An eyelid twitch, or blepharospasm, is a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscles. A twitch usually occurs in the upper lid, but it can occur in both the upper and lower lids. A persistent twitching means you should contact your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.
For most people, these spasms are very mild and feel like a gentle tug on the eyelid. Others may experience a spasm strong enough that it forces you to close your eyelid completely. Some people never have any noticeable signs.
Spasms typically occur every few seconds for a minute or two. Episodes of eyelid twitching are unpredictable. The twitch may occur off and on for several days. Then, you may not experience any twitching for weeks or even months.
Eyelid spasms may occur without any identifiable cause, and because they are rarely a sign of a serious problem, the cause is not usually investigated. Nevertheless, eyelid twitches may be caused or made worse by:
- eye irritation
- eyelid strain
- lack of sleep
- physical exertion
- medication side effects
- use of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine
Most eyelid spasms go away without treatment in a few days or weeks. In rare cases, some eye twitching just won't go away. Some of these types of twitches can be successfully treated with Botox injections that help stop muscle contractions. See your eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment if the twitching affects half your face or your entire eye, causing the lids to clamp shut.
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