Why Does My Eye Twitch?

It's one of the most annoying things…your eye starts twitching. You feel like everyone can see it freaking out, the sensation and feeling of your eyelid jumping, and it distracts you from everything you're doing. These involuntary contractions of muscles are a fairly common occurrence, about like hiccups.

This series of temporary random eyelid twitches and tics is referred to medically by the names ocular myokymia or eyelid myokymia.

Myokymia can affect the lower lids or upper lids. It is believed that most cases of ocular myokymia have to do with a lack of sleep and stress. Insufficient lubrication of the eye with natural tears is also thought to be a contributing factor in some cases. If the spasms are happening below the eye, the cause may be from worry, concern, or emotional stress. Generally, you need to find the cause of your worry and try to relax.

To avoid or help put a halt to the eyelid spasms:

  • Get your full rest.
  • Reduce or eliminate stress.
  • Cut back on caffeine.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Reduce computer time to cut down on eye strain.

Soft and gentle massaging of the eye area or warm compresses can help to alleviate the involuntary contractions of muscles.

The twitching should resolve naturally on its own within days or possibly weeks.

If the twitching persists, see an ophthalmologist or optician as it is possible that the twitching can be a symptom of muscle or nerve disorders, such as benign essential blepharospasms (aka essential blepharospasms) and hemifacial spasms (Meige's Syndrome), or spastic paretic facial contracture sometimes associated with multiple sclerosis, brainstem tumors or vascular lesions. It is said that persistent tics can be treated by injecting botulism toxin (BOTOX®) into the offending muscle. Consult your eye doctor for more information.

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