Why Is My Eyelid Twitching (& What Can I Do About It)?
The phenomenon of a blepharospasm—otherwise known as a twitching eyelid—can be irritating and even a little concerning. At Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we understand that, however harmless it may seem, a physical symptom you can’t explain can cause inordinate stress. Fortunately, a blepharospasm is rarely a sign of a serious issue, and understanding what might be causing it is the first step to solving the problem.
First of all, you probably want to know why your eyelid is twitching. There could be many different causes of this annoyance, and it can be difficult to determine the exact one. Eye strain, sleep deprivation, & high stress levels are known to be common culprits, as these factors can affect the muscles around the eyes. Typically, treating the underlying cause—resting your eyes, getting caught up on sleep, or decreasing your stress levels—will get rid of the blepharospasm.
Other generally treatable causes of blepharospasm include airborne allergens & chronic dry eye, as well as drugs like alcohol, tobacco, & caffeine. In these cases, getting rid of the allergen, treating the dry eye, or reducing intake of the offending substance will usually take care of the twitch. Saline or antihistamine eyedrops may also address the blepharospasm, along with other eye-related irritations.
You probably know botulinum toxin by its more commonly used brand name of Botox®, and the application you’re familiar with is most likely a cosmetic one. However, decades before it became shorthand for injectable cosmetic treatments, Botox® was used for relieving blepharospasms and other eye issues. This injection remains one of the most effective treatments for a twitching eyelid available, taking effect in as little as one day and generally lasting about three months.
Again, a blepharospasm is far more often a minor annoyance than an indication of anything serious. However, in some rare cases, a persistent eye twitch may be indicative of a more severe underlying condition. If treating one of the above-mentioned common causes of a blepharospasm doesn’t eliminate the problem, it’s possible that pinkeye or some other type of infection is responsible. Even more rarely, a neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease or Bell’s Palsy could potentially be the cause.
It’s quite rare for an eye twitch to indicate one of these serious conditions, but because the possibility exists, it’s imperative to see an ophthalmologist if you’re concerned that something more serious may be causing your blepharospasm. An experienced eyecare specialist can evaluate your symptoms and help you come up with a treatment plan that will have the highest likelihood of success. There are advanced treatment options for recurring or persistent blepharospasms, but an eyecare specialist must examine each patient individually to determine the best course of action.
At Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we provide all the information and assistance you need to make sure your vision is as clear as possible. If you’re interested in any of the many services we offer, contact Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons to schedule an appointment today. Be sure to follow Dr. Segal and Dr. Lay on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to come back soon for more helpful eyecare information.