  • Post-workout
  • Too much caffeine 
  • Eye irritation, strain, or even an abrasion on your cornea 
  • Dry eyes  
  • Environmental irritants like wind, bright lights, or air pollution 
  • Conditions like multiple sclerosis 
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Certain medications like topiramate, clozapine, and flunarizine 
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Conditions like uveitis (swelling of the middle layer of your eye), blepharitis (inflammation of your eyelid), conjunctivitis (also known as pinkeye), and migraines

Allergies & Eye Twitching

Although it may seem improbable, allergies can cause eye twitching. Some people with allergies may experience muscle spasms, including the eye muscles, during an allergic reaction. 

Additionally, when an allergen enters the body, it produces an autoimmune response, causing the release of histamines and inflammation. 

Histamines can cause tingling, itching, and, in rare cases, muscle twitching of the eyelid. Therefore, if you are prone to eye twitching and have allergy symptoms simultaneously, the chances of the eye twitching being related to allergies are likely.

Is Eye Twitching a Symptom of an Eye Allergy?

Eye allergies, also called allergic conjunctivitis, occur when seasonal allergies are present, such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. 

Eye allergy symptoms can include

  • Redness 
  • Itching
  • Tearing

If you have eye allergies, the likelihood of experiencing an eye twitch combined with other symptoms is higher. It is essential to understand the physical symptoms you experience regularly, including an eye twitch, and their impact on your health.

Treatment Options for Eye Twitching Caused by Allergies

Over-the-counter allergy medication, such as antihistamines, may effectively treat the underlying cause of the eye twitching. 

Antihistamines are powerful drugs that block the production of histamines, eliminating the tingling, itching, and eye-twitching sensation that can develop in people with allergies. 

Moisturizing eye drops and cold compresses may also reduce inflammation in the eye, offering immediate relief.

Alternative Treatments

If your eye starts twitching for weeks or you’re having a hard time opening your eye or seeing clearly, it’s time to get in touch with your eye doctor. They can help figure out the best way forward.

They might suggest medication or even a treatment plan involving botulinum toxin injections. This toxin is injected into the skin around your eyes, relaxing and weakening the muscles below the surface. Each round of injections can keep spasms at bay for about three months.

Remember that there can be some side effects, such as:

  • Minor bruising where you got the injection
  • Temporary droop in your eyelid
  • Temporary double vision

In severe cases where the botulinum toxin injections aren’t doing enough to control the symptoms, surgery might be recommended. But this is pretty rare.

A male optometrist examining the eyes of a woman using a medical device to detect potential eye problems.

The Link Between Allergies & Eye Twitching

Allergies can cause eye twitching, and it’s essential to recognize it as a possible symptom of an allergic reaction. Eye twitching may be accompanied by other symptoms that suggest an underlying allergic reaction. 

If you are experiencing eye twitches that appear to correlate with allergy symptoms, contact your eye doctor at Total Vision to determine the best course of action for treating the underlying allergy. Book yourself in for an appointment.

Written by Total Vision

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