You get up to speak in a meeting, then it kicks in. That annoying eyelid twitch. It always manages to resurface during the most inopportune moments.
What causes the eyelid to twitch?
Eyelid twitching (also called myokymia) is incredibly common. This muscle spasm only affects the eyelid and typically only involves either the upper or lower lid. It is rare for both eyes to have an eyelid twitch at the same time (this is called benign essential blepharospasm).
Eyelid twitching is often caused or aggravated by the following:
- Caffeine intake
- Eye strain
- Dry or irritated eyes
- Alcohol intake
- Air pollution
Researchers have found that having certain genes may also contribute eye twitching.
Other less common causes include:
- Reactions to certain mental health medications
- Hemifacial spasm
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bell’s Palsy
- Brain damage from stroke
- Parkinson’s disease
These causes usually have many associated symptoms.
How to treat an eyelid twitch?
Eyelid twitching will typically go away within a few days or weeks. There are no immediate cures for an eyelid twitch but rest, relaxation, stress relief and reducing your caffeine intake will help.
Symptoms of eye twitching will typically go away during sleep or if the individual is concentrating on a difficult task.
The majority of individuals with an eyelid twitch will not need to see a doctor. If the eyelid twitch persists for several weeks, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying causes. Doctors may recommend botox injections or certain medications to help treat a chronic eyelid twitch.