Eye twitching- Definition, Causes, and Treatment

Definition

An eye twitch is an involuntary spasm of the muscles in the eyelid. Blepharospasm is the medical term for eyelid twitching. Eyelid twitching usually occurs every few seconds and lasts for a few minutes. It may come and go over a period of days or weeks. Sometimes the twitching results in the eye being held closed until the movement stops, but this is not always the case.

Eye twitching

In most cases of eyelid twitching, no identifiable cause can be found. However, certain environmental and behavioral factors may worsen eyelid twitching, such as caffeine consumption, stress, and smoking. Eyelid twitching may also accompany irritations or infections of the eye. In rare cases, eyelid twitching, usually when accompanied by other disordered movements, can be a symptom of a chronic neuromuscular disorder such as Tourette’s syndrome.

Risk factors

Essential blepharospasm usually occurs more commonly in females and at a later age.

Causes

Stress: While we’re all under stress at times, our bodies react in different ways. A twitching eye can be one sign of stress, especially when it is related to vision problems such as eye strain.

Tiredness: A lack of sleep, whether because of stress or some other reason, can trigger a twitching eyelid. Catching up on your sleep can help.

Eye strain: Vision-related stress can occur if, for instance, you need glasses or a change of glasses. Even minor vision problems can make your eyes work too hard, triggering eyelid twitching. Schedule an eye exam and have your vision checked and your eyeglass prescription updated.

Computer eye strain: From overuse of computers, tablets and smartphones also is a common cause of eyelid twitching. Follow the “20-20-20 rule” when using digital devices: Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and allow your eyes to focus on a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for 20 seconds or longer. This reduces eye muscle fatigue that may trigger eyelid twitching.

Caffeine: Too much caffeine can trigger eye twitching. Try cutting back on coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks (or switch to decaffeinated versions) for a week or two and see if your eye twitching disappears.

Alcohol: Try abstaining for a while, since alcohol also can cause eyelids to twitch.

Symptoms

Symptoms of eyelid twitches may include:

  • Excessive blinking of the eyes
  • Involuntary muscle movement around eyes
  • Dryness of eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Tired eyes

Complications

Very rarely, eyelid spasms are a symptom of a more serious brain or nerve disorder. When the eyelid twitches are a result of these more serious conditions, they are almost always accompanied by other symptoms. Brain and nerve disorders that may cause eyelid twitches include:

  • Bell’s palsy (facial palsy), which is a condition that causes one side of your face to droop downward
  • dystonia, which causes unexpected muscle spasms and the affected area’s body part to twist or contort
  • cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis), which causes the neck to randomly spasm and the head to twist into uncomfortable positions
  • multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a disease of the central nervous system that causes cognitive and movement problems, as well as fatigue
  • Parkinson’s disease, which can cause trembling limbs, muscle stiffness, balance problems, and difficulty speaking
  • Tourette’s syndrome, which is characterized by involuntary movement and verbal tics

Undiagnosed corneal scratches can also cause eyelid twitches. If you think you have an eye injury, see your optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately. Corneal scratches can cause permanent eye damage.

Diagnosis and test

These conditions are distinguished by a careful clinical examination. Rarely, hemifacial spasm is caused by a tumors pressing on the facial nerve, found with MRI testing.

Treatment and medications

Most eyelid spasms go away without treatment in a few days or weeks. If they don’t go away, you can try to eliminate or decrease potential causes. The most common causes of eyelid twitch are stress, fatigue, and caffeine. To ease eye twitching, you might want to try the following:

  • Drink less caffeine.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Keep your eye surfaces lubricated with over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops.
  • Apply a warm compress to your eyes when a spasm begins.

Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections are sometimes used to treat benign essential blepharospasm. Botox may ease severe spasms for a few months. However, as the effects of the injection wear off, you may need further injections.

More chronic forms of the condition can be treated in the following ways:

  • Facial injections: Injections are administered to cause localized paralysis around the affected area. In most cases, the eyes are immediately responsive, and symptoms are relieved between injections. The typical administering schedule for injections is every three months but varies from patient to patient.
  • Surgical removal of muscles around the eyelids: This method is only used in serious cases, for patients who do not respond to other forms of treatment.

Prevention

If your eyelid spasms are happening more frequently, keep a journal and note when they occur. Note your intake of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, as well as your level of stress and how much sleep you’ve been getting in the periods leading up to and during the eyelid twitching.

If you notice that you have more spasms when you aren’t getting enough sleep, try to go to bed 30 minutes to an hour earlier to help ease the strain on your eyelids and reduce your spasms.

 

 

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37 comments

  1. Dr Ramakrishna.Eye Sugeon Name

    a good information about common eye condition that is not generally dealt . thanks.

  2. what of other medicine we can take ( Name of the drug)

  3. Looking forward to Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
    Thank you for the posts. I am learning a lot.

  4. Oh well, this app has made me get to know so many diseases which can easily associated with me and now I can easily protect myself from them. Thanks.

  5. I have like this problem some time continue used mobile phone or computer when I feel uncomfortable I used to avoid using this devicess.

  6. thanks it always happen to me.but I started taking fruits rich in magnesium and having enough sleep

  7. please do not eat fruits especially in India. because of new disease spread from the bat is nipah. please do not eat single of the fruit otherwise you are died. please do not eat single of the fruits. and this is more infectious disease spread from one person to another. in all south side especially in kerela this disease most and more spread.

  8. I can’t really describe mind,I always have pain in my eye and am thinking of seeing eye optician, though the pain comes and go.

  9. German B Baldeo

    We have a very effective and has no side effect for all eye problems such like this including glaucoma, Cataract, teary eye, etc.

    -German Baldeo
    Iridologist

  10. I have learnt a lot from this

  11. wow!am learning alot from this app

  12. why dont you mantion the name of medicene for this disease?

  13. please, can you update us on glychoma?
    thank you

  14. what kind of medicine can cure my eyes when those white stuffs keep on coming out ?

  15. I have pimple in the upper inner is not itching just paining what my causes off that I just walk up pain

  16. Tariq Ahmad Khan

    I have myopia in my right eye now my right eye is getting smaller what should I do now

  17. I know Iam going to become a good Doctor when I finish my nursing course.Because this app is teaching me a lot.

  18. is it good to use salt and glycerine when treating the eyes? by putting a little drops

  19. Trivera KayYour Name

    I like this app thank u very much please can u tell us the medicine for this problem

    • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections are sometimes used. If the twitching of eye is often then please consider a physicians’ guidelines.

  20. where can I get this treatment

  21. tobako is dangerous

  22. I KINDLY GET ANSWER TO WHATEVER I ASK PLEASE

  23. i love this am learning lot from this app

  24. I love this, am learning a lot from this app

  25. nice app

  26. Name of drugs we can take for the eye

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