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Eyelid Twitch

What is an eyelid twitch?

An eyelid twitch or tic is a twitching of the eyelid that you cannot control.

What are the symptoms?

One or both of your eyelids may twitch.

How does it occur?

Healthcare providers are not sure why these twitches happen. Possible causes include:

  • stress
  • caffeine
  • lack of sleep

How is it treated?

Eyelid twitches usually go away without treatment after a short period of time. It may help if you:

  • reduce stress
  • cut down on the caffeine in your diet
  • get more sleep
  • wear sunglasses in bright sunlight to keep from squinting. Squinting can make eyelid twitches worse.

Eye drops, warm washcloths, or cool compresses have not been shown to prevent or reduce eyelid twitches.

If you have severe eyelid twitching that does not go away, you may need shots of medicine around the eye. In some cases, when the blinking is affecting your vision, surgery may be needed.

How long do the effects last?

Usually the twitches stop within a few minutes or hours. However, you should see your healthcare provider if you have more serious symptoms, such as:

  • one or both of your eyelids close involuntarily quite often
  • other muscles in your face twitch as well
Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site:
Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2010-01-27
Last reviewed: 2010-10-18
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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