Most people get eye twitches from time to time. Twitches are common and very rarely a sign of anything serious. But if it persists, you may want to get yourself checked.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 17 Dec 2021.
Is Eye Twitching Normal?
Most people get eye twitches from time to time. Twitches are common and very rarely a sign of anything serious. They often go away on their own. Twitches can affect any part of the body. Twitches in the eyes or legs are widespread. You may also have tingling or cramps (spasms) in the same area.
What Is an Eye Twitch?
An eye twitch is an uncontrollable eye muscle or eyelid spasm or movement. Blepharospasm is what your doctor may name it. It is more common in your upper eyelid. The lid opens and closes every few seconds, typically for just a minute or two.
Types of Eye Twitches
Eye twitches may be divided into three categories.
A minor eyelid twitch is often related to commonplace factors such as tiredness, stress, or coffee. It may also be caused by irritation of the surface of your eye (cornea) or the membranes that border your eyelids (conjunctiva).
Benign essential blepharospasm typically appears in mid-to-late adulthood and worsens with time. Only around 2,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with it each year. It affects twice as many women as it does males. It isn’t a life-threatening disease, but more severe instances may make your life difficult.
It all begins with excessive blinking or discomfort of the eyes. You may become more sensitive to light, have a hazy vision, and have facial spasms as the condition worsens. Your eyes may remain shut for many hours as a result of the cramps.
Researchers believe that factors in your DNA and the environment around you are to blame.
A hemifacial spasm is much more uncommon. The muscles surrounding your mouth and eyelid are involved. It typically affects just one side of your face, unlike the other two kinds. An artery pushing on a facial nerve is the most common cause.
Causes and Triggers of Eye Twitching
An unexpected signal in your brain or the muscles of your face may cause your eyelid to twitch. This may be triggered by a variety of everyday events, such as:
- Sensitivity to light
- Some medicines, particularly those used to treat psychosis and epilepsy, may be addictive.
Eyelid twitching may be caused by a variety of brain and nervous system diseases. These are some of them:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Brain damage
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bell’s palsy
- Tourette’s syndrome
source - mens health
Eye Twitching Complications
Eye spasms may last all day for some individuals. They may last for days, weeks, or even months. They may cause you to get distracted and negatively impact your quality of life.
If your twitch persists, you may find yourself winking or constantly squinting, making it difficult to see.
Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- The twitch continues for more than a week.
- Your eyelid entirely shuts.
- Other face muscles are involved in spasms.
- You experience redness, swelling, or discharge in your eyes.
- You have a droopy upper eyelid.
If your doctor thinks you have a brain or nerve issue, they’ll look for additional symptoms. They may send you to a neurologist or another expert.
Eye Twitching Treatment
Minor twitches usually go away on their own. Get lots of rest and limit your intake of alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine. Try over-the-counter artificial tears if your eyes are dry or inflamed.
The condition known as benign essential blepharospasm has no treatment. Your doctor, on the other hand, may be able to assist you in managing your symptoms. Botulinum toxin is the most frequent treatment (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin). It can also help with hemifacial spasms.
To relieve the spasms, your doctor will inject tiny quantities of medication into your eye muscles. The impact lasts for a few months and then fades away. You’ll need several treatments.
In mild instances, your doctor may prescribe medicines such as:
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride (Artane, Trihexane, Tritane)
These generally provide only temporary relief.
Treatments that are not conventional include:
- Nutrition therapy
- Tinted glasses
These treatments have not been shown to work in scientific research.
Your doctor may recommend surgery in certain situations. They remove part of the muscles and nerves surrounding your eyelid in a surgery called a myectomy.
A hemifacial spasm is caused by the pressure of an artery on your facial nerve. Surgery may alleviate this strain. The outcomes are irreversible. However, like with any surgery, there is the possibility of problems.
Eye Twitching Outlook
Your prognosis is determined by the kind of twitching you have and what is causing it. Minor twitches are not painful and are entirely safe. They often leave on their own. Although blepharospasm is a lifetime disease, you may find that avoiding specific factors like tiredness or coffee may help you avoid symptom flare-ups.
- Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC.
- University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center: “Eyelid Spasms (Eye Twitching or Eye Twitch)" and “Understanding Benign Essential Blepharospasm & Hemifacial Spasm."
- National Eye Institute: “Facts About Blepharospasm."
- Dystonia Medical Research Foundation: “Blepharospasm."
- Genetics Home Reference: “Benign Essential Blepharospasm."
- American Academy of Opthalmology: “Blepharospasm."
- American Academy of Ophthalmology: “How to Stop Eye Twitching.”
- American Academy of Family Physicians: “Blepharospasm.”
- Cedars-Sinai: “Eye Twitching.”
- Mayo Clinic: “Eye Twitching.”