Eyelid twitching, also called eyelid spasm or eyelid myokymia, is an uncontrolled, involuntary contraction of the muscles in the eyelid. These can occur in the upper and/or lower eyelids of one or both eyes. They come on suddenly and can last for a minute, hours, days, or even longer. Also, while it may feel like everyone is looking at your twitch, most contractions are so small that they are not visible to someone else looking at your face.
Fortunately, the majority of eyelid twitches are harmless and do not affect your vision. The most common underlying reasons for eyelid spasms are:
- Excessive amounts of stress
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Too much caffeine intake
Most eyelid twitches go away without treatment in a few days or weeks. If they last longer or occur more frequently than usual, there are some steps you can take to make them go away.
Eyelid spasms can occur from being under too much stress. If you are unable to step away from something in your life that is causing you stress, then being able to find stress-reducing activities can help to get rid of the twitch. Eyelid twitching can also occur when people are overly tired. If you can get restorative sleep, this can help make your eyelid twitch go away. Eyelid spasms can also occur in people who drink caffeine because caffeine is a stimulant. If you can limit your caffeine intake (coffee, tea, soda) this may help to reduce eyelid twitching.
If eyelid twitching or spasms last longer than a few weeks or are severe enough to cause the eyelids to close more fully and for longer periods of time, this may be due to an underlying eyelid disorder or neurological disease. It is important to be evaluated by a specialist like Dr. Munroe who has experience with both eyelid and neurologic disorders to determine the underlying cause of the muscle spasms in order to provide the best treatment.