What is an Eye Muscle Twitch?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2016
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An eye muscle twitch, also known as "blepharospasm," is the involuntary contracting of the muscles within the eyelid. This phenomenon is very common and usually benign. Most cases of eye twitching have no known cause, and they generally go away on their own without any particular medical treatment.

One of the most common varieties of eye muscle twitching is benign fasciculation syndrome. This is a condition where the eyelids and other muscles of the body twitch for no known cause. Those with this condition do not have any serious neurological disorder and the twitching eventually subsides, although it often recurs. Sometimes a twitch is triggered by stress.

In those who experience an occasional eye muscle twitch with no additional symptoms, no medical treatment is required. These twitches should not worsen over time and should not accompany any other medical conditions. Additional twitches throughout the body are not generally indicative of a problem when they occur alongside eye twitching, so long as they occur when the offending muscle is at rest and as long as no other symptoms are present.


If eye irritation, vision changes, or soreness occur along with an eye muscle twitch, a doctor should be notified. These things could indicate a problem within the eye itself, or some other medical condition. There are various diseases and conditions which can cause twitching of the muscles, although they are generally accompanied by other neurological symptoms. These can include weakness, slurred speech, confusion, trouble walking, or severe changes in vision or cognitive function.

Any twitches which become severe or which do not subside over time should be investigated further. Although unlikely, occasionally they can indicate a serious disorder. Twitching should not be accompanied by a lazy or weak eyelid. This is an indicator of another condition.

Although usually not serious, a twitching eye muscle can be annoying. Many times it is worsened by stress, anxiety, or other emotional issues. Individuals may be able to lessen the amount of twitching by avoiding stress and finding time to relax when possible. Decreasing caffeine consumption may also alleviate twitching in some individuals.

Twitching can occur on either side of the face or both at the same time. Numbness or additional twitching in the cheeks or mouth do not always indicate a health problem, but they should be checked out. Nerve damage to the facial muscles is the most common issue. If the facial muscles become weak or slack, especially if this happens suddenly, this should be considered a medical emergency.


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Post 5

I had an extreme case of eye spasms about seven years ago. I spent a very long time while I was going to school, and then coming home and studying for hours on end. I would only get two or three hours of sleep at night. In my case my eye spasm also came with neck spasms that snapped my head back. It was extremely annoying. I just made sure to get more sleep and presto! No more spasms. It kind of stinks that I had to figure this out the hard way.

Post 4

I have problems with my eye twitching during the winter. I finally figured out that it was because they were so dry.

The heater comes on a lot in my house during the cold months, and this dries out both my sinuses and my eyes. They feel scratchy, and I have to rub them a lot to produce moisture.

When I would get eyelid twitches, I would try just blinking more often and rubbing them, but this didn't seem to help. One day, I got some lubricating drops and put them in my eyes, and they felt so much better.

I started using the drops twice a day, and the twitching stopped. I'm glad I figured this out, because those twitches were very pesky when I was trying to work at my computer!

Post 3

Fatigue alone is enough to cause a twitchy eye. I found this out after I got married and inherited a house full of chores to do.

I was working full-time and coming home to a messy house. My husband and four indoor dogs kept me cleaning constantly. I got so tired at work that I really didn't feel like cleaning for a couple of hours once I got home, but I had no choice.

By bedtime, I would be too tired to move. Even though I got rest, it wasn't enough, and I would be dead tired all day at work. I started getting eyelid twitches, and nothing I did seemed to help.

Finally, we moved to

a new home with a big fenced in yard, and I made the dogs stay outside. This cut down on over an hour of cleaning time each day, and I was able to relax and get some rest. The eyelid twitches stopped soon after we got settled there, and I know that my fatigue had been causing them.
Post 2

@Perdido – I used to drink a lot of caffeine to make it through the day at work. I had trouble waking up in the morning, and caffeine was the only thing that could give me enough energy to do my job without dozing off.

I experienced eyelid twitches that lasted for hours because of this. I would start out the morning with coffee, and then I would drink a caffeinated soda mixed with more coffee. I also kept a jar of chocolate covered espresso beans on my desk, and I popped them whenever the liquid wasn't working.

My eye muscle spasms would come in short bursts of one to two seconds. Sometimes, this would continue from morning until

afternoon. It got so annoying that I decided to cut down on my caffeine intake.

I started taking B vitamins instead and eating more fruits and vegetables. This gave me more natural energy, and I was able to cut down to just one cup of coffee a day. The eyelid spasms stopped within a week of starting my new good habits.

Post 1

Wow! I didn't know that caffeine could cause eye twitches! It must take a lot of it for this to happen.

I have had random eye twitches before, but I didn't pay them much attention. They generally only last for a few minutes, and they don't affect my vision.

Has anyone here ever had eye twitches after consuming a lot of caffeine? I just find it interesting that it could affect the eye muscles. I know it can change your mood and make your hands shake, but I had never heard of it causing your eyelids to twitch before reading this!

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