Eyelid Twitching

December 3, 2013

Eyelid twitching can be annoying, uncomfortable, and can limit one’s ability to perform daily activities with ease. Eyelid spasms differ from full facial spasms, which can be cause for more concern (if you are concerned about a full facial spasm, contact your primary medical doctor). Eyelid twitching can have various etiologies; two common types of spasms, blepharospasms and myokymia, will be discussed below. As always, if you are concerned about your eyes or general health, contact your primary or ocular specialist.


Myokymia is generally characterized by an involuntary quivering or twitching in the eye lids, often the lower lid(s). It often will occur and resolve spontaneously. Possible contributing factors are excessive amounts of caffeine, stress, exhaustion, alcohol or drug use, and anxiety. Because this condition will often resolve of its own volition, treatment is often used to make the condition more bearable for its duration. Treatments may include reduction of caffeine, warm compresses, oral antihistamines, and/or rest and relaxation.


Blepharospasms can be caused by a variety of conditions from dryness and irritation to benign essential blepharospasm, wherein the particular cause of twitching is unknown. Blepharospasms may involve one eye, both eyes, or the full face; it can be difficult to tolerate and may be uncomfortable/activity limiting. Blepharospasms may self-resolve or may require treatment to cease; treatments may include BOTOX injection, drug therapy, surgical intervention, and stress management.