Eyelid Twitching and Spasm By William Goldstein on August 21, 2017

A common eye problem faced by many people is that of a ‘twitching eye’. The intensity of twitching may vary from mild to severe. In very serious cases, the eye may even shut due to the spasms, making it temporarily unavailable for seeing.

Causes and Symptoms
In the medical world, eyelid twitching is also known as ‘blepharospasm’. It means contraction of your eyelid muscles. There is no exact cause of twitching or blepharospasm, but it might be triggered by the following:
 Physical exertion/fatigue
 Alcohol consumption
 Stress
 Smoking
 Excessive caffeine intake
 Bright lighting

The common theory around the cause of blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm is that the triggering factors (mentioned above) may lead to the malfunctioning of the basal ganglia of
the brain. And the basal ganglia play an important role in controlling the motor function of the body and preventing erratic movements. Blepharospasm may involve either or both the eyelids. Sometimes the muscles of the face and forehead are also affected.

Should I Worry?

The National Organization for Rare Disorders reports that blepharospasm could have numerous early symptoms which might prove it to be something more than a regular twitch.
These include:
 Involvement of both eyes
 Experience of spasms in other facial muscles
 Frequent blinking by the individual
 Tendency of eyes to feel irritated in stressful situations and bright light
 Spasms lasting for as long as one hour


There are a couple of different treatment options available for blepharospasm or eye twitching:

  • Reduction or elimination of caffeine:It is common knowledge that caffeine works as a powerful stimulant and is present inbeverages such as soda, energy drinks, tea and coffee. Hence, it is important to reduce theconsumption of such beverages, particularly if you’re stressed.
  • Increased rest and sleep: Another basic suggestion for avoiding eye twitching is to get enough sleep. You could plan toeat your meals a little early and get into bed before your usual time. Reading before sleepingand dimming the lights in the bedroom are good ways of inducing sleep.
  • Stress management is also important for reducing the risk of blepharospasm. Consider meditation and yogatechniques to reduce daily stress in your life.
  • Medication

It is usually rare for blepharospasm to turn into a permanent problem. But in case it fails to resolve on its own, Botox might be helpful to treat the twitch. This procedure would require  repeat sitting after every three to six months.

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Dr. William S. Goldstein

Laser Eye Care Center

William S. Goldstein, MD, has been practicing laser eye surgery since 1991. He was one of the first doctors to offer advanced eye care in all of Michigan and is a member of several prestigious organizations: 

  • American Board of Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons

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