Many of us have experienced eye twitching, known as myokymia, but is it something to be worried about, and how can we stop it?

Roshni Patel, a leading optometrist, has revealed that a twitchy eye is often caused by having a high cortisol level.

Cortisol is a natural steroid hormone which gets released by the body when we’re stressed hence why it is also known as a stress hormone.

It helps regulate several important internal processes including blood pressure and metabolism, however high levels of cortisol over a long period of time can cause health issues.

With this in mine, Roshni, Head of Professional Services at Lenstore, shared her top tips on how to reduce your cortisol levels and stop that eye twitch.

Tackle stress factors head-on

A key factor to consider is how are you are currently dealing with stress? Are you overworking yourself, at risk of burn out or simply just not getting enough rest from the struggles of a busy day-to-day life?

As stress is the main contributor to increased cortisol levels it’s important to consider if you are well rested enough to carry out the things in life that matter to you.

Properly managing your day-to-day responsibilities, taking time for yourself and addressing any serious pressure points can help limit the chances of twitching eyes.

Prioritise a better night's sleep

Simple lifestyle changes such as going to bed an hour earlier than your current schedule will seriously improve the chances of a better night’s sleep and lowering your cortisol levels.

Adults should be getting around 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to feel properly refreshed the next day and if you are constantly tired, then it’s likely you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep.

By reducing your chance of fatigue, you are minimising the chance of developing further issues with eye twitching.

Limit your caffeine intake

Although you might not want to hear it, that extra cup of coffee in the morning might be doing you more harm than good!

Energy drinks and coffee are two of the most common stimulants – a likely reason your eyelids are contracting involuntarily throughout the day as caffeine can build up muscle tension, causing them to spasm.

Not only throughout the day, but too much caffeine could also be the reason why you are staying up past your bedtime, resulting in tiredness the following day or even longer term. Less caffeine in the body gives you a much greater chance of getting a better night's sleep, keeping your cortisol levels low.

Avoid straining your eyes

We’re all guilty of spending too much time on our phones in the evening, staring at television screens aimlessly and gazing tirelessly at our computer screens at work. In fact, up to 75% of our time awake is spent staring at some form of digital screen.

Taking regular breaks from screen time can lower the chances eye strain and reduces the likelihood of developing further eye complications.

In addition to taking regular breaks away from the screen, it is important to remember the ‘20-20-20' rule – for every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen [an arm’s length away], spend 20 seconds focusing on an object 20 feet away.

Reduce alcohol consumption

If you are often experiencing involuntary twitching of your eyes after drinking beer, wine or spirits, then it is likely there is a direct link with your alcohol intake. This is because alcohol relaxes the facial muscles, causing reflexive spasms of the eyelids.

You should refrain from drinking too much alcohol altogether as excessive drinking can cause serious health complications, but if you are planning on having a drink you should consider not drinking around or near to bedtime.

Not only do increased alcohol levels ruin your chances of getting a better night's sleep, but it can lead to higher cortisol levels and can ultimately develop into fatigue.