Eye twitching is a movement or spasm of the eyelid or eye muscles that can't be controlled. There are different types of eye twitching. Each type of twitch has a different cause.
The most common type of eye twitching is called myokymia. This type of twitch or spasm is very common and happens to most people at some point. It can involve either the upper or lower eyelid, but usually only one eye at a time. The eye twitching can range from barely noticeable to irritating. The twitching usually goes away within a short time but could happen again over a few hours, days or longer.
Another type of eye twitching is known as benign essential blepharospasm. Benign essential blepharospasm starts out as increased blinking of both eyes and may lead to the eyelids being squeezed shut. This type of twitching is uncommon but can be extremely severe, affecting all aspects of life.
Hemifacial spasm is a type of twitching that involves muscles on one side of the face, including the eyelid. Twitching may start around your eye and then spread to other parts of the face.
Eye twitching usually goes away on its own within a few days or weeks with:
- Stress relief.
- Decreased caffeine.
Schedule an appointment with your health care provider if:
- The twitching doesn't go away within a few weeks.
- The affected area feels weak or stiff.
- Your eyelid completely closes with each twitch.
- You have difficulty opening the eye.
- Twitching happens in other parts of your face or body as well.
- Your eye is red or swollen or has discharge.
- Your eyelids are drooping.
Feb. 11, 2023
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- Benign essential blepharospasm. Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation. https://blepharospasm.org/. Accessed Nov. 23, 2022.
- Liu GT, et al. Eyelid and facial nerve disorders. In: Liu, Volpe, and Galetta's Neuro-Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2019. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 23, 2022.
Original article: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/eye-twitching/basics/definition/SYM-20050838