Is Eye Twitching a Vitamin Deficiency?

Reviewed on 5/20/2022

Why Is My Eye Twitching?

Woman with eye twitching rubbing her eye
Eye twitching can be caused by a vitamin deficiency, abnormal brain function, stress or anxiety, caffeine or other stimulants, eye irritation or dryness, lack of sleep, physical activity due to accumulation of lactic acid (lactic acidosis) or electrolyte deficiency, dehydration, and medication side effects.

Eye twitching (blepharospasm) is an abnormal, involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids.

Eye twitches are usually harmless, but in rare cases they can be a sign of a problem with the nervous system. Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a form of eye twitching that is a progressive neurological disorder. 

Eye twitching can be caused by a vitamin deficiency. Nutrient deficiencies that can cause eye twitching include: 

The cause of eye twitching is thought to be due to an abnormal function of the basal ganglion, the part of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. 

Eye twitching can also be a sign of some conditions that usually go away on their own such as: 

What Are Symptoms of Eye Twitching?

Symptoms of eye twitching (blepharospasm) include: 

  • Eyelid spasm
  • Gradual increase in blinking
  • Involuntary eyelid closure
  • Eye irritation
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional tension

What Is the Treatment for Eye Twitching?

When eye twitching is caused by nutrient deficiencies such as low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium, and other electrolytes, the treatment involves:

For less serious and temporary causes of eye twitching, no treatment may be needed and twitching usually goes away on its own. If treatment is needed, it may include:

  • Consumption of caffeine or other stimulants
    • Reduce or avoid caffeine or stimulants
  • Stress or anxiety (“nervous ticks”)
    • Try stress reduction techniques such as mediation, deep breathing, or yoga
  • Lack of sleep
  • Nicotine from smoking and tobacco use
    • Don’t smoke or use tobacco
  • Eye irritation or dryness 
    • If no underlying medical condition is causing eye irritation or dryness, lubricating eye drops may help
  • Physical activity due to:
    • Accumulation of lactic acid (lactic acidosis) 
    • Get adequate fluid intake 
    • Reduce intensity or duration of exercise
    • Rest
    • Electrolyte deficiency
      • Drink enough water while exercising
      • Consume coconut water or sports drinks with electrolytes
  • Dehydration
    • Increase water intake
  • Side effects of medications 
    • Talk to your doctor about switching to a medication that may not cause the side effects
    • Do not stop taking any medications before talking to your doctor

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Reviewed on 5/20/2022
Image Source: iStock Images