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What is an Eyelid Twitch?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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An eyelid twitch, also known as a myokymia or blepharospasm, is a medical condition characterized by uncontrollable twitching of the eyelid, causing involuntary blinking. A number of things can cause the eyelid to twitch, and the condition usually clears up on its own, although medical interventions can be used to speed the process along. As a general rule, although irritating, an eyelid twitch is not a cause for concern.

The three leading causes for twitches are stress, caffeine, and fatigue. Often, cutting back on caffeine intake and getting a good night's sleep will resolve the problem, although a recurrence can suggest that you may need to make some lifestyle changes. Simple stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing, brief meditation, stretching, and using a stress ball may help to resolve an eyelid twitch, as can more long-term measures, like rearranging a work schedule. Corneal irritations and inflammations around the eye can also cause the eyelid to twitch.

The severity and length of an eyelid twitch can vary. Some people experience very mild twitching, which may create a tingling sensation, while other people experience spasms so extreme that the eye fully closes or opens with each twitch. A twitch can last a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days, and in some cases patients have dealt with eyelid twitches for weeks.

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Along with the twitch, many people experience an increased sensitivity to light, because the lack of control over their eyelids makes it hard to control the amount of light which enters the eye. Blurry vision can also be experienced. If people strain their eyes trying to read computer screens and fine print with an eyelid twitch, they can also get headaches. Many people also get short tempered, because the twitches are very annoying.

Medically, a few things can be used to treat a twitchy eyelid. Eye drops can be used to lubricate the eye, reducing the risk of corneal damage, and some medications can resolve the spasms. Botox® can be used to temporarily paralyze the muscle, causing the twitch to cease, and surgery can be used for extreme twitches. If the underlying cause is an inflammation, treating the inflammation may resolve the twitch as well. You should see a doctor if an eyelid twitch does not resolve within a week, or if it is accompanied with pain, headaches, and other symptoms.

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anon176883
Post 5

My eye twitch (upper right lid only) has come and gone over the past year - and yes - always in times of extreme stress. I only drink decaf coffee and very little alcohol. Tea bags? Chilled cucumbers on the eyelids? Help!

ntuc
Post 4

Actually, I have just recently received some highly acclaimed remarks from the other person in another forum about the substantial, obvious and prompt efficacies of my suggested self-administered, totally free-of-charge, painless, harmless and needle-free acupuncture method / technique which is meant especially for the effective and full treatments of post-birth non-brain / neuron-damage and Tardive Dyskinesia / medication-induced rapid, purposeless, involuntary and uncontrollable eyelid twitching / eye blinking.

anon102121
Post 3

Thank you for such good information,i find all your postings very useful. I have a question: what is the name of the art of looking into a person's eye to tell what they are suffering from? Thank you. i read your postings every day.

anon102086
Post 2

I found the different causes of eye twitches interesting.

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