I was actually having issues with eye twitching along with blurry vision when I went to get my eye exam
over a year ago. I did some reading on the topic at that time. While I am not an eye doctor, I have reviewed what I believe to be reliable sources. The best source, although a bit technical, is one I found on Medscape
. I've tried to summarize the key points here.
Eyelid twitching is referred to as myokymia in the opthalmologic field. It is fairly common and typically involves one of the lower eyelids but sometimes the upper eyelid is affected. Usually the causes are not dangerous, not associated with any disease, and will go away on their own after a short time. For most people, the twitching will come and go for a period of days to sometimes months. Rarely the twitching can become strong enough to actually affect someone's vision. The twitches are usually not as apparent to someone looking at you as they are to the person who is suffering from them. ften the twitching will get better if the eyelid is pulled or moved with your hand.
In rare cases, eyelid twitching can be the early signs of more serious problems, especially if there are twitches or movements of other parts of the face. The medical terms for the more serious problems are: hemifacial spasm, blepharospasm, Meige syndrome, and spastic-paretic facial contracture. More information on these diseases is given below.
The way to treat eyelid twitching is to find and fix the cause. Finding the cause can be difficult, but the most common causes are stress, fatigue (which can be from not enough sleep or from straining your eyes), dry eyes, allergies, and caffeine or alcohol use. Some people also think that nutritional issues can lead to eyelid twitching, but I couldn't find any research to support this theory. Be wary of people trying to convince you to take special vitamins to treat your eyelid twitching.Causes of Eyelid TwitchingEyestrain
Eye strain usually is caused by not having properly adjusted glasses or contacts. I think this actually contributed to eye twitching that I experienced over a year ago. I had my first eye exam in many years and found out that I did indeed need glasses. After a few weeks of wearing my new eyeglasses regularly, I found that my eyelid twitching went away. Another common cause of eye strain is from computer use. They say that looking at a computer screen for long periods of time is stressful on the eyes. If you do a lot of work in front of the computer and use glasses, your eye doctor may be able to help reduce the eyestrain by getting you specific eyeglasses for use while doing computer work.
My first suggestion to someone with eyelid twitching that isn't going away would be to get an eye exam and make sure your glasses are the proper prescription. Dry eyes
Dry eyes are very common, especially in people who spend a lot of time driving, using computers, taking certain drying medications (antihistamines), or wear contact lenses. My eye doctor thought I had problems with dry eyes and so she recommended lubricating eye drops as well as anti-glare lenses. I'm not yet convinced that anti-glare lenses make that much of a difference in regards to dry eyes in my case, but they do have some other advantages you can read about in my post on anti-glare lenses
People with allergies often experience itching and swelling of their eyes. Some people think the chemical responsible for allergic reactions can contribute to eyelid twitching. There are special antihistamine eye drops that may be able to help relieve the itching and also the twitching, if related to allergies. Stress
Everyone experiences stress in different ways, and some people do experience eyelid twitching when they are under a lot of stress. If you are like me, you are constantly under stress and probably haven't had any recent increase in stress that would explain eyelid twitching. If you did recently have an increase in stress, then reducing that stress may help stop the eyelid twitching. Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can lead to eye twitching. Trying to get extra sleep may help you if you aren't getting enough sleep. Caffeine and alcohol
Some people think that caffeine and alcohol contribute to worsening of eyelid spasms. You can try cutting out caffeine and alcohol and see if it helps.Nutritional imbalances
Some people think eyelid twitching is caused by different nutritional deficiencies, such as low magnesium. It is very unlikely that taking an over the counter general once-a-day multivitamin would cause any harm, but I'm always skeptical of herbal and vitamin "cures" for different problems. Unless you have some dietary or serious digestive problems, I would doubt that nutritional issues are the cause.
More serious causes of eyelid spasms, usually only occur when eyelid twitching is in combination with movements of other parts of the face:
Hemifacial spams is when a specific nerve from the brain is affected, called the 7th cranial nerve. When that nerve is not functioning properly, it can cause one side of the face to have spasms. This usually would not only affect the eyelid.
Meige syndrome is a combination of blinking and chin thrusting. Sometimes people with Meige's syndrome will also have lip pursing or tongue movements. Rarely Meige's syndrome will also involve movements of the shoulders.
Spastic-paretic facial contracture is when one side of the face twitches as a result of problems in a certain part of the brain called the pontine. This problem is usually seen in people who have multiple sclerosis, brainstem tumors, or problems with the arteries or veins near the brain.Treatment and Remedies
The main medical care involves trying to reduce whatever is causing the eyelid twitching if possible, which I've tried to outline in the description of the various causes.
If the eyelid spasms are severe, doctors have used Botox (botulinum toxin) injections into the involved eyelid. Most people have heard of botox being used to get rid of wrinkles, especially around the eyes. Botox basically paralyzes the muscle it gets injected into, therefore, small doses into the twitching eye muscle will stop the twitching, at least temporarily.
As there are some rare more serious syndromes that can start with eyelid twitching, most doctors will recommend that you return for a re-examination if your symptoms change.
I hope you find this information helpful.