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What causes eye twitching during pregnancy?

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Eye Changes with Life Events

Our eyes change throughout our life, just like every other part of our body. When significant life changes occur, like pregnancy, scheduling an eye exam can be as important as a doctor’s visit. The eyes are the windows to the soul, but they’re also windows to our health. Many health conditions can manifest eye symptoms first.

Eye twitching during pregnancy can be a symptom of an eye condition or changes to your health. Knowing the cause can help you improve self-care. Find out some of the common causes of eye twitching with Toronto Centre Eye Care.


Allergies are probably best known for triggering sneezing or a stuffy nose, but allergies can cause various eye symptoms. Pregnancy can make seasonal allergies worse, and it can also cause a third-trimester condition called rhinitis of pregnancy. However, pregnancy rhinitis is caused by hormones, not allergens.

Eye allergy symptoms include:

  • Burning or irritated eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Clear, watery discharge

When eye irritation or itchiness leads to rubbing your eyes, the action releases histamine into the tear film and eye tissue. The interaction with histamine can cause eye twitching. Antihistamine medications or eye drops can help relieve eye allergies.

Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when your eyes make too few or poor-quality tears. The chronic condition can make your eyes feel gritty, irritated, or like you have something stuck in your eye. It can also cause eye twitching. Although the most common symptom is dryness, some people may experience watery eyes.

It’s common to experience dry eye during pregnancy because of hormonal changes. Pregnancy causes your body to produce fewer tears; it can also change the composition of your tears, particularly in the last trimester. Your optometrist can recommend dry eye therapy to help treat dry eye and alleviate symptoms.


You might be tempted to reach for a second or third coffee (or tea) when you’re tired. Although caffeine has benefits, too much caffeine can negatively affect our body, including causing eye twitches. Excessive caffeine intake can also cause sleep problems, worsening your eye symptoms.

Although moderate caffeine consumption won’t cause dehydration, it is a diuretic. Pregnancy already causes an increase in urination frequency, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated when drinking multiple caffeinated beverages.

Eye Strain

Too much computer use can be taxing on our eyes. Digital eye strain can lead to multiple symptoms affecting eye comfort, including eye twitching. Eye strain can also be caused by an undiagnosed eye problem, such as myopia(nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism,

Focusing on one task for a long time can exhaust our eye muscles, the same way repetitive exercise exhausts other muscle groups. Taking a break from the task and following the 20-20-20 rule can give our eyes a chance to rest and reset.

Also, remember getting enough sleep is crucial for resting tired eyes! Sleep is also essential for reducing stress, managing inflammation, and repairing tissue. Everyone needs sleep to keep their eyes functioning effectively–without the twitching–but sleep is especially vital during pregnancy.

A woman in visible discomfort rubs her eyes with her left hand.

Nutrition Deficiency

Nutrition needs can change during pregnancy and sometimes lead to nutrition deficiency. Your pre-pregnancy diet may have provided the vitamins and minerals necessary for maintaining your eye health. But you may need to add more during pregnancy.

Eye twitches can occur when the body is missing nutrients crucial for muscle function, such as:

  • Calcium 
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

Taking prenatal vitamins and adding nutrient-rich foods can help maintain health and relieve eye twitching during pregnancy. You can also incorporate more foods to support eye health and prevent other eye symptoms.

Don’t forget about electrolytes! An electrolyte imbalance can lead to a persistent eyelid twitch. Additionally, dehydration is more common during pregnancy. So, adding electrolytes can improve hydration and prevent eye twitches.


Before, during, or after pregnancy, stress is a common cause of eyelid twitching. However, it’s worth noting that with all the physical and emotional changes occurring during pregnancy, it’s no surprise you might feel some stress.

Talk to your doctor about your stress levels. Finding ways to cope with chronic stress is good for mother and baby. If eye twitching continues after coping with stress, visit your optometrist to assess your eye health.

Visit Your Optometrist for Eye Twitches

Having your eye health assessed can help you protect your eye health and prevent symptoms like eye twitches. Discussing eye health and vision with your optometrist is essential for receiving professional, personalized eye care advice.

Your optometrist can also provide eye care tips for home remedies. Practicing good eye care habits at home can benefit your eye health long-term and reduce irritating symptoms like eye twitches. If eye twitching continues for more than a few days, contact us.

Toronto Centre Eye Care has been treating patients for over a decade. We’re committed to offering exceptional care and educating our patients about their eye health. We can recommend a solution whether you’re experiencing eye twitching, vision challenges, or other eye symptoms.

We look forward to seeing you! Book an appointment with our Toronto eye doctor at Toronto Centre Eye Care today.

Written by Dr. Faizal Mohamed, BSc, OD, Optometrist

Dr. Faizal Mohamed received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the prestigious School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo, where he also earned various academic awards, including the highly coveted Canada Scholarship award.

During his studies, Dr. Mohamed completed an internship in ocular diseases at the Barnett-Dulaney-Perkins Eye Center in Mesa, Arizona. While there, he participated in advanced aspects of therapeutic eye care, including cataract, glaucoma, and retinal disease treatment and management.

As an optometry student, Dr. Mohamed travelled to various rural areas of Mexico with a group of eye doctors and Eye Care International volunteers to provide voluntary eye examinations and free eyewear to thousands of underprivileged residents.

In addition to his work at Toronto Centre Eye Care, Dr. Mohamed also consults at the Yonge-Eglinton Laser Center and Toronto Eye Surgery Center, where he works closely with the renowned corneal specialist, Dr. David Rootman, in the co-management of cataract and refractive laser patients.

He has extensive experience in family eye care, contact lens fitting, and laser eye surgery co-management. He is in good standing with the Ontario College of Optometrists, the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and the Ontario Association of Optometrists. Dr. Mohamed’s primary objective as an optometrist is to provide the best possible care to all his patients.

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