When Should I Be Worried About Eye Twitching?

Twitchy eye, blisters and sneezing aren’t serious – just irritating! We asked the experts for their tips on dealing with these common bugbears..

THE CAUSE: Frequent sneezing can mean you’re allergic to something in the environment, although it can also signal the start of a viral infection, like FIX IT: If you regularly have sneezing pollen levels can be high even as the weather becomes cooler. ‘Talk to a pharmacist and see if your symptoms improve with an antihistamine or a steroid nasal spray,’ suggests GP Dr Clare Morrison. SNEEZING FITS Feature timeincukcontent.com; Photography Thinkstock Twitchy eye, blisters and sneezing aren’t serious – just irritating! We asked the experts for their tips on dealing with these common bugbears… STOP THOSE DRY EYE THE CAUSE: ‘Our increasing obsession with screen-time is having an impact on our eye health,’ says ophthalmologist Dr Colin Parsloe. ‘We normally blink to refresh our tears about 15 times per minute but, when you look at a computer screen, your blink rate reduces radically. Tears evaporate from the eyes’ surface, leaving them dry FIX IT: ‘Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus 20ft (six metres) away for 20 seconds to relax the eyes and to encourage blinking,’ says Dr Parsloe.

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THE CAUSE: This sharp pain in the abdomen while exercising often occurs when you haven’t warmed up properly or have eaten too soon before exercising. ‘A stitch while running is caused by internal organs moving downwards as your foot hits the ground, and at the same time as the diaphragm moves upwards as you breathe out,’ says Nick Dunn, a personal trainer and triathlon coach. FIX IT: Stop running, then breathe normally and rub the area until it goes away. Bending over as much as possible also helps to stretch your diaphragm, advises Nick.


THE CAUSE: Friction from a tight shoe rubbing against from further damage and allowing it to heal. Burns and other skin injuries can also cause blisters. FIX IT: ‘Don’t pop the blister as it helps keep the skin underneath sterile, and it also protects the damaged area,’ advises Dr Morrison. ‘If the blister pops anyway, cover the skin with a clean, preferably sterile, dressing and prevent any further friction.’


THE CAUSE: That tingling sensation, also known as paraesthesia, is caused by a lack of blood supply to the nerves, which, in turn, send warning signals to the brain. FIX IT: Rub and wiggle the affected area to get blood circulating (if you have pins and needles often or it’s long-lasting see a GP).


THE CAUSE: These are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin. They can occur if dead skin cells clog up hair follicles, forcing the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin. FIX IT: Wash with an antibacterial soap infection and gently exfoliate with a facecloth every other day to dislodge trapped hairs. Don’t pick or scratch them. Dab the affected area with tea tree oil.


THE CAUSE: Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, says Dr Morrison. They usually occur when we drink too fast or after a large meal. FIX IT: easily control it – but it usually subsides without you doing anything. You could also try blocking your nose while sipping water.


THE CAUSE: Holding your head in an awkward position for an extended period of time (while using a smartphone or laptop, for example) can strain your neck muscles, leading to pain and stiffness, says chiropractor Tim Hutchful. FIX IT: ‘Be conscious of keeping the body in a neutral position,’ advises Tim. ‘Keep your ears at an equal distance from your shoulders and your chin neither up nor down.’ Place your tablet or laptop on a higher surface – and use the cover to ‘prop’ it up to improve posture. ‘At night, use one supportive pillow that allows a neutral position while sleeping,’ adds Tim. Too many pillows can create an unnatural alignment, which will cause pain.


THE CAUSE: Stress, fatigue, eye irritation and caffeine overload can all cause that repeated contracting and relaxing of the muscle below the eye, or the eyelid itself. FIX IT: The twitching usually clears up after relaxation (e.g. a screen break). Cut back on caffeine and alcohol and get in a few early nights. Also boost your magnesium levels with green leafy veg to combat muscle spasms.

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