Eye twitching – causes, symptoms and other medical conditions

Eye twitching

Twitches are harmless and painless and they usually go on their own. But when someone has strong spasms, then he cannot open his eyelids. There are some people who have eye spasms throughout all day. This condition can affect the quality of your life. Spasms, eyelid tics and eye twitching are very common conditions. Many people are thinking that the blepharospasm, eyelid spasm and eye twitching are the same condition and if we have one disease, then this can lead to another disease of the mentioned terms. But in fact this is not true. They are 3 separate conditions. Each of them has different causes and if we have some of them, then this will not lead to another condition. Myokymia or eye twitching is affecting only the eyelid. It can involve either the lower or upper lid but it affects only one eye at a time. In the most cases the lower eyelid of one eye is involved. The eye twitching also can vary in its density. In some people it can be barely noticeable while in other cases it can be bothersome. The eye twitching usually goes away in a very short time but usually recurs over a few hours, days or it can be longer period. Benign essential twitching blepharospasm is starting as increased blinking of the both eyes and this condition can progress to your eyelids being squeezed shut. This is not common type of eye twitching. But if you have it, then this is very severe condition which is affecting all parts of our life. Hemifacial spasms are involving twitches of muscles on one side of our face in which we can include the eyelid. [1]

Causes for eye twitching

The eyelid twitching can be triggered by:

  • Wind
  • Stress [2]
  • Smoking
  • Physical exertion
  • Irritation of the eye surface or inner eyelids
  • Fatigue [2,3]
  • Caffeine excess [2]
  • Bright light
  • Alcohol intake
  • Allergies [4]
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Dry eyes
  • Computer eye strain [5]
  • Eye strain [5]
  • Tiredness [2]

Your doctor needs to discover the underlying cause for this condition and then to give you a proper treatment. A movement disorder of the muscles around your eye is benign essential blepharospasm. The real cause for this condition is not known. A small artery which is irritating a facial nerve is a cause for hemifacial spasm.

Also there are other medical conditions in which eye twitching is a symptom

  • Uveitis
  • Trichiasis
  • Light sensitivity
  • Glaucoma
  • Entropion
  • Dry eyes (this is a condition in which there is a decreased production of tears)
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Blepharitis

Eye twitching

There are rare cases in which eye twitching is a sign of certain nervous system and brain disorders. When eye twitching is a sign of brain and nervous system disorders, then it is accompanied by other symptoms and signs. Brain and nervous system disorders which can cause eye twitching are:

  • Tourette syndrome
  • Oromandibular dystonia and facial dystonia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Dystonia
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Bell’s palsy

Eye twitching also can be a side effect of some kinds of drugs such as medications that are used to treat psychosis and epilepsy. Also there are some cases when the eye twitching is the earliest sign of a chronic movement disorder especially when other facial spasms are developing. The eye twitching usually goes away on its own in a period of few days or weeks with decreased caffeine, stress relief and rest. If you have noticed that the twitching does not go away within a few weeks or your eyelids are drooping, then you must talk with your doctor as soon as possible. Also if you have noticed that your eyelid completely closes with each twitch or you have difficulties opening your eyes, then you should seek medical help. In the most cases eye twitching is occurring suddenly. This condition is not serious in the most cases. If you have noticed that you have eye twitching, then you should talk with your doctor. He or she will tell you which the best treatment for this condition is no matter if they give you some natural treatment or some medications. In the most cases doctors are recommending tablets or eye drops but they can lead to dry eyes. Also if spasms are involving other facial muscles, then you should ask your doctor about this condition.


[1] Baylor Medicine. Hemifacial spasm. Retrieved from www.bcm.edu/healthcare/specialties/neurology/parkinsons-disease-and-movement-disorders/conditions/hemifacial-spasm

[2] Boyd K. How to stop eye twitching. In American Academy of Opthalmology. 2017. Retrieved from www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/how-to-stop-eye-twitching

[3] Martins R, Carvalho J. Eye blinking as an indicator of fatigue and mental load – a systematic review. Conference: Occupational Safety and Hygiene III. 2015.

[4] Chen L, Chen X, Ke N, et al. Association between allergic conjunctivitis and provisional tic disorder in children. International Ophthalmology. 2020;40:247-53.

[5] Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JS. Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration. BMJ Open Ophthalmology. 2018;3:e000146.


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