Eye Twitching

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What is eye twitching?

An eyelid twitch, or blepharospasm, is a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles. A twitch usually occurs in the upper lid, but it can occur in both the upper and lower lids. For most people, these spasms are very mild and feel like a gentle tug on the eyelid. Others may experience a strong spasm that it forces you to close your eyelid completely. Some people never have any noticeable signs.

It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of eye twitching?

Having a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles.

Eyelid spasms are rarely a symptom of the 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.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You may need to see your doctor if you’re having chronic eyelid spasms and any of the following also happens:

  • Your eye is red, swollen, or has an unusual discharge.
  • Your upper eyelid is drooping.
  • Your eyelid completely closes each time your eyelids twitch.
  • The twitching continues for several weeks.
  • The twitching begins affecting other parts of your face.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What are the causes of eye twitching?

Eyelid twitching may be triggered by:

  • Alcohol intake;
  • Bright light;
  • Caffeine excess;
  • Fatigue;
  • Irritation of the eye surface or inner eyelids;
  • Physical exertion;
  • Smoking;
  • Stress;
  • Wind.

Other conditions that sometimes include eyelid twitching as a sign:

  • Blepharitis;
  • Corneal abrasion;
  • Dry eyes (decreased production of tears);
  • Entropion;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Light sensitivity;
  • Trichiasis;
  • Uveitis.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for eye twitching?

Benign essential blepharospasm is more common in women than in men. It usually develops in a middle to late adulthood.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is eye twitching diagnosed?

Your doctor will visual checking your eyes and ask you to describe the symptoms that you have suffered.

How is eye twitching treated?

In most cases, a minor twitch will go away on its own. If dry eyes or irritated eyes are the cause, try over-the-counter artificial tears. That can often ease a minor twitch.

The most widely used treatment is botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin). It’s also often used with a hemifacial spasm. Botox may ease severe spasms for a few months. However, as the effects of the injection wear off, you may need further injections.

In mild cases, your doctor might suggest medications like:

  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®);
  • Lorazepam (Ativan®);
  • Trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride (Artaner®, Trihexane®, Tritane®).

Surgery to remove some of the muscles and nerves in the eyelids (myectomy) can also treat more severe cases of benign essential blepharospasm. Furthermore, physical therapy may be useful for training the muscles in your face to relax.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage eye twitching?

If your eyelid spasms are happening more frequently over time, 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 get 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 to reduce your spasms.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 26, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019