• eyes twitch Diamond Vision

Why Does My Eye Twitch?

No one knows what caus­es this, which your doc­tor might call ble­pharospasm. When it hap­pens, your eye­lid, usu­al­ly the upper one, blinks and you can’t make it stop. Some­times it affects both eyes. The lid moves every few sec­onds for a minute or two.

Doc­tors think it can be linked to:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Caf­feine

Twitch­es are pain­less, harm­less, and usu­al­ly go away on their own. But if the spasms are strong enough they can cause your eye­lids to com­plete­ly shut and then reopen.

What if It Doesn’t Stop?

Some peo­ple have eye spasms all day long. They might go on for days, weeks, or even months. That can upset you and affect your qual­i­ty of life.

It’s rare, but if your twitch doesn’t go away, it might make you wink or squint all the time. If you can’t keep your eyes open, it’s going to be hard for you to see.

Some­times, the twitch can be a sign of a more seri­ous con­di­tions, like:

  • Ble­phar­i­tis (inflamed eye­lids)
  • Dry eyes
  • Light sen­si­tiv­i­ty
  • Pink­eye

Very rarely, it’s a sign of a brain or nerve dis­or­der, such as:

  • Bell’s pal­sy
  • Dys­to­nia
  • Parkinson’s dis­ease
  • Tourette’s syn­drome

It can also be a side effect of cer­tain med­ica­tions. The most com­mon include drugs that treat psy­chosis and epilep­sy.

What Are the Types of Twitches?

There are three com­mon ones.

A minor eye­lid twitch is often asso­ci­at­ed with lifestyle fac­tors, like:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Use of alco­hol, tobac­co, or caf­feine

It can also result from irri­ta­tion of the sur­face of your eye (cornea) or the mem­branes that line your eye­lids (con­junc­ti­va).

Benign essen­tial ble­pharospasm usu­al­ly shows up in mid- to late-adult­hood and grad­u­al­ly gets worse. Only about 2,000 peo­ple are year are diag­nosed with it in the Unit­ed States. Women are twice as like­ly to get it as men. It isn’t a seri­ous con­di­tion, but more severe cas­es can inter­fere with your dai­ly life.

Caus­es include:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Bright light, wind, or air pol­lu­tion

It starts with non­stop blink­ing or eye irri­ta­tion. As it gets worse, you may be more sen­si­tive to light, get blur­ry vision, and have facial spasms. In seri­ous cas­es, the spasms can become so intense that your eye­lids stay shut for up to sev­er­al hours.

Researchers believe it results from a mix of envi­ron­men­tal and genet­ic fac­tors. Although the con­di­tion is usu­al­ly ran­dom, it some­times runs in fam­i­lies.

A hemi­fa­cial spasm is rare. It involves both the mus­cles around your mouth and your eye­lid. Unlike the oth­er two types, it usu­al­ly affects only one side of the face.

Most often, the cause is an artery press­ing on a facial nerve.

When Should I See a Doctor?

Make an appoint­ment if:

  • The twitch lasts for more than 1 week
  • Your eye­lid clos­es com­plete­ly
  • Spasms involve oth­er facial mus­cles
  • You see red­ness, swelling, or dis­charge from an eye
  • Your upper eye­lid droops

If your doc­tor sus­pects a brain or nerve prob­lem is to blame, she’ll check for oth­er com­mon signs. She might refer you to a neu­rol­o­gist or oth­er spe­cial­ist.

How Is It Treated?

In most cas­es, a minor twitch will go away on its own. Make sure you get enough rest and cut back on alco­hol, tobac­co, and caf­feine.

If dry eyes or irri­tat­ed eyes are the cause, try over-the-counter arti­fi­cial tears. That can often ease a minor twitch.

So far, doc­tors haven’t found a cure for benign essen­tial ble­pharospasm. But sev­er­al treat­ment options can make it less severe.

The most wide­ly used treat­ment is bot­u­linum tox­in (Botox, Dys­port, Xeomin). It’s also often used with a hemi­fa­cial spasm.

A doc­tor will inject small amounts into your eye mus­cles to ease the spasms. The effect lasts a few months before it slow­ly wears off. You’ll need repeat treat­ments.


August 15th, 2017|Comments Off on Why Does My Eye Twitch?

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.


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