If you sometimes (or often) feel that your left eye is jumping, you’ll certainly be wondering why. Eye “jumping” is also referred to as a tic, twitching or shaking of the eye. Actually, it’s common, too!
When your left eye twitches, it is a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the muscles in your eye. It is almost always harmless, but it’s annoying if it is persistent or frequent. This article will fill you in on the causes, symptoms, explanations and even some superstitions linked to twitching of the left eye. Many people will experience it at some point in their lives.
Eye jumping is sometimes localized to only the eyelid or eyebrows, or it can affect the whole eye. It depends on what nerve or muscle is affected. It can also occur in both eyes. In this post, we’ll be talking about symptoms, interpretation and management of eye spasms like eyebrow twitching.
Why Is My Left Eye Jumping? Potential Causes of Twitching in the Eye
Eye spasms are generally harmless and painless, and usually resolve themselves without help. Even though you know it’s only temporary, it can get annoying when the eye spasms occur persistently or frequently. Symptoms may occur for days or weeks or even months. This can stress you out and interfere with your daily life. The cause for eye twitching is largely unknown, but some cultures view it with superstition.
Some causes of eye twitching may include:
- Lack of sleep
- Eye strain from TV or computers
- Too much caffeine in your diet
- Nutritional imbalances
- Dry eyes
Eye jumping is sometimes symptomatic of eye conditions that can be treated, like pink eye, light sensitivity or chronic dry eyes. Only on rare occasions is eye jumping a sign of a serious nerve or brain disorder.
When your left eye jumps, it may be a symptom of nerve or brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Bell’s palsy or dystonia. Some medications may cause eye twitching as a side effect. These drugs are usually prescribed for psychosis or epilepsy.
Eye jumping that is more serious may be caused by a neurological condition like hemifacial spasm or blepharospasm. Chronic eye jumping is not common, but it can be bad enough to make keeping the eyes open difficult. This may cause some impairment of vision.
You may have eye jumping at times that lasts for days or weeks. It probably isn’t serious, but you should have your ophthalmologist or neurologist check your eyes, especially if the twitching started after a head trauma. Usually, the causes of eye twitching are not identifiable.
Superstition & Myths about Left Eye Jumping
In some cultures, they have superstitions and myths that attempt explanation of eye spasms. Some people believe that it is a positive omen, while others warn of misfortune in the future. The meanings of ancient superstitions have been carried down through generations.
As an example, in China and India, the superstition surrounding left eye jumping is connected with the field of astrology, and is sometimes practiced today. Chinese superstitions speak of good luck for men with left eye spasms, but back luck for women with the same tic. The interpretations are also made on what time during the day these spasms occur.
In India, some people interpret left eye jumping as a bad omen for men but a good omen for women, which is precisely the opposite of Chinese superstition. The twitching may be further interpreted depending on what part of their left eye is shaking.
In some areas in Africa, when people have their left eye twitch, it is seen as a mournful sign, a shedding of sad tears or a meeting with someone that occurs unexpectedly.
What does it mean when your left eye jumps?
There are many various reasons why your eye may jump. You may be experiencing harmless eye muscle fatigue. There are a couple serious conditions that affect the eye. Allergies can also cause irritation and subsequent eyebrow spasms.
Reduced energy and eye fatigue cause eye twitching that should not be considered alarming. Getting more sleep should clear up the problem. Drinking coffee or alcohol may over-stimulate the nerves and muscles in the eye, causing involuntary eye jumping.
Deficiency in Essential Minerals or Water may cause Eye Jumping
Water is essential to your nervous and muscular systems. It supplies electrolytes, including potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium. Electrolytes help your body to control the action of eye muscles and muscles elsewhere in the body, according to LiveStrong.com.
If you have too little water, this can lead to muscle spasms. This condition may be brought on by ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), vomiting or diarrhea. Frequent urination or heavy sweating can cause a lack of water in the body, too. If you have left eye twitching when you’re low on water, it should be alleviated by drinking sufficient water every day.
Allergy-related Eye Spasms
Allergies may trigger spasms in the eyelids or eyes. Itchy eyes are frequently experienced by people with allergies, too. Eye itching releases histamine and this can make your eye twitch.
Can a deficiency in vitamin B-12 cause pregnancy-related eye twitching?
In research published by the Neurology Society of India, it was revealed that vitamin B-12 deficiencies may cause dystonia, along with other neurological issues. Infants with low B vitamins may experience twitching of the eyes, as may pregnant women. It is possible that the B-vitamin deficiencies are linked to eye jumping.
Can a deficiency in vitamin D lead to eye jumping?
Vitamin D is essential for the body. It helps it in absorbing calcium. If you are deficient in vitamin D, your body may not absorb enough calcium, which may weaken the eye muscles and cause twitching. You can increase your intake of vitamin D by moderate sun exposure, and eating foods or taking supplements that include vitamin D.
Instances and Consequences of Left Eye Jumping
Eye jumping may occur in either eye or both eyes. If you’re right handed, you may have slightly weaker muscles on the left side of your body, which leads to the supposition that one causes the other. This has not been proven by scientific research.
If you cut down on your stress levels and sleep more, you can likely eliminate some eye twitching. Drink lots of water and drink less caffeine. You may also use holistic methods like meditation, hypnosis, acupuncture, yoga and techniques.
Severe twitching of the eye may require treatments like the ones we will describe below. Consult your physician if the spasms concern you. There are some complications of spasms in the upper eyelid. They are rare, but can include:
- Blurry vision
- Drooping eyelids
- Cornea injury
- Double vision
- Permanent damage to the eye
Is there a way to prevent eye jumping? If you experience increasingly frequent episodes of eye spasms, you can try to keep a journal and note when they occur. Pay attention to your caffeine intake, tobacco and alcohol use as well as your level of stress and how much sleep you have in the period leading up to and during eye jumping. If you notice that your eye twitches more when you don’t get enough sleep, make an effort to rest more.
Left eye jumping is considered mild and benign. It should resolve fast without causing any discomfort. Once the spasms begin, they should disappear on their own within very little time. If your left eye keeps jumping constantly for all day or for a week, try to rest more and get enough sleep, reduce your caffeine intake and take lots of water for rehydration.
If your eye continues to jump for a few days, and causes discomfort, consult your physician. It may be a symptom of a medical condition.
MRI or CT scans can be done, which will rule out any nerve damage or compression. Other types of lab work can also be done, to eliminate conditions like magnesium deficiency or diabetes. Your physician may prescribe you a muscle relaxant, to calm your eye spasms, or a tranquilizing medication like Tegretol to help in calming the nerves to relieve the eye jumping.
Botox is often effective in numbing muscles to keep your eyelids from twitching. It is helpful for people whose facial muscles are weak. It will numb the muscles of the eyes, to stop your spasms. Ironically, though, one side effect of Botox injections is eye twitching. Check other options first.
When should you see a physician about left eye jumping?
- If you have spasms that also involve pain in the nerve
- If your spasms cause discomfort, or they distract you from your work
- If you’re on medication for a mental disorder
- If the eye spasms spread and affect other muscles in your face
- If your eye continues to jump for three days or more
Here is a video that show eye jumping or twitching.