Twitching of the eyelid muscles is a common and generally benign condition. Either the upper or lower lid can be involved, and the condition is marked by seemingly random, fast-twitch spasm of the muscles surrounding the eyes. Episodes can continue for days to weeks and resolve spontaneously.
The most common causes of eyelid twitching are dry eyes, stress, lack of sleep and excess caffeine. The best treatment for eyelid twitching is to address the cause(s). Artificial tears are a helpful means to lubricate the eyes. Improved sleep and hygiene and stress reduction help as well. Please contact your Eye Consultants of Atlanta specialist if the twitching fails to resolve.
Rarely, eyelid twitching can represent a more serious problem and be associated with more pronounced muscle spasms that involve the entire muscle group around the eye. In this setting, the eye will open and close repetitively, and the individual may experience difficulty opening the eyes. This condition is called “blepharospasm.” This phenomenon tends to occur in both eyes simultaneously, and may lead to sight problems because patients are unable to keep their eyes open. Blepharospasm is a more serious form of eyelid twitching and may require treatment with injections of Botulinum toxin (Botox) to temporarily paralyze the affected muscles.
Hemifacial spasm is a facial eye muscle problem in which the individual’s entire side of the face may contract spontaneously. This disorder requires a thorough evaluation and may represent a serious underlying problem.