7 reasons why your eye is shaking and what to do

Eye tremor is a term used by most people to refer to the sensation of vibration in the eyelid of the eye, which is the membrane that covers the eye. This sensation is very common, it usually happens because of the tiredness of the muscles of this part of the eyes, being very similar to what happens in a cramp in any other muscle of the body, for example.

Generally, tremor affects only one eyelid in one eye, especially the lower eyelid, however, this type of tremor can also affect both eyelids, although it is a rarer situation.

In most cases, the tremor lasts for a day or two, but there are cases where it occurs for a few weeks or months, making it a major nuisance. In these situations, you should consult an ophthalmologist or a general practitioner, as it can also be a sign of vision problems or infection.

In addition, there are situations in which the tremor happens only in the eye, and not in the eyelids, and when it happens this is called nystagmus. Nystagmus is more difficult to identify than tremor in the eyelid of the eye, and is checked by a doctor on an exam to diagnose health problems such as labyrinthitis, neurological changes or vitamin deficiencies. See more what is nystagmus, main causes and treatment .

7 main causes of eyelid tremor

Although the tremor is caused by tired eye muscles, there are several causes that can contribute to this situation, which include:

1. Excessive stress

Stress causes several changes in the body, especially in the functioning of muscles, due to the action of hormones that are released. 

In this way, smaller muscles, such as those of the eyelids, may suffer greater action from these hormones, moving involuntarily.

What to do to stop : if you are going through a period of greater stress, you should try to do relaxing activities such as going out with friends, watching a movie or taking yoga classes, for example, to help balance the production of hormones and stop the tremors.

2. Few hours of sleep

When you sleep less than 7 or 8 hours a night, the eye muscles can become quite tired, as they have had to work for several hours straight without rest, also increasing the release of stress hormones. When this happens, the eyelids become weaker, starting to shake for no apparent reason.

What to do to stop : it is recommended to sleep at least 7 hours each night, creating a calm and relaxing environment to allow a more restful sleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, here are some natural strategies for faster and better sleep .

3. Lack of vitamins or dehydration

The lack of some essential vitamins, such as vitamin B12, or minerals, such as potassium or magnesium, can cause involuntary muscle spasms, including the eyelids. In addition, low water intake can also lead to dehydration, which weakens the muscles and can cause tremors.

It is also worth remembering that people over 65 or who follow a vegetarian diet are more likely to lack essential vitamins and may experience tremors more often.

What to do to stop : increase your intake of foods with vitamin B, such as fish, meat, eggs or dairy products, as well as try to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. Check out other symptoms that can help confirm a lack of vitamin B .

4. Vision problems

Vision problems seem quite harmless, but they can cause various problems in the body such as headaches, excessive tiredness and tremors in the eye. This is because, the eyes work excessively to try to focus on what you are looking at, getting more tired than usual. Here’s how to assess your vision at home .

What to do to stop : in case you are having difficulty reading some letters or seeing from a distance, for example, it is advisable to go to the ophthalmologist to identify if there is really a problem that needs to be treated. For people who wear glasses, they should go to the ophthalmologist if it has been more than 1 year since the last consultation, as it may be necessary to adjust the degree.

5. Dry eye

After 50 years of age, dry eye is a very common problem that can lead to the appearance of involuntary tremors that happen in an attempt to help hydrate the eye. However, there are also other factors that can contribute to this problem in addition to age, such as spending hours straight in front of the computer, wearing contact lenses or taking antihistamines, for example.

What to do to stop : it is advisable to use a moisturizing eye drop throughout the day to try to keep the eye well hydrated. In addition, it is important to rest your eyes after 1 or 2 hours in front of the computer, and to avoid wearing contact lenses for more than 8 hours straight. See what moisturizing eye drops you can use to treat dry eye .

6. Consumption of coffee or alcohol

Drinking more than 6 cups of coffee a day, or more than 2 glasses of wine, for example, can increase the chances of having eyelids trembling, as the body becomes more alert and dehydrated.

What to do to stop : try to gradually reduce your consumption of alcohol and coffee and increase your water intake. See other techniques you can use to change coffee and have energy .

7. Allergies

People who suffer from allergies can have various symptoms related to the eyes, such as redness, itching or excessive production of tears, for example. However, when scratching the eyes, a substance, known as histamine, which is produced in allergy situations, can reach the eyelids, causing the shaking. 

What to do to stop : it is advisable to take treatment with antihistamines recommended by the general practitioner or allergist, as well as avoid, whenever possible, contact with the substance to which you are allergic.

When to go to the doctor

In most cases, shaking eyes are not a sign of serious problems and disappear in a few days. However, it is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist or general practitioner when:

  • Other symptoms appear, such as redness of the eye or swelling of the eyelid;
  • The eyelid is more droopy than normal;
  • The eyelids close completely during tremors;
  • The tremor lasts more than 1 week;
  • The tremor affects other parts of the face.

In these cases, the tremor may be caused by an infection of the eye or problems with the nerves that unnervate the face, which must be identified early to facilitate treatment.

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