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My eye is jumping


Recently, I got an e-mail from a dear patient of mine, and her question was as follows: Dear Dr. Onu, I just wanted to let you know that my eyes are feeling great so far. I hope to go and study during the year, so I may give you a visit to test my vision as time gets closer.{{more}}

A question, though, why do people’s eyes jump? If you know what I mean (laugh out loud). Some people say it’s when something bad is going to happen. What do you think? Hope to hear from you.

As we know, common folklore tells us that if one or the other jumps a lot, it means something is about to happen. Usually, grandparents tell us that if the right eye jumps, something good or bad would happen, and if the left eye is jumping, the opposite may happen. We have to remember that all folklore aside, eye jumping can be a medical problem and should be left to your ophthalmologist.

Now, when we talk about eyes jumping, what we refer to is a twitching of the eyes. Another word for that is blepharospasm. One can also refer to it as eye muscle spasm. This involuntary twitching or abnormal blinking of the eyelids is usually caused by contractions of the muscles around the eyelids that are uncontrolled. Sometimes people have twitching under the eyes and experience the twitching in one or both of the eyes. In short, blepharospasm is a blinking disorder.

One type called benign essential blepharospasm is not life threatening but has no known causes. Another type may be associated with dry eyes, tired eyes, people that have tourette syndrome, or people with other neurological problems. What one must know, however, is that eye twitching can be very annoying, and sometimes these spasms appear over time and keep recurring. Spasms that cause twitching on only one side of the face are called hemi-facial spams.

If your have mild eye twitching, then this will usually go away on their own, but can also be a result of stress on the eyes. It is very important to keep stress under control. Get plenty of sleep to keep the eye muscles rested. Take frequent breaks on the computer and use eye drops to moisturize the eyes, especially in cases of dry eye. If the problem persists, do not hesitate to consult your ophthalmologist. It could be something more serious that may require medication, botox (yes, botox, is not only for cosmetic purposes) or some other intervention. With that note, I want to thank you for the questions and also let you know how much I appreciate and enjoy your comments. Please keep them coming. Oh! my right eye is twitching…it is going to be a great weekend….Until next week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us.
Send questions to:
Tel: 784 456-1210