Reasons Why Your Eye Keeps Twitching: Eye Twitches, Explained
Medically Reviewed by Carolin Schneider, MD
Eye spasms are often described as sporadic twitching under or around the eyes. Adult women are more prone to eye twitches, but anyone can experience them. Moreover, the spasms may vary in strength and speed, but they most commonly occur around the eyelids. In some cases, an eye twitch may be so strong that it causes a person to close their eye during each muscle spasm.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the duration of an eye twitch varies: most often, twitches last for days or weeks, but, in some cases, they can last up to months at a time. In this guide, we’ll help explain possible reasons why your eye keeps twitching and what you can do to mitigate the symptoms or prevent said twitch from recurring in the future.
Symptoms Associated With Eye Spasms
The most obvious symptom of eyelid spasms is, of course, one’s eye continuously twitching involuntarily. It’s unclear why eye twitches vary in severity — and it’s unclear why they seem to disappear and reappear at random. In addition to the telltale muscle spasm, someone suffering an eye twitch may also experience a sensitivity to bright lights as well as blurred vision. In most cases, eye twitching should not drastically affect your vision, no matter how severe.
Without a doubt, eye twitching is a common condition and more of an annoyance than anything else. Rest assured that the majority of eyelid spasms can be remedied easily and are indicative of minor health issues. Common causes or triggers that could lead to eye twitching include:
- Fatigue: Most cases of eye twitching are caused by fatigue. If you can’t remember suffering from eye fatigue earlier in life, it’s probably because you were sleeping more. Proper sleeping habits are important for numerous reasons — and getting a solid rest can help prevent eye twitches.
- Stress: Eye twitching is a common indicator for high levels of stress. If you’re suffering from a severe bout of stress, try some stress-relieving techniques.
- Caffeine: If your eye keeps twitching, you might want to check your caffeine intake. High levels of caffeine can cause these eyelid spasms, so cut down on the coffee.
- Eye Irritation: If you’ve recently suffered some form of eye irritation, you may experience some form of eye twitching. Bumping into an object, as well as rubbing or poking your eye, can cause irritation and eye twitching.
- Smoking: Like caffeine, smoking is another stressor that may cause eye twitching. Smoking less or quitting may help stop the twitch.
- Medicine: In some instances, eye spasms may be a side effect of migraine or Parkinson’s disease medication.
Other Causes of Eye Twitches
In extremely rare cases, an eye twitch may be indicative of a more serious health condition like:
- A facial nerve problem or disorder like Tourette syndrome.
- Bell’s palsy, which is paralysis of a facial nerve.
- A facial tic, however this would usually be accompanied by another uncontrollable spasm like nose wrinkling or squinting.
- Blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelids.
Eye twitching caused by any of these disorders are typically more severe than a simple eye twitch. In most cases, both eyes would be twitching — or another portion of the face would be affected by an involuntary muscle spasm.
Symptoms of a common eye twitch should go away within several days. However, seek medical attention for eye twitches in the following instances:
- If the eye twitch has not subsided at all after several weeks.
- Your eye is completely forced shut between each twitch.
- Other areas of your face are twitching also.
- The twitching eye is red, swollen or looks infected.
- There is some type of discharge in your eye.
- Your upper eyelid begins to droop.
Eye twitching is most likely an indicator that a small change needs to occur in your daily routine. Focusing on getting enough sleep and taking care of yourself will often resolve eye twitches in a few days. In cases where the eye twitching is severe and your eyelid is forced completely shut, contact your healthcare provider immediately.