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Eye Twitching During Pregnancy: Signs, Causes And Remedies

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Eye twitching during pregnancy can be due to benign reasons and usually resolve without treatment. Twitching of the eye occurs as an unpredictable, repeated muscle movement due to involuntary spasm of the eye muscle. The spasm may repeat every few seconds, and the condition may last for a few minutes to several days or more (1).

Read on to know the signs, causes, and remedies for eye twitching during pregnancy.

What Are The Signs Of Eye Twitching In Pregnancy?

The signs of eye twitch in pregnancy are similar to eye twitching symptoms in a non-pregnant state. Here are some common signs of eye twitching (2) (3).

  • Uncontrolled blinking of eyelids
  • Irritability in the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Dryness and tiredness in the eyes

What Causes Eye Twitching During Pregnancy?

Studies suggest that the etiology of eye twitching is not well known. However, most factors that may cause this condition are similar in pregnant and non-pregnant women (1) (4) (5) .

  • Increased stress, often due to pregnancy-related hormonal changes
  • Fatigue
  • Vision changes
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dryness in the eyes
  • Excess caffeine consumption

Some women may experience rapid involuntary eye contractions, resulting in the closure of eyelids. It is a severe form of eye twitching and is known as blepharospasm. It requires prompt medical attention (6).

How To Manage Eye Twitching In Pregnancy?

Eye twitches can be bothersome, especially if they last for long periods. Usually, it should resolve without treatments. You can try these remedies at home to manage eye twitching in pregnancy.

  • Get adequate sleep and rest: Research suggests that stress and fatigue can increase the risk of twitching (4). Therefore, sufficient rest and sleep in pregnancy are important to reduce strain to the eyes and the eye muscles.
  • Reduce caffeine intake: Excess caffeine intake may not be good for the unborn baby and may also increase the risk of maternal eye twitching (7)(4). Reducing caffeine intake could help avoid eye twitching during pregnancy, and reduces the anaemia risk.
  • Avoid stress: Stress could increase the severity of eye twitching. Explore ways to reduce stress to relax your mind and body (6). You may consider regular exercise routine, simple eye exercises, breathing exercises, and meditation (8).
  • Practice good eye care: Take good care of your eyes by staying hydrated and reducing screen time. You may consult an ophthalmologist who may prescribe you eye drops for lubrication, known as “artificial tears” (9).

When To Call The Doctor?

Eye twitching seldom causes any serious problems. Nevertheless, contact your physician or eye doctor if you experience the following symptoms (2) (4).

  • Twitching that stays for a week or longer
  • Difficulty opening your eyes
  • Twitching leads to the closure of one or both eyelids
  • Twitching develops in other parts of the face
  • Twitching is accompanied by eye redness, swelling, or discharge
  • Blurring vision
  • See abnormal spots

Are There Any Medications For Eye Twitching In Pregnancy?

Medicines for eye twitching during pregnancy will depend on the underlying cause. The doctor or ophthalmologist will assess the symptoms and other problems, such as eye redness or swelling, before prescribing medicines.

Those with chronic eye twitching may usually have an underlying neurological problem, such as blepharospasm or Parkinson’s disease. Medications to improve nerve function may be suggested based on the severity of the problem. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to cure blepharospasm.

Chronic eye twitching due to muscle spasms could be treated with botulinum toxin (Botox). The substance could be injected into the affected eyelid muscle, helping it relax and alleviating twitching. Botulinum toxin is safe during pregnancy, with no adverse effects reported in fetus and mother (10).

What Are The Other Eye-Related Concerns To Look For In Pregnancy?

Here are some of the pregnancy-related eye symptoms and conditions that may indicate an underlying problem.

  • Vision changes: A surge in pregnancy hormones may alter the power of your existing eyeglasses or lenses. If you feel a change in your vision, discuss with your doctor, who may suggest if you need a new pair of glasses.
  • Blurry vision: Blurred vision and double vision in pregnancy may signify a serious problem such as preeclampsia. You may also experience spots, flashes, and increased light sensitivity. It is important to recognize these signs and contact your doctor to avoid complications (11).
  • Migraine: Throbbing migraine headaches are common in pregnancy and are associated with sensitivity to light and sound (12).
  • Pigmentary changes: Skin pigmentary changes in pregnancy often cause pigmentation on the eyelids’ skin. It is not severe and goes away after pregnancy (13).
  • Dry eyes: Hormonal changes may cause dry eyes in pregnancy, causing irritability and making it difficult to wear contact lenses. Your eye doctor may advise artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to reduce the discomfort (14).
  • Puffy eyes or eyelids: Puffy eyes or eyelids may cause discomfort and affect vision. Staying hydrated, taking your pregnancy vitamins, and having a diet low in sodium may help reduce water retention and puffiness (11).

Eye twitching during pregnancy often occurs randomly, and its reasons may often be no different than those in non-pregnant women. Adequate rest and sleep with homecare measures could provide relief in most cases. If eye twitching is chronic or you have other symptoms, seek a doctor’s advice to avoid any complications and preserve your healthy vision.

References:

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Vidya Tadapatri

Vidya did her post-graduation in Biotechnology from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Her interest in scientific research and writing made her pursue a career in writing, in which she now has over four years of experience. She has done certified biotechnology-related training programs under renowned organizations such as Centre For Cellular & Molecular Biology and Department of Biotechnology. Vidya writes health-based articles... more