Almost everyone at some point in their lives will experience some type of eyelid twitch, also referred to as blepharospasm. It is an involuntary movement or spasm of an eyelid or eye muscle. There is a variety of eye eye-twitch twitches that can be caused by a lot of different things.

Minor Eye Twitching

A minor eye twitch is often caused or triggered by everyday things, including:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Light sensitivity
  • Wind
  • Air pollution
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Irritation of the inner eyelid or eye surface

Most minor eye twitches will go away on their own with rest or by cutting back or avoiding their triggers. Twitches caused by irritation or dryness can be treated with over-the-counter eye drops.

Benign Essential Blepharospasm

This type of eye twitching starts during mid to late adulthood. It becomes worse over time and typically affects women more than men. Currently, researchers believe that it is caused by genetics and does not have a cure. While it is not considered a serious condition, some symptoms can greatly interfere with your life.

There are multiple treatments available for benign essential blepharospasm, including Botox injections or medications like clonazepam, lorazepam, or trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride for short-term relief. In some cases, surgery may be suggested to remove the nerves and muscles from around the affected eyelid for a permanent cure.

Hemifacial Spasm

This type of eye twitch is extremely rare and sometimes will also cause muscle twitching around the mouth. Unlike minor eyelid twitches or benign essential blepharospasm, only one side of the face is affected. It is often caused by an artery pressing a facial nerve. This type of eye twitch can also be treated by a Botox injection or surgery to relieve the pressure from the facial nerve.

Eye Twitches Can Be a Sign of a Brain or Nervous System Disorder

Even more rare is the eye twitch that is caused by a brain or nervous system disorder. The twitching can be a symptom of:

  • Dystonia
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Brain damage
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

When Should You Seek Treatment from Your Doctor?

You should talk to your eye doctor right away if your eye twitch makes it difficult to see. Otherwise, a twitch may resolve on its own. However, seek treatment if:

  • Your eye twitch lasts for more than a week
  • Your eyelid closes completely
  • Other facial muscles are spasming, too
  • Your eye is red, has a discharge or swollen
  • Your eyelid is drooping

Contact Valley Eyecare Center to schedule an appointment if you have a persistent eye twitch by calling (602) 955-3282 or requesting an appointment online.