Macro shot of female greeneyes

Common Eyelid Twitch Causes

There are certain eyelid twitch causes that are common. These are also relatively easy to treat. Everyone should be aware of these causes since the likelihood of experiencing a twitch related to one of these at some point in life is relatively high.

  • Lack of sleep: If you are not getting enough sleep due to stress or insomnia, one of the effects can be eyelid twitching. To alleviate the twitch, aim to get better sleep. Creating a sleep schedule can be beneficial. Wake up and go to bed at the same times each day to get the body into a rhythm for sleep.
  • Stress: This is among the most common reasons that people experience an eye twitch. This could be due to stress causing muscle tension or having a negative effect on the nervous system. To alleviate a related twitch, it is important to get stress under control. Breathing exercises, yoga, and creating space for downtime can all be beneficial.
  • Eye strain: This is another reason why people experience eyelid twitches. Digital eye strain is of particular concern since people tend to overuse tablets, computers, and smartphones in today’s world. To alleviate twitching related to eye strain, give the eyes a break. For every 20 minutes of focusing on something, look away at an object 20 feet in the distance for at least 20 seconds.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine can cause some people’s eyes to twitch, especially if their caffeine intake is excessive. Reducing how much caffeine you consume can be beneficial. Since abruptly stopping caffeine may lead to headaches, cut back on it gradually. Spend about two weeks reducing caffeine intake to decrease the risk of negative side effects.
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can sometimes cause people to experience eye twitching. For some people, even just one drink is enough to cause this. To determine if this is the cause, abstain from alcohol for at least two weeks. If the twitches cease, you will know that alcohol was the cause.
  • Dry eyes: This condition can cause a variety of discomforts, and eye twitching is one of them. Dry eyes can occur due to several factors, such as certain medications, frequent computer use, alcohol and caffeine consumption, and wearing contact lenses. Using the right eye drops may help to alleviate eye dryness.
  • Poor nutrition: A diet lacking in certain nutrients may cause the eyelids to spasm. For example, if you have a magnesium deficiency, eyelid twitches or spasms are possible. Taking supplements and improving overall diet can be beneficial.
  • Allergies: These can sometimes cause people to experience eyelid twitches, especially if they rub their eyes to alleviate the itching. Rubbing causes a histamine release into the eyelid tissues. Using eye drops formulated specifically for allergies can be beneficial.

Eyelid twitches are a common issue. They occur when there is a slight movement or spasm of the lower or upper eyelid. Most common twitches do not affect vision and are harmless. (Learn More)

There are some issues that can cause these twitches that can be more serious. A blepharospasm may indicate an underlying medical condition. (Learn More) Another concerning issue that may cause twitching is referred to as a hemifacial spasm. (Learn More) Both of these problems can block or limit vision, and the twitching can close the eyelids for longer and more fully.

eyes shut tight

Blepharospasm

This condition is a form of focal dystonia. When someone has blepharospasm, the eyelid muscles contract involuntarily. In most cases, vision is not impacted.

The symptoms include eye irritation and frequent blinking. In severe cases, the eyelids may close forcefully when a contraction occurs. It is unknown what causes this condition.

Botox injections are a common treatment option, and this is said to be the most effective option. Other options include oral medications and surgery. Depending on the case, the doctor may use more than one treatment to reduce blepharospasm.

Hemifacial Spasm

This is a type of nervous system disorder that can result in involuntary muscle twitches. It only affects one side of the face. In most cases, a blood vessel is compressing a facial nerve. However, there are cases when there is no known cause, or a tumor or injury causes the compression.

Botox injections are also used for a hemifacial spasm. In some cases, doctors may recommend microvascular decompression. This surgery is done when a blood vessel is causing pressure on a nerve. This can alleviate the associated spasms.

woman experience ocular hypertension

Eye Conditions

In some cases, certain eye conditions may cause twitching as a symptom. These conditions include:

  • This is eyelid inflammation. It is characterized by eyelid redness and soreness as well as crusty eyelashes. Ophthalmologists report that approximately 37 percent of their patients have symptoms of this condition at some point. Eye ointments and drops and eyelid scrubs are common treatments.
  • This condition is characterized by the uvea of the eye becoming inflamed. It can cause eye pain, light sensitivity, reduced visual acuity, and red eyes. Steroids are usually prescribed to alleviate the inflammation.
  • Corneal abrasion: This condition involves a scratch on the cornea. It can cause pain, tearing, light sensitivity, grittiness, redness, and headache. It is important to receive prompt treatment from a doctor for this condition.

Get Treatment When Needed

A common eyelid twitch typically does not indicate anything serious. However, if the twitching is prolonged, obstructs vision, or occurs along with other symptoms, it is important to see an eye doctor to determine the cause.

References

How to Stop Eye Twitching. American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eye Twitching. Mayo Clinic.

Blepharitis (Eyelid Inflammation). All About Vision.

Blepharospasm. American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

Microvascular Decompression Surgery. University of Rochester Medical Center.