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Health Updates

Monday, September 4, 2017

Courtesy of Russell R Van Hemert DC

How to Reduce or Stop Eye Twitching

If you have ever experienced an eyelid twitch, you know how annoying it can be. Eyelid twitching, also known as myokymia, is an involuntary eyelid muscle contraction that most commonly affects the lower eyelid. Treatment for an eyelid twitch depends on its severity.

Eye Twitch Causes:

Minor twitches are usually caused by:

More severe eye twitches may last up to several weeks. These types of twitches are usually associated with blepharospasm. Blepharospasm can sometimes occur for no apparent reason and other times can be associated some type of neurological injury or disease or a blood flow problem to the facial nerve. Severe blepharospasm should be evaluated by a neuro-ophthalmologist. 

Determine the severity of the twitch: Is it minor or severe? A minor eye twitch is an uncontrollable eyelid spasm that may come and go for about 2 to 3 days, then disappear on its own. A severe eye twitch lasts much longer and usually does not go away. The eyelid may contract so forcefully that the entire eye completely opens and closes, over and over again. A severe eye twitch becomes extremely annoying, interfering with daily life. (If severe, please skip to Step 7.)

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  1. Relax. Try to eliminate stress in your daily life.
  2. Limit caffeine.
  3. Rest. Get plenty of sleep and take frequent breaks from the computer.
  4. Apply warm compresses to the twitching eye and gently massage the eyelid with your fingers.
  5. Try over-the-counter oral or topical (eye drop) antihistamines to slow the eyelid muscle contractions.
  1. For severe eye twitching or a twitch that last longer than a few days, see your eye doctor. Treatment for severe eye twitching may include Botox injections to paralyze the eye muscles, medications to relax the muscles or surgery to remove the contributing eye muscles.

Tips

  1. Most eyelid twitches are harmless and tend to go away on their own.
  2. Rarely, severe eyelid twitching may signal a more severe disorder. It is always best to seek the advice of an eye doctor.

What You Need

  • Rest and relaxation.
  • Warm, wet cloth for compresses.
  • In some cases, medications or medical procedures.

Troy Bedinghaus, OD | Reviewed by a board-certified physician

Updated April 24, 2017

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