Eyelid Twitches, Tics, and Spasms

Many times eyelid twitches and spasms are a temporary nuisance that are slightly bothersome, but are not an indication of a serious problem. However, in some cases, eyelid twitches are so severe that they interfere with day-to-day functions.

What are eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms?

Eyelid twitches and tics are involuntary muscle spasms. These spasms may range from mild twitching of the eyelid muscles to more severe instances of the eyelid fully closing and reopening.

Symptoms of eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms

Symptoms of eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms include: 

  • Repetitive, uncontrollable twitching of the eyelids 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Eye irritation

Causes of eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms

There are several possible causes of eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms, the most common of which include fatigue, stress, and eye irritation.

General fatigue or eye strain that results from exposure to bright lights or focusing for an extended period of time can lead to excessive blinking. This overuse of the eye muscles is often the cause of eyelid spasms.

Eyelid spasms may also be the result of a nervous tick, which may occur when one finds themselves in a stressful situation.

In some instances, however, these spasms are caused by irritation of the cornea or membranes lining the eyelids. Dry eyes and foreign objects in the eye can cause such irritation.

Treatment for eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms

Treatment for eyelid twitches, tics, and spasms is not usually necessary. However, in instances where eyelid twitching is persistent or severe, BOTOX® therapy may be recommended. This treatment will paralyze the eyelid muscles to prevent spasms.

There are also some steps that can be taken to prevent eyelid spasms including: 

  • Increased sleep 
  • Reduction of caffeine intake 
  • Eye drops to lubricate the eyes

In most cases, eyelid spasms should not be a cause for concern. However, if eyelid twitching continues for more than a week, seems to worsen over time, affects other facial muscles, or is accompanied by discharge from the eye, contact your eye doctor as these could be signs of a more serious condition.

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