Eyelid twitching is a common occurrence. Your eyelid can twitch without any particular reason. It rarely makes you uncomfortable. Though the problem can make you irritated, it causes no problem with your vision. The frequent twitching of your eyelid can raise concerns in your mind. You may wonder if you have some serious health issue leading to the issue. But, do not worry! In most cases, the problem causes no severe effects on your body. It is the involuntary muscle movements you can experience in one or both eyes. The mild cases are similar to the muscle spasms you experience on your legs or arms. Therefore, never worry about the mild spasm in your eyelids. But, some cases have serious effects. It accompanies with severe twitching. The problem can force your eyelids to close for several seconds or hours. In such cases, you need to contact a medical professional. It is a severe problem that can branch out to other muscles in your face. So, you need to tackle the issue as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Therefore, read ahead to get comprehensive information that can help you take the right steps.
Causes Of Eyelid Twitching
Your eyelids can twitch once in a day for a few seconds or several times a day. It can also twitch for several hours, causing you severe discomfort. Based on the duration of the twitching, you can classify it into the mild case and chronic case. The underlying cause for each problem differs. So, you can see different signs depending on the issue.
Mild Eyelid Twitching
Your brain controls all the functions and activities of your body. At times, the electrical activity in your brain can result in the inadvertent flashing of signals by the nerve cells. It is passed to the muscles causing spasms. No external or internal stimuli cause spasms. Therefore, you suffer only for a short time. The mild or one-time eyelid twitch can result due to the phenomenon. But, sometimes your twitching may last for a few minutes or a few days. The issue happens not due to severe health condition. But, occurs when you have fatigue or overstimulation of muscles. The main factors causing the problem are:
You can overcome the problem by relieving the excess stress from your life. Reducing caffeine intake can also improve the condition. Try using an eye lubricant to resolve the twitching. So, with simple techniques, you can overcome the problem. But, if you still encounter the problem after adopting remedial steps, then it indicates something serious. You need to pay a visit to your doctor or an eye specialist (ophthalmologist). The doctor can detect any serious condition that requires immediate treatment.
Symptoms Of Mild Eyelid Twitching
Mild eyelid twitching may cause some signs. You can observe the signs to detect if you face a simple or chronic problem. So, you can experience signs like:
- Excessive blinking of your eyes
- Dryness of eyes
- Tired eyes
- Involuntary muscles movement around your eyes
- Light sensitivity
Serious Eyelid Twitching
One in twenty thousand people can face the extreme case of twitching around the eyes. It can cause severe twitching that affects your day-to-day activities. Your eyes remain closed for hours, which can affect your work. Without proper treatment, it can branch out to other areas of your face and neck. So, you can feel the spasm around eyebrows, mouth, and neck. Two main conditions can result in the serious twitching of your eyelids.
It is the rare neurological condition triggering muscle contraction and spasm. It can also affect the muscles around your eyes. The benign condition initially causes eyelid twitching. But, it escalates to something serious when you leave it untreated. The problem can become severe making the spasms worse. It makes you shut your eyes for several hours.
- Causes Of Blepharospasm
The exact cause of the problem remains unclear. But, the genetic issues along with environmental condition can trigger the problem. The factors can lead to malfunctioning of your basal ganglia of the brain. The basal ganglia of your brain regulate the motor function. It also plays a significant role in constricting erratic movements. So, the problem to the specific part of the brain can lead to involuntary muscle movements around the eye including twitching.
- Symptoms Of Blepharospasm
You may wonder how to distinguish between the mild twitching and blepharospasm. The following signs can indicate the problem, which is different from the basic twitch:
- Both eyes can experience twitching
- You blink frequently for a long time
- Other muscles around in your face experience spasm
- Eye become irritated in the stressful condition
- Experience spasms for more than an hour
- Bright light causes eye irritation
It is the condition that can cause muscle contraction in your face. So, it results in twitches or ticks on one side of your face. Usually, the problem affects the left side of the face. You have no control over the spasm. Therefore, it can continue even when you sleep during the night. At first, you may confuse it with the simple twitch of your eye. But, as time progresses, your condition can worsen. The problem can start affecting the muscles that surround your eyes. So, it can progress gradually and spread to other muscles on the same side of your face. It ultimately results in the spontaneous contraction of the neck, cheek, mouth, and jaw muscles.
