While muscle spasms are common, thanks to all the household chores, eye spasms are lesser known about, especially in a medical context. Have you had the occasional eye twitching and found yourself wondering about its significance? More often than not, Indians tend to relate the twitching eye with a superstitious tale. The right eye twitching is often taken as the sign of good fortune while the left eye twitching indicates that something ominous is about to happen. However, the truth cannot be further than that!
Popular Superstitions around the World
Several popular superstitions are surrounding the occasional twitching eye. In Africa, a twitching eye has heavy significance. Natives, especially from Cameroon and Nigeria, believe that the left eye twitching is a symbol of bad fortune. The Chinese however, believe otherwise. According to Chinese superstitions, the left eye twitching indicates good luck while the right eye twitching is a symbol of bad luck.
These are based on Mandarin, one of the major regional Chinese languages. In Mandarin, the word for the left has a close resemblance to the word for money which indicates wealth. Hence, twitching of the left eye is taken as a sign of good fortune while right in Mandarin closely resembles disaster. Thus, the right eye twitching is believed to be an omen for tumultuous times ahead!
In Hawaii, the twitching of the left eye can either indicate the arrival of a stranger or a death in the family. The superstition states that a twitching right eye can signify the birth of a child in the near future.
Indians have several superstitions when it comes to eye twitching. Here, the significance of a twitching eye depends on whether you are a man or a woman. The twitching right eye is considered to be good luck for men and bad luck for women. For women, it’s just the opposite. A twitching left eye is supposed to bring good luck! But, that’s not all. There are also superstitions based on which area of your eye is twitching. According to these, if the lower eyelid is twitching, it probably means that you are about to splurge money. The twitching of the pupil is considered a symbol of generous luck while the twitching of the upper area of your eye indicates that fortune is on your way.
These superstitions may come across as interesting but the scientific reasoning behind the twitching eye is much more humble!
What is an Eye Twitch and Why does it happen?
Eye twitching is a common eye condition that involves involuntary muscular contraction of the eyelid. It may occur anytime when you are in a meeting, or in the car driving, or even when you are just relaxing on the bed. It typically happens in the lower eyelid and is usually not a serious condition. However, if it happens frequently, it might indicate the onset of a neurological condition. It’s always advisable to check with a doctor if that persists.
The general eye twitching can be caused by a number of factors. These include stress, high caffeine intake, lack of sleep and allergies. Though these are not actually pre-conditions for the twitching eye, people who fit these bills may experience the twitch more as compared to the next person.
If you have experienced a lack of sleep recently, it may lead to eye spasms. Fatigue and tiredness are also common causes for the twitching eye. A study conducted by Mayo Clinic also indicated the same. Several experts have also related the lack of nutrients in the body with muscle spasms. If you are fatigued, chances are that your muscles are not procuring adequate nutrients. Low reserves of essential Vitamin D or magnesium in the body often come in the way of muscle relaxation, which may cause them to twitch or spasm.
Staring at your smartphone or laptop screen continuously can also lead to eye spasms. So, if you feel your right eye twitching after finishing an entire season in a day, it’s probably due to digital stress. It’s smart to take breaks in between your binge sessions, advisably every 20 minutes. Try to keep your eyes closed for 3-5 minutes at least to provide your eyes with the needed respite.
Interestingly, excessive alcohol consumption can also cause the eyes to twitch. A study conducted by the Hallym University College of Medicine threw light on the connection of alcohol consumption with dry eye syndrome. The study suggested that excessive alcohol intake increases the traits of dry eyes which may enhance the occurrence of eye twitches. Having a glassful of water in between your shots can really help the cause while improving your overall eye health!
The Treatment for Eye Twitching
These minor eye twitches generally don’t demand medical diagnosis or supervision. However, there is a more violent variant, which also includes a facial spasm affecting your ability to eat or talk. Known as the hemifacial spasm, this violent eye spasm accompanied by other serious symptoms is caused by inflammation of facial nerves. It may also be a resultant of a serious neurological disorder. If you are experiencing this type of eye twitching, call your doctor immediately for assistance. The doctor will then conduct a comprehensive eye exam and determine the necessary steps. But don’t worry- a twitching eye is generally not a serious medical condition.