What Triggers The Annoying Eye Twitch — And When To Seek Medical Help

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Have you had trouble focusing due to repetitive uncontrolled eye twitching? Its quite a common problem.

I understand how irritating this continuous flickering of the lower eyelid muscle can be. Incidentally, I suffer from it myself from time to time.

In the medical world, eye twitching is also known as Myokymia. It often affects the lower eyelid.

I thought I would briefly discuss this topic with you today.

Causes Of Eyelid Twitching

Eyelid spasms can last for a minute or two and are triggered by extreme stress and fatigue. Many times the cause is not clearly identified.

Other causes of this annoying eye twitching are listed in the box below.

CAUSES OF EYELID TWITCHING
  1. Excessive irritation
  2. Strain on eyes such as prolonged screen use
  3. Crossed eyes
  4. Poor vision
  5. Certain medications – this is rare though
  6. Using tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine.

Tests For Eyelid Twitching

As such there are no specific tests for twitching of the eyelids. Symptoms are enough to make a diagnosis.

In rare cases, an MRI of the brain may be done to trace a nerve called the facial nerve.

A Word Of Caution

Many people suffer from these spasms at some point in their lives. However, this unpredictable twitching mostly goes away on their own in a few days even without any medical treatment.

Often patients are concerned that this may represent a severe neurologic problem, but this is rarely the case.

A variety of causes can cause one or both eyes to twitch, and they can persist anywhere from days to weeks, which can be very uncomfortable.

In case symptoms persist more than 3 months, then your doctor may inject Botulinum toxin (see below) into the eyelid. This has a good success rate.

Ways To Calm The Eye Twitch

Get adequate rest first. This should help.

Limit caffeine and alcohol intake. Do your best to relax and reduce stress. Yoga and meditation, and even good music might help.

Moisturize eyes using eye drops. If concerned, see an eye specialist.

There is usually nothing to be concerned about if your twitch is barely noticeable, but what if it becomes bothersome and lingers for a prolonged period?

Well, it’s time to see an eye doctor if the following red flags are noticed to rule out any serious outcomes.

WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
  • Droopy eyes
  • Double vision
  • Red eyes
  • Light-sensitive vision
  • Change in vision
  • Discomfort in the eye

Eyelid twitching can be a symptom of eye spasms like essential blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm which are some of the primary markers for Botox® injections.

These Botox® injections are the part of popular anti-wrinkle therapy.

Eyelid spasms are seldom an indication of a major brain or nerve issue. However, these twitching are an early warning for chronic movement conditions in very uncommon circumstances, particularly if additional face twitches or involuntary movements accompany them.

Therefore, it is worth considering for an evaluation as most of the twitching can be relieved by few injections.

Closing Remarks

Eyelid twitching is a benign condition. It settles by itself with simple, conservative measures.

Dr Vivek Baliga B
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