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Eye Twitching: Causes, Treatment, and More

Eye Twitching: Causes, Treatment, and More

by Zahra Ijaz · February 4, 2022

Do you know that Eye Twitching is an involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles? Eye Twitching is a repetitive movement and often occurs in the upper lip.
However, it can also occur in both the upper and lower lids.
In most cases it is not a cause of concern, however, in some cases, it can be due to an underlying medical atention and thus, you should seek medical advise.
Let’s learn more about it in detail.

1.

Eye Twitching Types

In most cases, eye twitching or spasms are mild and feel like a gentle tug on lids.

While others may experience a spasm strong enough to force both eyelids to be closely complete.

Moreover, these spasms often occur every few seconds for a minute or two.

Let’s learn more about them in detail.

eye twitching 1

It is important to note that episodes of eyelid twitching are unpredictable.

A twitch may occur on and off for a number of days and then you may not experience any twitching for weeks or even months.

Moreover, these twitches are painless and harmful, however, they may bother you.

Most spasms will often resolve on their own with any medical treatment.

However, in rare cases, eye spasms can be an early warning sign of a chronic movement disorder.

Especially if the spasms are accompanied by other facial twitches or uncontrollable movements.

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Types of Eye Twitching

Eyelid twitching can be classified into three main types:

  • general eyelid spasm
  • essential blepharospasm
  • hemifacial spasm

Let’s discuss them as follows:

General Eyelid Spasm
Some doctors are of the view that eyelid spasm is typical and does not indicate any serious issue.

Moreover, these twitches can arise from a number of environmental factors and often disappear with rest.

However, if these twitches are persistent and disrupt your life, you may want to speak with your doctor about the symptoms.

Benign Essential Blepharospasm
If the spasms become chronic or occur for a long term, you may have Benign Essential Blepharospasm.

This is the name for chronic and uncontrollable winking or blinking.
Moreover, this condition often affects both eyes and is more common in women than in men.

It is important to note that this condition affects up to 50,000 people in the United States alone and often develops in middle to late adulthood.

eye twitching 2

Image the number worldwide?

This condition will likely worsen over time and can eventually cause:

  • blurry vision
  • facial spasms
  • increase in sensitivity to light

Hemifacial Spasm
In case your eye twitch affects just one eye, a hemifacial spasm is a possibility.

It is a type of spasm which is a neuromuscular disorder.

The cause of this condition is blood vessels putting excess pressure on one of your facial nerves.

Additionally, this condition is more common in women than in men and is also more common in people from Asia.

If you do not get treatment, it can cause:

  • an inability to open your eye
  • twitching in all muscles of one side of your face
  • frequent or uncontrollable eye twitching

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2.

Eye Twitching: Causes and Complications

One of the important things to note about eye twitching is that mostly it does not indicate a serious condition and will resolve on its own.
However, in some cases, when you experience other symptoms like facial twitches, you should seek medical attention, as it might be a warning sign of an underlying condition.
Keep on reading.

eye twitching 3

Causes of Eye Twitching

Scientists are not sure what exactly causes eye twitching eyelid myokymia.

It is a widespread condition that also occurs in healthy individuals for no apparent reasons.

Moreover, it appears to be linked with certain lifestyle factors.

These are:

An important thing to note is that side effects of certain medications like topiramate, flunarizine, and clozapine can also cause eye twitching, however, is very uncommon.

common causes

It can also be due to eye irritation, strain or corneal abrasion, environmental irritants, dry eyes, light sensitivity, uveitis, or swelling of the middle layer of the eye.

Migraine episodes, conjunctivitis or pink eye, and blepharitis or inflammation of your eyelid can be the causes.

According to a study on chronic eyelid twitching, half of the participants show differences in nerve functions.

This may be due to a never condition defect, which explains why some people develop a long-lasting twitch.

Chronic eye twitching also appears to b more common in women than in men, and experts do not know why.

The authors of the study suggest that it may be because women may experience higher levels of stress than males.

This can be due to societal or cultural pressures.

Overall, though, more research can help.

Doctors do not understand the cause of blepharospasm, however, it can sometimes be related to certain underlying medical conditions.

These are:

The underlying conditions, however, that can lead to hemifacial spasms are similar and include:

Traumatic injury, brain lesions, Bell’s palsy, mastoid or ear infections, tumors, or other structural abnormalities in the rear of the skull cavity.

Complications of Eye Twitching

In rare cases, eyelid spasms are symptoms of a more serious brain or nerve disorder.

When your eye twitches, it can be a result of a more serious condition and are almost always accompanied by other symptoms.

Moreover, some brain and nerve disorders that may cause eye twitching are:

Bell’s Palsy Bell’s Palsy or facial palsy is a condition that causes one side of your face to droop downward.

complications

Dystonia This condition causes unexpected muscle spasms and the affected area of your body to twist or contort.

