A twitching eyelid, or an eye spasm, happens involuntary and can be caused by multiple factors. Your eyelid may completely close or suddenly jolt, causing slight discomfort and annoyance. There are three common types of eyelid spasms: the eyelid twitch, which behaves like a tic, essential blepharospasm, and hemifacial spasm. Once you identify the spasm you’re having, you can better identify the cause and potential solutions. In this article, we will break down the variations of eyelid spasms and why your eyelid twitches.
What is an eyelid twitch?
An eyelid twitch, also known as eyelid myokymia, is when your eye flinches or quickly flicks. This is a tic and is not connected to any medical conditions. The movement won’t cause pain or affect your vision, but it can aggravate the individual. Most eyelid twitches go away on their own and can be induced by a few lifestyle changes or daily habits. If you are experiencing routine eyelid twitches that interfere with your life, it’s essential to see your ophthalmologist.
What causes an eyelid twitch?
An eyelid twitch can result from a few factors in your environment, routines, or lifestyle that are causing this involuntary tic.
Eyelid twitching may be induced by:
- Excess Caffeine
- Alcohol Intake
- Lack of sleep
- Bright light
- Eye Irritation
- Wind or environmental disruptions
- Excess time on screens
- Dry Eyes
- Medication Side Effects
- Pink Eye
How to Stop Eyelid Twitching:
If you are experiencing this minor eyelid twitching, try changing your habits, getting a good night’s rest, reducing caffeine, and taking time to destress. You can apply eye drops to keep the area lubricated, and apply a warm compress to your eye. If you work a job in front of a screen, experiencing high levels of stress, this tic can occur. When left unmanaged, it can feel like this problem only further exacerbates, causing more issues for you down the line. Instead of stressing about your eyelid twitch, try to recognize why it may be occurring and how you can fix it. Usually, by making some minor changes, your eyelid twitch will subside quickly.
What is Essential Blepharospasm?
Essential Blepharospasm is much more severe than an eyelid twitch. This is when one or both of your eyelids close involuntarily. This can last for a few seconds for some people or even a few hours. Sometimes the eyelid can shut so tightly that you can’t see. These twitches can worsen over time and may disrupt other muscles in your face. A nerve impulse causes blepharospasm, but the direct cause is still being researched. This eye spasm can disturb an individual’s life and ability to function normally. If you are experiencing these extreme bouts of eyelid spasms, consult your doctor immediately. These symptoms are much more abrasive than your average tic, which sometimes come and go.
What is a Hemifacial Spasm?
A hemifacial spasm is when muscles on the side of the face contract, affecting the eye areas. In some individuals, this can start near the eyes and radiate out to other parts of the face, lasting weeks or months. This is sometimes caused by blood vessels putting pressure on one of the facial nerves.
Can Eyelid Twitching Happen For Other Reasons?
Specific medical conditions can induce eyelid twitching, but various symptoms often accompany it. Brain and nerve disorders, such as the following, can cause eyelid twitching to occur.
- Bell’s Palsy
- Cervical Dystonia
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Tourette Syndrome
When Should I Visit a Doctor For My Eyelid Twitches?
Most eyelid twitches are minor and will go away on their own. For most people, there is a point in their life when they may experience eyelid twitching when the body is in a state of stress or exhaustion. This can be remedied at home with some rest and TLC. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, then it’s a good idea to speak to a medical professional.
- The eye is red, swollen, irritated, or there’s discharge.
- Your upper eyelid is drooping suddenly.
- The twitching lasts for weeks on end.
- The twitching affects other facial areas.
- The twitching is interfering with your daily life.
- Your eyelid completely closes with every twitch.