Eye Twitching

Do your eyelids twitch? Have you experienced recent stress (such as change of job, move to new location, change in marital status, testing in school, or increase in job work)? Are you fatigued or have you gotten little sleep recently? You may have Eyelid Myokymia, or Eye Twitching.

Eyelid Myokymia is most often a result of increase in stress, fatigue or lack of sleep.

What are the symptoms of Eyelid Myokymia (Eye Twitching)?

Eye Twitching is generally a benign condition with the following features:

  • Uncontrolled twitching of the eyelids
  • Can affect one or both eye(s)
  • No pain involved
  • Can come and go
  • Usually related to stress or fatigue
  • What conditions or symptoms are generally NOT typical of Eyelid Myokymia (Eye Twitching)?

  • Uncontrolled blinking or closure of the eyelids
  • Decreased vision
  • Episodic and involuntary eye movements
  • Uncontrollable face, mouth, head and neck movements
  • Underlying local eye disorders such as:

  • Foreign body (e.g., metallic, glass, plastic, etc.) embedded in the cornea or conjunctiva
  • Trichiasis: eyelashes turned in
  • Blepharitis: chronic lid inflammation
  • Dry eyes
  • Tourette’s syndrome: This condition may include compulsive muscle spasms to include the lid muscles along with utterances of bizarre sounds or vile words
  • Tic douloureux: This condition is associated with acute episodes of pain in the distribution of the fifth cranial nerve, often causing a wince or tic
  • Tardive dyskinesia: This condition is often associated with restlessness and abnormal repetitive muscle contractions of the trunk and limbs, typically from long-term use of antipsychotic medications
  • What should you expect your eye doctor to check in assessing you for Eyelid Myokymia (Eye Twitching)?

  • Your eye doctor will want to know if the Eyelid Twitching affects only one eye or both eyes. Also, make sure to let your eye doctor know if only your eyelids are involved or if you have spasms in your facial, limb or other muscles. Of course you want to inform your provider if you are on any medications and if you have taken any medication for an extended period of time
  • You should have your blood pressure checked to make sure that stress is not affecting your body in other harmful ways
  • You may want to let your eye doctor know if you include too much caffeine in your diet
  • Your eye doctor will palpate your eyelids to make sure there are no masses (or bumps) on or in the eyelid
  • If you have other associated muscle spasms of your face, head and neck, your provider will do neurological testing
  • Especially in children, Eyelid Twitching can be a sign of uncorrected refractive error. This means your doctor will check you for glasses
  • The eye exam will also include assessing the eye for any underlying problems. The lids will be checked for in turned eyelashes, the conjunctiva for any foreign body, and the cornea will be checked for inflammation or foreign matter like metal, glass or plastic
  • What will your eye doctor recommend to treat or manage your Eyelid Myokymia (Eye Twitching)?

  • Naturally if any underlying eye disorder of the eyelids, conjunctiva or cornea are found, your eye doctor will treat you for these issues first
  • You should fill any refractive error (i.e., prescription for glasses) at your local optical center
  • Your eye doctor will discuss and reassure you of the common causes of eye twitching.
  • In a nutshell, consider getting more sleep, implementing better stress management techniques, and reducing caffeine in your diet. If your symptoms are severe, further testing will be done to rule out neurological problems. For persistent or severe Eyelid Twitching botulism toxin injections or surgery may be suggested.


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