An eyelid twitch is a general term for spasms of the eyelid muscles. These spasms happen without your control. The eyelid may repeatedly close (or nearly close) and reopen. This article discusses eyelid twitches in general.
Eyelid spasm; Eye twitch; Twitch - eyelid; Blepharospasm; Myokymia
The most common things that make the muscle in your eyelid twitch are fatigue, stress, and caffeine. Once spasms begin, they may continue off and on for a few days. Then, they disappear. Most people have this type of eyelid twitch once in a while and find it very annoying. In most cases, you won't even notice when the twitch has stopped.
You may have more severe contractions, where the eyelid completely closes. These can be caused by irritation of the:
Sometimes, the reason your eyelid is twitching cannot be found. This form of eyelid twitching, called blepharospasm. It lasts much longer and is often very uncomfortable. It can also cause your eyelids to close completely.
Common symptoms of twitching of eyelid are:
Eyelid twitching most often goes away without treatment. In the meantime, the following steps may help:
If twitching is severe or lasts a long time, small injections of botulinum toxin can control the spasms.
The outlook depends on the specific type or cause of eyelid twitch. In most cases, the twitches stop within a week.
Unrecognized cornea injury can cause permanent eye injury. This occurs rarely.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your primary care doctor or eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) if:
Faucett DC. Essential blepharospasm. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 12.8.
Lee AG, Burkat CN, Belinsky I, Marcet MM, Kedar S. Blepharospasm. American Academy of Ophthalmology Web site. Updated March 3, 2016. eyewiki.aao.org/Blepharospasm. Accessed August 31, 2016.
Yanoff M, Cameron JD. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 423.
Review Date: 8/20/2016
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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