Work is stressful. You’re not sleeping enough. And on top of it all, your eye has started to twitch. Is it related to everything else going on in your life? How can you deal with it?

What is an eye twitch?

James Kaufmann, MD

An eye twitch is an involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscle that can occur in either lid, but is usually in the upper eyelid, CEENTA Ophthalmologist James Kaufmann, MD, said. They usually occur every few seconds for about a minute. They have no set pattern of occurrence, and you may go months without experiencing one.

Fortunately, while eye twitches are a nuisance, they’re harmless.

What causes eye twitching?

Eye twitches have a number of potential causes. In addition to stress and fatigue, they can be caused by drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, smoking, dry eye, an eye infection, light sensitivity, or natural irritants.

In very rare cases, an eye twitch can be a symptom of something more serious, such as Bell’s palsy, dystonia, multiple sclerosis, Tourette syndrome, or Parkinson’s disease.

Eye injuries such as corneal scratches can also be a cause. If you think your eye is injured, see a doctor for treatment.

How do I stop my eye from twitching?

The best way to stop a twitch is to stop whatever’s causing it. For example, if you’re stressed, find some way to relax or otherwise reduce your stress. If you’re tired, do what you can to sleep more. If caffeine, alcohol, or smoking is the cause, cut them out of your life.

Should I see a doctor?

If the twitch doesn’t go away within a few weeks, you’re twitching elsewhere in your body, your eyelid is drooping, or your eye is red, swollen, or releasing discharge, you’ll want to see a physician.

If your eyes involuntarily spasm or squeeze shut, you have more than a twitch. You may have a condition called blepharospasm. A doctor can diagnose you and develop a care plan.

Stress is no fun, and you don’t want an eye twitch to add to it. Fortunately, home care and, if necessary, a doctor’s care can help settle your spasming eyelid.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Kaufmann practices in our Salisbury office. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s eye doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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