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Eyelid Twitching

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Eyelid twitching

The medical term for eyelid twitching is called myokymia.  An eyelid twitch is a repetitive, involuntary spasm in the eyelid that more commonly occurs with the upper lid, but can take place in (or on) the lower lid as well. The majority of eyelid twitching lasts for only a few minutes, but sometimes the twitch can continue for days or longer.  Most eyelid twitching is subtle and not noticeable to others around you.  

Most people experience eyelid twitching that feels like a gentle tug on the eyelid.  If you experience a spasm strong enough to force both eyelids to close completely that is a different condition called blepharospasm.  

Eyelid twitching is harmless and painless, but they may be bothersome to you.  Most of the eyelid twitching will resolve on their own without the need for treatment.

Nobody knows exactly what causes the eyelid twitching, but common causes of eyelid twitching are:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue 
  • Eye strain
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Dry eyes
  • Diet
  • Allergies

Treatment

Identifying the cause of your eyelid twitching is the best way to prevent it from happening.  Even making minor changes in your lifestyle and diet can cause your eye twitch to be significantly reduced or make it disappear.

In rare cases  persistent eyelid twitches can be treated with Botox injections to stop the involuntary muscle contractions in the eyelid that cause the twitching.  

When to see an eye doctor

You should see an eye doctor right away if you experience sudden changes in appearance or movement of half your face (including your eyelids) or if both eyelids clamp down so tight that it is impossible to open your eyes.  

In rare cases if the twitching does not go away, it could signal a serious neurological condition such as blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm.

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Written by Dr. Emily Lemburg

More Articles By Dr. Emily Lemburg

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