Eye Twitch Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
An eye twitch is an involuntary spasm of the muscles in the eyelid. Blepharospasm is the medical term for eyelid twitching. Eyelid twitching usually occurs every few seconds and lasts for a few minutes. It may come and go over a period of days or weeks. Sometimes the twitching results in the eye being held closed until the movement stops, but this is not always the case.
In most cases of eyelid twitching, no identifiable cause can be found. However, certain environmental and behavioral factors may worsen eyelid twitching, such as caffeine consumption, stress, and smoking. Eyelid twitching may also accompany irritations or infections of the eye. In rare cases, eyelid twitching, usually when accompanied by other disordered movements, can be a symptom of a chronic neuromuscular disorder such as Tourette's syndrome. Benign essential blepharospasm is a rare, benign condition characterized by abnormal blinking movements in both eyes. Hemifacial spasm involves involuntary movements of the muscles around the eye and mouth on one side of the face only.
Eye twitching is typically not associated with pain and is usually only a mild annoyance. Visual disturbances do not occur unless the eye is forced shut by the spasm. Typically, the spasm goes away on its own without the need for treatment. Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections have been used to relieve eye twitching in chronic conditions such as benign essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Causes of Eye Twitch
In This ArticleDry Eyes Article
- Dry eye syndrome facts
- What is dry eye syndrome?
- What causes dry eye syndrome?
- What is the impact of dry eye syndrome?
- What are dry eye syndrome symptoms and signs?
- What are the complications of dry eye syndrome?
- What are the risk factors for dry eye syndrome?
- Can self-care treatments and remedies help alleviate dry eyes?
- What is the medical treatment for dry eye syndrome?
- What medications are used to treat dry eye syndrome?
- Can surgery treat dry eye syndrome?
- What other therapies are used to treat dry eye syndrome?
In This ArticleEye Care Article
- Eye care introduction
- What is the structure of the eye?
- Which common disorders of the eye can (sometimes) be self-treated?
- What common eye conditions usually require treatment by a doctor?
- What types of OTC eye care products are there?
- What inactive ingredients are contained in OTC eye care products?
Facial Nerve Problems and Bell's Palsy (Bell Palsy) Facial nerve disorders affect the muscles of the face. There are many causes of facial nerve disorders including trauma, nervous...learn more »In This ArticleFacial Nerve Problems and Bell's Palsy (Bell Palsy) Article
- Facial nerve problems and Bell's palsy facts
- What is the facial nerve?
- What are symptoms of a facial nerve problem?
- What conditions affect the facial nerve?
- How are the causes of facial nerve dysfunction diagnosed?
- What is and what causes Bell's palsy?
- What are the symptoms of Bell's palsy?
- What is the mechanism of injury in Bell's palsy?
- What are treatment options of facial nerve paralysis?
- What is the treatment for eye problems from facial nerve disorder?
- What surgical reconstruction options are available?
- What is the prognosis for facial nerve problems?
- Can facial nerve problems be prevented?
In This ArticleFatigue Article
- Fatigue Facts
- Fatigue introduction
- What causes fatigue?
- What are the signs and symptoms of fatigue?
- How is the cause of fatigue diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for fatigue?
- Can fatigue be prevented?
In This ArticleParkinson's Disease Article
- Parkinson's disease facts
- What is Parkinson's disease?
- What causes Parkinson's disease?
- What genes are linked to Parkinson's disease?
- Who is at risk for Parkinson's disease?
- What are the symptoms of Parkinson's disease?
- What other conditions resemble Parkinson's disease?
- How is Parkinson's disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for Parkinson's disease?
- How can people learn to cope with Parkinson's disease?
- Can Parkinson's disease be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of Parkinson's disease?
In This ArticleStress Article
- Stress facts
- What is stress?
- A brief history of stress
- What are the signs and symptoms of poorly managed stress?
- Who is most vulnerable to stress?
- Teen stress
- What is the healthy response to stress?
- How does the response to stress work?
- What is the role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (grouping) in stress?
- What is the role of the locus coeruleus in stress?
- How do the connections in the brain work in stress?
- What do we know about using (activating) and overusing our internal systems that respond to stress?
- What are the effects of stress on medical and psychological conditions?
- Conclusions about the effects of stress
- What can people do for stress management?
- What's in the future for stress?
In This ArticleTourette Syndrome Article
- What is Tourette syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of Tourette syndrome?
- What is the course of Tourette syndrome?
- Can people with Tourette syndrome control their tics?
- What causes Tourette syndrome?
- What disorders are associated with Tourette syndrome?
- How is Tourette syndrome diagnosed?
- How is Tourette syndrome treated?
- Is Tourette syndrome inherited?
- What is the prognosis for Tourette syndrome?
- What is the best educational setting for children with Tourette syndrome?
- What research is being done for Tourette syndrome?
- Where can I get more information about Tourette syndrome?
Other Causes of Eye Twitch
- Benign Essential Blepharospasm
- Corneal Irritation
- Eyelid Spasm
- Foreign Body in the Eye
- Hemifacial Spasm
- Lack of Adequate Sleep
- Medication Side Effects
- Sensitivity to Light
Examples of Medications for Eye Twitch
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
Get breaking medical news.