Eye twitching, eyelid spasm and blepharospasm are terms used to refer to any of three separate conditions. They each have different causes, and one doesn't lead to the other.

Eyelid twitching (myokymia) affects only the eyelid. It can involve either the upper or lower lid, but only one eye at a time. The eye twitching can range from barely noticeable to bothersome. The twitching usually goes away within a short time but may recur over a few hours, days or longer.

Benign essential blepharospasm starts out as increased blinking of both eyes and may progress to the eyelids being squeezed shut. This type of eye twitching is relatively uncommon but can be extremely severe, affecting all aspects of life.

Hemifacial spasm involves twitches of muscles on one side of the face, including the eyelid.

Eye twitching usually goes away on its own within a few days or weeks with rest, stress relief and decreased caffeine.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if:

  • The twitching doesn't go away within a few weeks
  • Your eyelid completely closes with each twitch or you have difficulty opening the eye
  • Twitching happens in other parts of your face or body as well
  • Your eye is red, swollen or has discharge
  • Your eyelids are drooping
Jan. 21, 2016