An eyelid twitch is a general term for spasms of the eyelid muscles that happen without your control. Eye twitching, eyelid tics and spasms are pretty common. Typically it only affects one lid, usually the lower lid or upper lid of one eye is involved, but it can also involve both eyelids. Most eye twitches come and go, although they can last for weeks or even months. Episodes of eyelid twitching are unpredictable. The twitch may occur off and on for several days. Then, you may not experience any twitching for weeks or even months.
Called myokymia in doctor lingo, these rippling muscle contractions in an eyelid can be triggered by many things. Stress, tiredness, dry eyes, alcohol, caffeine, and allergies all can contribute to twitchy eyelids. Most of the eyelid twitches are benign and do not have a serious underlying medical condition. Many eyelid twitches will resolve without treatment. Usually getting more rest, reducing your caffeine intake and using artificial tears to lubricate your eyes will help reduce twitching eyelids.
A lot of times eyelid twitches are hard to treat because the underlying cause needs to be determined and then this needs to be dealt with. If the spasms become chronic, you may have what’s known as “benign essential blepharospasm,” which is the name for chronic and uncontrollable eyelid movement. If your twitching eyelid is persistent and lasts for some time, then you should have your eyes examined to help determine the cause. In more severe cases where the twitching does not stop or a muscle spasm occurs(closure of the eye), Botox injections are used to stop the muscle contractions if nothing else relieves the twitching.
Dr. Mark German is an Optometrist practicing with Dr. Martha Jay at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.