Cervical Dystonia Spasmodic torticollis can cause your neck to randomly spasm and your head to twist into uncomfortable positions.

Multiple Sclerosis, MS MS is a disease of the central nervous system that causes cognitive and movement problems, fatigue, and eye twitching.

Parkinson’s Disease This disease can cause trembling limbs, muscle stiffness, balance problems, and difficulty speaking.

Tourette Syndrome is characterized by involuntary movement and verbal tics.

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3.

Eye Twitching: Treatment and Prevention

Eye twitching is rarely a cause of concern. And is not a medical emergency. However, in some cases, it can sign and symptom of a medical condition, and you will need to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

With the help of certain remedies at home you can prevent or even releive eye twitching, however, in case of persistent spasm, you need to visit your doctor.
Let’s learn more about it in detail.

eye twitching diagnosis

When do you need to Visit a Doctor?

In most cases, eye twitch is not a serious condition and you do not need to worry about it.

However, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs emergency medical treatment.

Chronic eyelid spasms may be a symptom of a more serious brain or nervous system disorder.

You may need to contact your doctor in case you have chronic eyelid spasms.

These can come along with the following symptoms:

  • your eye is red, swollen, or has an unusual discharge
  • eyelid is completely close every time it twitches
  • the upper eyelid is drooping
  • twitching continues for a number of weeks
  • twitching affects other parts of your face

If you think you have an eye injury, contact your optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately.

Corneal scratches can cause permanent eye damage.

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Treatment Options

In most cases, eye spasms go away without any treatment in a few days or weeks.

However, if they do not go away, you can try to eliminate or decrease the potential causes.

To see it, you can try:

Drinking less caffeine, getting enough sleep, keeping the surface of your eyes lubricated with over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops, and applying a warm compress.

Moreover, if your doctor determines that your need medical intervention, then they can recommend antibiotics, surgery, or a number of different treatments depending on the cause.

Can Botox Help?
Botulinum toxin or botox injection, in some cases, can help to treat benign essential blepharospasm.

Moreover, botox can help to ease severe spasms for a few months.

However, as the effects of botox injection wear off, you may need further injections.

Surgery to remove some of the muscles and nerves of the eyelids or myectomy can also help to treat more severe cases of benign essential blepharospasm.

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Tips to Stop Eye Twitching

This condition often stops on its own, however, if you want to stop or reduce this, you can try the following:

Using a warm Compress You can use a warm compress and apply it over the eyelid area.

This can help to relax the muscles around your eye and stop the spasms.

Reduce Stress Eyelid myokymia has links to stress and reducing your stress levels can help.

Moreover, you can do this by delegating tasks to others, making time to wind down every day, trying stress-relieving hobbies, and practicing stress management techniques like breathing exercises or mindfulness.

Avoid Caffeine Tea, coffee, sodas, and chocolate contain caffeine.

redcuing it

Caffeine can trigger or even worsen eye twitching. Gradually reducing caffeine intake or eliminating it can help.

Get Enough Sleep Taking a nap can help to resolve eye twitching.

Moreover, it is also important to get enough sleep each day by setting a regular schedule for sleeping and waking up.

However, if you struggle to get good sleep, a doctor, sleep specialist, or another health professional can help.

Address Dry Eyes Dry, irritated, or gritty eyes can also contribute to eye twitching.

You can use moisturizing eye drops to relieve dryness.

In case of more severe or persistent eyelid spasms, like blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm, you may need medical treatment.

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Prevention Tips

In most cases, mild eyelid twitching triggers are lifestyle-related, so you may be able to prevent this by changing your daily routine.

This includes:

  • sleeping and waking at similar times, even on weekends
  • switching to decaffeinated drinks
  • practice sleep hygiene
  • winding down for sleep earlier
  • reduce activities or habits that create stress, like overworking
  • avoid smoking or drinking alcohol
  • seek support from a therapist in case of anxiety or high-stress levels

However, if eye twitching occurs frequently, you may want to record it when it happens and note down any contributing factors.

prevention

This can help identify a pattern.

But if it is disruptive and does not appear to be related to daily habits, then your doctor can help to provide other treatment to curb or prevent it.

This can include botox injection.

In rare cases, however, your doctor may recommend an eyelid protractor myectomy to correct blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm.

With the help of this procedure, your doctor can remove the muscles causing spasms.

Identifying any underlying medical condition will allow your doctor to treat, reduce or control this symptom.

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Final Thoughts

Many people experience mild eye twitching and it often is not a sign of a serious health condition and does not require medical treatment.
You may find the twitching to occur less often if you can reduce stress, anxiety, sleep disturbances, or caffeine consumption.

While the more disruptive form of eye twitching includes essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm, these can interfere with your vision and also make it difficult to perform activities like working or driving. If you experience significant eye twitching, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

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