Gently massaging the eyelid may help relieve twitching

Sometimes your eyelid simply twitches. It is rarely uncomfortable and does not affect your vision-- but it can be irritating. Most of all, it may make you wonder if there is really something wrong. Generally, there isn't.

Eyelid twitches are involuntary muscle movements that happen in one or both eyelids. Mild occurrences are very common, similar to the minor muscle spasms most people experience in their arms or legs.

Extreme cases (or essential blepharospasm) can be much more serious, with severe twitching that essentially forces one or both eyelids to close for seconds or even hours. In these cases, twitching may also branch out to other muscles in your face. 

What Causes Eyelid Twitches?

Minor eyelid twitches are often caused by stress or tiredness. Essential blepharospasm is caused by a nerve impulse; it is not clear why, though.

Symptoms of Eyelid Twitches

Symptoms of eyelid twitches may include:

  • Excessive blinking of the eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Fatigue/tension
  • Involuntary muscle movement around eyes
  • Light sensitivity

Treatment for Eyelid Twitches

Mild cases of eyelid twitches are isolated, and will generally go away on their own. They are often caused by stress so, reducing stress, minimizing caffeine and getting enough sleep may help.

More chronic forms of the condition can be treated in the following ways:

  • Facial injections: Injections are administered to cause localized paralysis around the affected area. In most cases, the eyes are immediately responsive, and symptoms are relieved between injections. 
  • Surgical: Surgery to remove muscles around the eyelids or surgery to remove part of the nerve to lessen the severity of the spasms. These methods are only used in serious cases, for patients who do not respond to other forms of treatment.

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