- Cause Of Hemifacial Spasm
It is a rare condition. But unlike blepharospasm, the problem does not occur due to any malfunction of your brain structure. It occurs mostly due to the facial nerve irritation. So, any blood vessel putting more pressure on your facial nerve can lead to the condition. The irritation can make your eyelids twitch, which requires medical attention.
- Symptoms Of Hemifacial Spasm
The signs associated with the problem differ from blepharospasm. So, the condition can lead to the following symptoms:
- It mostly affects one of your eyes and not both
- You can experience weakness in your facial muscles between the contractions
- The spasm due to the problem have consistency in their intensity
- It can lead to spasm lasting from days to even a few months
- You can hear a clicking sound on the affected side of your face
Therefore, you need to see a doctor to treat the serious condition. It will help you overcome the problem.
Other Underlying Health Problems
Some underlying health disorder can lead to the eyelid twitching. You need medical assistance to deal with the problem. The problem can cause other issues apart from the twitching of the eyelids. So, the disorders leading to the twitching are:
Allergic reaction, viral or bacterial infection can lead to inflammation of your eyelids. It can cause several signs like swelling in the eye, dry eyes, watery eyes or twitching of the eyes.
Trauma To The Eye
The eyelid twitching can occur due to any physical injury or trauma to the eye. In such cases, you can feel discomfort and irritation along with the problem. So, the different problem triggering the issue are:
It is the motor disorder that causes temporary paralysis on one side of your face. The trauma or inflammation to your facial nerves can trigger the condition. The problem most likely occurs due to a viral infection.
Tardive dyskinesia refers to the movement disorder that causes involuntary actions. So, people affected by the disease can expect movements like increased blink rate, an involuntary writhing of lips, mouth or tongue. The problem occurs due to the long-term use of antipsychotic medication.
The syndrome can cause simultaneous spasm in the neck, tongue, mouth, cheeks. Neurological movement disorder can trigger several complications in your daily life.
People suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can experience twitching of the eyelids. Affected individuals not only experience eyelid twitching but also other telling signs like:
- Cognitive difficulties
- Trouble moving around
The health problem involves patterned eyelid twitch accompanied by other signs. You can experience other motor problems or vocal tic.
Diagnosis Of Eyelid Twitching
The simple case of twitching of your eyelid needs no specific treatments. It goes away on its own or after you make some lifestyle changes. So, you never have to approach your doctor for the mild twitching. But, if you experience the spasm or twitching for more than a week, then you need to see your doctor. The persistent twitching indicates some medical issue like blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm. You can also experience the twitching due to several other health conditions explained above. Therefore, you need to make an appointment with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. The specialists can evaluate your signs and help with the proper diagnosis. So, the medical professional can use different techniques to detect the following issues:
You have no specific test that helps with the diagnosis of the issue with precision. Therefore, your doctor can adopt a thorough clinical evaluation to detect the problem. Your ophthalmologist takes account of your medical history to reach a specific diagnosis. The importance is given to the signs you exhibit. It helps your doctor determine the cause with ease.
Your ophthalmologist can opt for electrodiagnosis to obtain the information about the eyelid twitching. The test records the electrical activity passively. It also measures your response to the external stimuli to detect the spams.
Like blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm also requires full analysis to get a better diagnosis of the problem. Therefore, your doctor can use sophisticated imaging techniques to come to a conclusion. The imaging tests can help detect the facial nerve causing the irritation. Your doctor can also eliminate the possibility of brain lesions or tumors that can cause neurological problems. So, your doctor can suggest the following imaging technique for better diagnosis:
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
The image developed using sophisticated sound waves and the magnetic field can help gain comprehensive information. So, it can help detect the actual problem causing the twitching.
Computer Tomography (CT Scan)
The CT scan offers your doctor a series of x-rays images that can help determine the issue leading to the twitching of your eyes.
It is the medical imaging technique that visualizes the blood vessels and checks for issues. So, your doctor can find the irritation of the nerve leading to the problem.
Treatment Option Available For Eyelid Twitching
Depending on the underlying cause of the problem, your doctor can suggest ideal treatment. Therefore, your doctor detects the root problem triggering eyelid twitching. So, you have the following treatment options:
Treatment For Trauma/Irritation
Physical trauma or injuries leading to the twitching of the eye needs simple treatment. So, your doctor prescribes steroids or antibiotic creams to reduce the inflammation. It can help ease the issue. In some cases, you need minor surgery to correct the issue (for example eyelid folding). Therefore, the invasive procedure can help you overcome the problem leading to eye spasms.
