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Eye Twitching: What It Means and How to Stop It

Posted on September 1, 2022 in Healthy You

woman getting an eye exam

Most of us have experienced eyelid twitching at some point in our lives. Sometimes, it’s a quiver that goes away as quickly as it came. Other times, the spasms stick around – tugging your eyelid more forcefully and frequently. Could this be something warranting a trip to the doctor?

Fortunately, eyelid twitching is rarely a sign of something serious and usually resolves on its own without treatment. But some cases warrant a trip to a doctor to prevent the twitches from taking over your life. Here, you’ll learn more about this common yet bothersome problem to help you understand whether your twitches are typical.

Two Types of Eyelid Twitching

Eyelid twitching falls into two general categories: eyelid myokymia and benign essential blepharospasm.

Eyelid myokymia is the more common form, and it typically goes away on its own.

Benign essential blepharospasm is a rarer condition, and it can produce twitching that eventually completely closes the eyelids. This condition requires treatment to correct.

Doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes eye twitching, although increased stress, lack of sleep, alcohol and caffeine intake, eye strain (from looking at a computer all day, for example) and certain medications are linked to it.

For most cases of eyelid twitching, making lifestyle adjustments like reducing stress (through exercise or meditation, for instance), limiting caffeine and alcohol, and getting more sleep help the twitching subside. If you’re taking medication, ask your doctor if your eye twitching may be a side effect and what options you have to reduce its impact on your  life. 

When to See Your Doctor About Eye Twitching

Most cases of eye twitching are mildly annoying, but when the twitches don’t go away, they can interfere with your life and may need treatment to resolve. If your eye twitching has been ongoing for a few weeks, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to rule out any other problems.

Other symptoms warranting a doctor visit include:

  • Your eye twitch is causing your eyelid to droop, completely close or if you struggle to open your eye after a twitch
  • Your vision is impacted by the twitching
  • You experience other eye symptoms with the eyelid twitching, like eye swelling or discharge

If your eye twitching requires treatment, your doctor may recommend medications or botulinum toxic (Botox) injections to relax the muscles that are twitching. Eye twitching rarely requires surgery to correct, but options are available if non-surgical treatments don’t successfully stop the spasms.

Do you need an eye doctor? Searching for an in-network vision provider is easy with DeltaVision. Find your eye doctor online and schedule your preventive vision health exam today.