Man rubbing his twitching eye

When to Worry about Eye Twitching

Eyelid twitching, also known as myokymia, is an involuntary spasm of the lower or upper eyelid muscles. Most people will experience myokymia at some point in their lives, and it usually goes away on its own. However, there are times when eyelid twitching can signify a more serious medical condition. Here’s when you should worry about eye twitching.

 

Causes of eyelid twitching

There are 42 individual muscles in your face. One opens your eyelids, while another closes them. One or both of those muscles spasm when you experience eye twitching. Although experts aren’t entirely sure why eye twitching is more common in middle-aged and elderly women. There are many possible causes of eyelid twitching, including:

 

  • Consuming alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to bright lights
  • Consuming too much caffeine
  • Fatigue, lack of sleep
    Stress
  • Pollution
  • Wind
  • Eye irritation or infection
  • Eye strain from reading or using a computer
  • Side effects from certain medications

 

Myokymia can also be a symptom of brain and nervous system disorders such as Bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Tourette’s.

 

What eyelid twitching feels like

 

Eyelid twitching is painless and doesn’t result in vision loss. Most patients say that it feels like their eyelid is flickering or being gently tugged. Myokymia can happen without warning and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Stronger spasms may indicate blepharospasm, which causes your eyelids to shut involuntarily.

 

Preventing eyelid twitching

 

You can prevent eyelid twitching by getting more rest, reducing the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume and quitting smoking. You can also avoid eye strain by taking breaks every 20 minutes while reading or using a computer.

 

When to see an eye doctor about eyelid twitching

Typically, myokymia will stop on its own after a few days. However, it may be time to visit an eye doctor if:

 

  • The eyelid twitching continues for more than a couple of weeks
  • The spasms cause your eyelids to shut and makes it difficult to open them
  • The twitching occurs in other areas of your face and body
  • Your eyes become red, irritated, swollen or produce a discharge
  • Your eyelids begin drooping

 

Eye exam and optometrist services in Edmonton and Sherwood Park

At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we can assess your eyes and determine if your symptoms are normal or stem from an underlying medical condition. We also provide pediatric optometrist services and are qualified to give every member of your family an eye exam to spot early warning signs. Contact Optometrists Clinic today to book an appointment with an optometrist in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Leduc and Westlock

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