Eye Twitching Symptoms and Treatment Online

A twitching eyelid can be everything from annoying to painful. The eyelid muscle spasms that make your eyelid twitch can seriously disrupt your day. Here are some common causes of eyelid twitching and when you need to seek out an eye exam for more information.

What is eye twitching?

With a minor eye twitch, the orbicularis oculi muscle that controls opening and closing your eye, contracts without conscious input. The most common minor eyelid twitching is called eyelid myokymia. This twitch happens more often in the lower eyelid and usually goes away by itself after a few seconds or minutes.

A benign essential blepharospasm is a more visibly noticeable twitch. It happens more to the upper eyelid than the lower and can look like blinking or winking.

In rare cases, you may experience hemifacial spasms, which affect one entire side of your face. While it may start with twitching eyelids, it usually spreads to the rest of the face. Hemifacial spasms can happen for a variety of reasons, including as a side effect of other conditions.

What causes eyelid spasms?

There are many reasons you might experience eyelid spasms. Some environmental factors include bright lights, smoking, wind, or air pollution. If you drink alcohol or excessive caffeine, this can trigger eyelid twitches. Not getting enough sleep, stress, or excessive eye strain may cause twitching lids. Your eyelids may also twitch from general eye irritation, including dry eyes, overuse of contact lenses, or irritation on the eye or inside of the eyelid.

Eyelid twitching can also be a symptom of another condition, ranging from inconvenient to serious. Dry eyes, blepharitis (swelling of the eyelid), or a corneal abrasion (a scratch on the surface of your eye) may be the culprit. In rare cases, eyelid twitching can be associated with more serious brain and nerve disorders. Eye twitching may be a symptom of Bell's palsy, cervical dystonia/dystonia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Tourette's syndrome. Some medications can also have eye twitching as a side effect.

Symptoms of eyelid twitching

The most obvious symptom of eyelid twitching is, of course, involuntary movement of your eyelid. This can range from minor spasms to large twitches that affect other facial muscles. This can be accompanied by other eye irritation, including dryness or redness, or pain.

Eye twitching treatment

There are many ways to treat eyelid twitching at home. If your eyelid twitching is caused by an environmental factor or your lifestyle, the most important treatment is to remove that trigger. For example, getting more rest to fix a twitch from lack of sleep, or reducing stress.
A doctor may prescribe eye drops for dry eyes or tell you if your twitches are tics associated with a more serious movement disorder. If your eye twitching is a sign of a more serious neurological disorder, your doctor may recommend you to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor). Botulinum toxin (Botox injections) can weaken the facial muscles in order to stop twitches. You can also purchase rose-tinted glasses for light sensitivity.

FAQs

When do I need to visit an eye doctor?

If your eye twitches don't go away for a few days or start to become disruptive, especially if it impacts your vision, you should seek out medical advice from a doctor. You should also see an eye care doctor if you experience other symptoms, such as redness, swelling, discharge from the eye, drooping eyelids, pain in facial nerves, or twitches in other parts of your face.

What treatments can I do for twitching eyelids at home?

Since most cases of twitching eyelids aren't serious, there are plenty of things you can do at home. A warm compress can help increase blood flow and relax the muscles around your eye and are easy to make at home. You can run a washcloth under warm water and place it over your eye for up to 20 minutes at a time. Over-the-counter eye drops can help with dryness and redness.

Adjusting your lifestyle to reduce stress and caffeine intake and increase sleep is one of the most useful things you can do for long-term twitching.

How to stop eye twitching?

If you're having trouble with repeated or chronic eye twitching, you should see a doctor for more advice. If eye twitches keep coming back, even if they stay minor, there is likely something about your lifestyle that needs to change to stop the twitches. You may need to reduce or stop alcohol or caffeine intake, quit smoking, reduce stress, or get enough sleep each night.

What are some health conditions related to facial spasms and eyelid twitches?

Since eyelid twitching can be related to more serious nervous system conditions, it's important to know what else may be attached to eyelid spasms.

Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Tourette’s syndrome, and Bell’s palsy are all associated with blepharospasm (minor twitching).

For hemifacial spasms, Bell's palsy, head trauma and brain lesions, ear infections, tumors, and other abnormalities at the back of your skull cavity may be an underlying cause. The back of your skull is important because it houses the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls voluntary motor functions and eye movements.

How can I improve accessibility with chronic eye twitching or tics?

Identifying your triggers will help you avoid tics that are parts of disorders like Tourette's. If eye strain is to blame for constant twitching, special glasses are available to limit the light that reaches your eyes. You can also adjust the light settings of many devices with screens, in the settings. Reducing blue light and increasing warmer colors like red or yellow can help you avoid eye strain.

How do you fix severe eye twitching?

In the most drastic cases, where an underlying cause cannot be found or addressed, there are corrective surgeries for eyelid spasms. The most common surgery is called a myectomy. It removes part of the facial muscle in order to stop involuntary contractions. This is a rare approach, and most doctors will try several other treatments before turning to surgery.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.