Twitching of eyes may be a temporary occurrence which causes minor annoyance; however, in severe cases, they can affect your vision and cause great discomfort. Usually, eye twitching does not result from nutritional deficiencies, but in extreme cases, deficiency of certain nutrients such as minerals and vitamins can result in eye twitching. There are several other reasons for eye twitches. Let’s discuss in more details.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Eye Twitching
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is essential for the body. It is present in various foods such as fish, dairy products and meat. It helps in the maintenance of healthy function of red blood cells and nerves and also helps in the formation of DNA. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can result in spasticity, shaky movements, muscle weakness, vision problems including eye twitches and hypotension.
Symptoms of deficiency of vitamin B12
Anemia may result due to deficiency of vitamin B12. No symptoms may result from mild deficiency. However, if not treated, it may progress and result in symptoms including:
Tiredness, weakness and lightheadedness
Shortness of breath and palpitations
Paleness of skin
Smoothness of tongue
Diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite or gas formation
Nerve problems such as muscle weakness, tingling or numbness and problems with walking
Loss of vision and eye twitching, vitamin deficiency
Mental problems such as memory loss, depression, or changes in behavior
How to treat vitamin B12 deficiency
If you have developed pernicious anemia or issues with absorption of vitamin B12, you have to take vitamin B12 injections initially and then continue them or take high doses orally or nasal therapy for your whole life.
If the issue is that your diet is deficient in animal products then includes vitamin B12-fortified foods in your diet or takes a supplement or injections.
For majority of the individuals, the problem is resolved with the treatment. However, any damage to the nerves that is caused due to the deficiency may remain permanently.
As a fat soluble vitamin, vitamin D is important for the maintenance of several important functions in the body such as calcium absorption. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to less absorption of calcium which can result in weaker bones and eye twitching, vitamin deficiency due to the role played by calcium in contraction of muscles.
Health risks and symptoms associated with a deficiency of vitamin D
A deficiency of vitamin D can produce symptoms of muscle weakness and bone pain. However, many people have subtle symptoms. Yet, even if you don’t have symptoms, your health risks increase with too little vitamin D. Low blood levels of vitamin D have been linked with the following:
Increased death risk due to heart disease
Cognitive impairment in the elderly
Symptoms of severe asthma in children
According to research, vitamin D has a role to play in the treatment and prevention of various illnesses such as diabetes, type 1 and 2, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis.
How to treat Vitamin D deficiency
Treatment involves increasing the intake of vitamin D through supplements and diet. Generally a concentration of less than 20 mg/ml is considered inadequate and requires treatment. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU for everyone in the age group of 1-70 years and 800 IU for adults who are older than 70 years of age.
If you don’t remain in the sun for much time, you should discuss with your physician about taking a supplement of vitamin D, especially if there are risk factors for deficiency of vitamin D present.
Other Causes of Eye Twitching
It is one of the common causes for twitching of eyes. It results from overuse of eyes which causes the eyes to become tired from staring at your digital device or computer screen for a long period of time. You should get an eye exam if twitching of eyes is persistent as correction of vision may be required.
Tiredness and Stress
Eye twitching may also result from stress, tiredness and fatigue. Other symptoms may include headache, low energy, and lack of sleep and digestive problems.
Consumption of Caffeine and Alcohol
Consumption of too much alcohol and caffeine can also result in twitching of eyes.
Dry eyes may also result in eye twitching. The causes of dry eyes are computer use, alcohol and caffeine consumption, tiredness, wearing contact lenses, stress and ingesting certain medicines such as antihistamines and antidepressants.
Eye twitching can also result from allergies of eyes. Histamine is released due to rubbing of eyes. Histamine can lead to eye twitching. You can take a natural antihistamine such as vitamin C if you have eye allergies.
How to Treat Eye Twitching Naturally
Massage Therapy and Acupuncture
Massage therapy, acupressure and acupuncture are all techniques that help in reducing twitching of eyes by increasing the circulation of eyes. Eye twitching and chronic pain are relieved by acupuncture. Light massage of eyelids also increases circulation and stimulates and strengthens muscles.
It is a technique which helps in controlling various involuntary functions of the body such as muscle pain, spasms and tension. Electrodes are put on the skin and these functions are displayed and measured on a monitor. By trial and error, an individual can learn mental activities to decrease twitching of eyes.
Various relaxation exercises can help reduce stress and improve energy levels. Some of these are meditation, yoga and tai chi.
Treatment of Nutritional Deficiencies
You can take a mineral and multivitamin supplement to correct nutritional deficiencies such as deficiency of vitamin D and vitamin B12 and minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Other Methods and Remedies
You can also try hypnosis, chiropractic treatment and eye hydrotherapy.
Remaining hydrated by drinking adequate fluids also helps.
Sleep for at least 7-8 hours.
Berries such as bilberry and black current increase eye circulation, thereby help in reducing twitching of eyes.
When to See Your Doctor
Although eye twitching from vitamin deficiency is not a hard problem to solve and most often eye twitching will disappear by itself, chronic twitching of eyes can be a symptom of a serious brain, movement or nerve disorder. See your doctor if the following happens:
Eye twitching occurs chronically for many weeks.
After every spasm of the eye, your eyelid closes completely or there are problems in opening the eye.
You have twitching present in other facial areas.
The eyelid becomes red, swollen or a discharge is present.
You notice drooping of eyelid, especially upper eyelid.