Blepharospasm Treatment Options
You cannot completely cure the problem. But, you have several treatment options that can reduce the severity of the problem. Therefore, your doctor can suggest the following, depending on your particular signs:
Botulinum (Botox) Injection
It is one of the effective methods to control the eyelid twitching. You need to take the injections to weaken the muscles controlling your eyelid. So, it can help relieve any spasm associated with it. The short-term effect is the downfall of the treatment. Hence, you need to repeat the injection after three months.
Your doctor can suggest taking oral medication if Botox injections prove ineffective. So, you need to take medications that restrict the excessive motor signals from your brain.
It is the last option for controlling blepharospasm. Your doctor opts for the invasive surgery only when all the other options fail. Myectomy is an effective surgical procedure that offers relief from the eyelid twitching. The surgical remedy involves removing the part or all muscles responsible for the twitching or closure of your eyelid. It is the option your doctor suggests when you suffer from the danger of functional vision loss. Therefore, you need to undergo the procedure only when the other methods prove ineffective.
Deep Brain Stimulation
It is the treatment option under investigation for its effectiveness to control blepharospasm. During the treatment, your brain is implanted with an electrode. The electrode helps in regulation of the motor areas that malfunctions. Therefore, it can help regain the motor function of the area causing the twitching.
The treatment option for hemifacial spasm is similar to the blepharospasm. So, you have the following options available:
Your doctor injects the Botox in your affected muscles. It results in the temporary paralysis of the specific muscles. But, you need to repeat the treatment every few months due to the short-term nature of the results.
In some affected people, anticonvulsant drugs provide relief from the eyelid twitching.
Microvascular decompression is an effective treatment option to relieve the twitching of your eyelids. The procedure involves implanting a small sponge along the affected facial nerve. It acts as a cushion from the blood vessel causing irritation.
Home Remedies To Overcome Mild Eyelid Twitching
The mild cases of twitching of your eye can go away on its own. But, if you feel uncomfortable due to the issue, then you can adopt some home remedies. It helps eliminate potential causes or decrease its effects. So, you can implement the following in your life.
In most cases, excess stress can worsen any underlying health condition triggering twitching. So, you can take some steps to drain the stress from your life. It can help you overcome the eyelid twitching without taking medications. Try some relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to see good results.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeine can trigger the muscle spasm around your eyes. Try to limit your consumption of coffee or other drinks containing caffeine.
Lubricate Your Eyes
In most cases, your dry eyes can trigger the twitching. Therefore, you can keep the surface of your eyelids lubricated. Using over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears can help you eliminate the dryness. It helps you keep your eyes refreshed and moist.
If the spasm affects your ability to work or function properly, then you can apply a warm compress. Keeping the warm compress on your eyelids when the spasm begins can help control it.
Irregular sleep pattern can affect your health. It can also make you exhausted. Therefore, getting good sleep can help you overcome unnecessary twitching.
Preventing Eyelid Twitching
Can you prevent eyelid twitching from affecting your daily life? You can take some steps to ensure the eyelid spasm does not affect your daily functions adversely. So, the following pointers can help you deal with the issue.
Keep A Journal
You need to keep a journal about the frequency of the eyelid spasm. Also take note of your caffeine intake, alcohol, and tobacco use. Using the journal, you can figure out the issue that affects your health and leads to eyelid twitching. Try to overcome the precise problem leading to the health problem.
Know Your Sleep Pattern
Record the amount of sleep that you get before experiencing the eyelid twitching. If you notice that you get the twitching more when you do not get enough sleep, then rectify the problem. You need to get to bed at least an hour before the usual bedtime. Therefore, the extra sleep can ease the excess strain on your eyelids, which will reduce the spasms.
Eyelid twitching is a common problem that you can experience any time. The issue may not cause any pain. But, it can annoy you as it hinders when you perform any tasks. The simple case of twitching can go away quickly. But, if it lasts for more than a week, then you need medical assistance. It can indicate some serious problem that needs treatment. With help from your doctor, you can manage the condition easily. Give utmost importance to the spasm when it forces your eyes shut. Therefore, manage the problem with better care.View Article Sources