Eyelid twitching or eye twitching is a frequent, involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles. Twitching usually occurs in the upper eyelid, but it can occur in both the upper and lower eyelids. Most people feel these cramps in a very mild way.
And there is a completely different case, which is the case of spasm of the eyelids, which usually occurs to the patient repeatedly and may last for a minute or two at one time, in which case the patient feels unable to resist closing the eyes completely.
Eyelid twitching episodes cannot be predicted. The shivering may occur intermittently for several days. After that, you may not experience any tremors for weeks or even months. Cramps are painless and harmless, but they can be bothering you.
There are some cases that are very few, eyelid spasms can be considered as an indication that the patient has some chronic movement disorders. Especially if the contractions are accompanied by other facial spasms or uncontrollable movements.
What is an eye twitch?
Eye twitching is uncontrollable blepharospasm. Most eye tremors last only a few minutes, but sometimes eyelid twitching can last for several days or more.
When your eyelid twitches, you might think that anyone else can see it. But most eye spasms are subtle and cannot be easily seen by others. The medical term for eye twitching is myokymia.
What causes eyelid cramps?
Eye tremors may occur or be exacerbated by:
- Eye irritation.
- Eyelid strain.
- Lack of sleep.
- Physical exertion.
- Medication side effects.
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine.
If the spasms become chronic you may have what is known as benign primary blepharospasm; This is the name for chronic and uncontrollable blinking.
This condition usually affects both eyes. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but the following symptoms may make cramps worse:
- Dry eyes.
Sometimes due to some environmental factors and climatic conditions, some eye irritations may occur, such as dust in the air, wind, and storms, pollution, or the sun and bright lights.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Too much alcohol or caffeine.
Benign primary blepharospasm is more common in women than in men. The condition is likely to worsen over time, and eventually may lead to:
- Blurry vision.
- Increased sensitivity to light.
- Facial cramps.
Complications of eyelid spasms
In extremely rare cases, twitching of the eyes can indicate a disorder of the brain or nervous system. But if eyelid spasms become a consequence of these more serious conditions, they are almost always accompanied by other symptoms.
If you think you may have an injury inside your eyes that is causing those spasms, see an eye doctor immediately.
When should you go to the ophthalmologist?
See an ophthalmologist right away if you have persistent eyelid twitching, sudden changes in the appearance or movement of the half of your face, including your eyelids, or if both eyelids are too tight, it is impossible to open your eyes. These could be signs of a serious condition.
In some cases, the patient does not feel better and the eye twitch does not go away on its own, and therefore this may be an indication of a specific injury to the patient’s nervous system, which in turn reflects on his eyelids, and so if you experience these symptoms, you should consult an ophthalmologist immediately.
You may need to see a doctor at the Royal Spanish Center if you have chronic eyelid contractions in addition to any of the following symptoms:
- Redness, swelling, or secretions in the eyes.
- Your upper eyelid is drooping.
- Eyelids closure completely every time your eyelids twitch.
- Twitching lasts for several weeks.
- The twitching begins to affect other parts of your face.
How is eyelid twitch treated?
Left or right eye twitching goes away without treatment within a few days or weeks. If it does not go away, you can try to eliminate or reduce the possible causes. Eye strain, general fatigue in the body, or drinking beverages that contain large amounts of caffeine are considered the most common causes that predict eye twitching.
To relieve eye twitching, you can try the following:
- Drink less caffeine.
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep the surfaces of your eyes moist with over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops.
- Apply a warm compress to your eyes when the cramping starts.
- Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections are sometimes used to treat benign primary blepharospasm. Botox might ease severe cramps for a few months. However, you may need more injections.
Your doctor may decide to perform surgery to remove some of the muscles and nerves in the eyelids. This procedure also treats more severe cases of benign primary blepharospasm.
Home remedies for the eye twitch
Stress is the most common cause of twitching eyes. So, yoga, breathing exercises, and spending time are best for reducing the stress that may cause more relief.
Lack of sleep due to stress or any other reason can cause the eyes to twitch. Drawing on your sleep schedule can help reduce symptoms.
Eyestrain resulting from excessive use of tablets and smartphones is also a common cause of eyelid twitching. Follow the 20-20-20 rule when using a screen: Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and allow your eyes to focus on something far away (at least 20 feet away) for 20 seconds or more.
Too much caffeine can cause eyes to twitch. Try to reduce your coffee and tea intake, a week by week.
5. Dry eyes
People who use computers a lot or take some medicines that contain antidepressants or antihistamines, or people who wear contact lenses frequently or drink large amounts of caffeine or alcohol, suffer from chronic dry eyes, and thus if you feel dry eyes constantly and then you feel eye twitching, an ophthalmologist must be consulted for further examination.
6. Nutritional problems
Some reports suggest a deficiency of certain nutrients such as magnesium can lead to eye twitching. A diet may not provide all the nutrients you need for healthy vision. So your doctor may prescribe it to improve eye health and avoid future problems.
If you suffer from allergies, you will rub your eyes, and this itching releases histamine into the tissues, membranes, and eyelids, which may contribute to the eventual eye twitching.
So, it is best to consult your ophthalmologist to ensure that you do not harm your eyes if you are experiencing allergy symptoms and eye twitching.